The christening of Viking’s second ocean ship took place in May on the River Thames in London’s Greenwich.
Viking’s second ocean ship, Viking Sea, was christened in May at a ceremony on the River Thames in Greenwich. After passing through the Thames Barrier, the ship received a warm welcome by 28 sailors, who manned the yard arms of Gutty Sark — the iconic 19th-century British clipper ship —and saluted Viking Sea.
“London is one of my favourite cities, and Greenwich is a significant port for Viking,” said Torstein Hagen, Founder and Chairman of Viking Cruises.
“Our ships are built for exploration; they are vessels that help our guests spend more time immersed in and surrounded by their destination.
“With the arrival of our second ship — and with four more sister ships on the way — we are focused on introducing travellers to the Viking way of destination-centered cruising, a unique style inspired by our success on the rivers.”
After arriving in Greenwich, Viking Sea was positioned in the River Thames with decorated pontoons nearby to welcome guests for various shore excursions around the city.
As part of the ship’s christening ceremony, guests were treated to a concert from Norwegian soprano Sissel and The Olav’s Choir. Guests also enjoyed a talk by Stein Olav Henrichsen, the curator of Oslo’s Munch Museum — as part of the official launch of Viking’s exclusive new partnership with the museum that is designed to celebrate the life and artwork of Norway’s most famous artist, Edvard Munch. Karine Hagen, Viking’s Senior Vice President and daughter of Torstein Hagen, served as ceremonial godmother and offered a blessing of good fortune and safe sailing for Viking Sea — a naval tradition that dates back thousands of years. Karine’s yellow labrador, Finse, also took part in the christening events.
Several elements of the christening ceremony paid homage to the company’s Norwegian heritage: instead of Champagne for the traditional bottle-breaking, Viking Sea was christened with a bottle of Gammel Opland Aquavit, which hails from the same town in Norway where Torstein’s mother and Karine’s grandmother, Ragnhild was born.
In honour of the Vikings who once explored the British Isles, a replica of an 11th-century Viking battle axe was used to cut the ribbon for the christening.
You can watch the full christening ceremony of Viking Sea Ship in the video below: