Viking River Cruises simultaneously launched seven new ships today with christening ceremonies spanning Germany, Portugal and Switzerland.
Viking employees, journalists and travel agents were in Basel, Switzerland for the christening of two ships while the additional five were christened simultaneously, and the ceremonies were broadcasted.
The Viking Einar and Viking Sigrun were christened in Basel; the Viking Vali and Viking Tir were named in Brunsbuttel, Germany; Viking Sigyn and Viking Ullur were named in Rockstock in Germany and the Viking Helgrim was named in Porto, Portugal.
To celebrate, the ships were decked in white and red balloons reflecting the company’s logo colours, and instead of using Champagne, the line used aquavit, a nod to the line’s Norwegian heritage.
Viking Chariman Torstein Hagen said,“We began hosting guests on the rivers of Russia 22 years ago, and we have always done things differently. We focus on the destination, and we provide travel experiences that allow our guests to learn, to enrich their lives and to explore the world in comfort.”
“It is ‘The Viking Difference’ that has made us the leading river cruise line in the world – and has helped river cruising become one of the fastest-growing segments of travel.”
“As the leader, it is also important that we recognize those who have helped us achieve success. This year I am especially proud to honor members of the Viking family as godmothers of our newest river ships.”
Each godmother then said the traditional bless: “May your passengers and crew always be safe, and may you always have a hand’s width of water beneath your keel.”
They then pressed a large red button and triggered the release of a bottle of Gammel Opland aquavit.
In keeping with a maritime tradition that dates back thousands of years, Viking invited seven long-serving employees and important members of the company’s family to serve as honorary godmothers of the new ships.
- Leah Talactac, Godmother of Viking Einar
- Natalia Hofmann, Godmother of Viking Helgrim
- Wendy Atkin-Smith, Godmother of Viking Sigrun
- Rikke Semb Pertile, Godmother of Viking Sigyn
- Gisela Rückert, Godmother of Viking Tir
- Linh Banh, Godmother of Viking Ullur
- Minxuan Zhao, Godmother of Viking Vali
This is the largest number of ships Viking has christened at once since it named 12 ships in 2015 and won a place in the Guinness Book of Records.
Viking’s seven new ships brings to the line’s total to 54 Longships. These vessels have a unique offset-hallway design that means the cabins have real balconies. All of the ships are identical in design and décor and feature clean and sophisticated Scandinavian furnishings.
The ships accommodate for 190 people and have the Aquavit Terrace, which is an al fresco restaurant/lounge space.