The small naming ceremony of the Viking Mars took place on 17 May while the ship was docked in Valletta’s Grand Harbour, and was attended by friends and business partners of Viking.
As part of the naming event, the ship’s ceremonial godmother Lady Fiona Carnarvon, the Countess of Carnarvon, offered a blessing of good fortune and safe sailing for the ship – a naval tradition that dates back thousands of years.
As all Viking ocean ships are registered in Bergen, Norway, the event paid tribute to Norwegian Constitution Day—May 17—and featured a performance by Norwegian singer Sissel Kyrkjebø, who is widely considered one of the world’s top crossover sopranos and is also the godmother of the Viking Jupiter.
Viking says Valletta is significant as the location for the ship’s naming, as Malta was one of the first countries to welcome Viking ships when the company restarted operations in 2021.
This week the new ship will begin her maiden season sailing itineraries in the Mediterranean, Scandinavia and Northern Europe, before repositioning at the end of the year for voyages around Australia and New Zealand.
“It is always a proud day when we welcome a new sister ship to our fleet,” said Torstein Hagen, Chairman of Viking.
The Viking Mars will allow us to offer even more opportunities for curious travellers to explore the world in comfort.”
“Many of our guests were introduced to both Viking and Highclere Castle while watching Downton Abbey, and over the years we have continued a close friendship with the Carnarvon family as they have welcomed our guests into their home.
“We are very grateful that Lady Carnarvon has honoured us by serving as godmother of our newest ocean ship.”
“I am honoured and privileged to be the godmother of the Viking Mars. I have no doubt she will delight the many guests who travel with her around the world,” said Lady Carnarvon.
“For more than a decade, Viking and Highclere have been linked through both Downton Abbey and life, and we look forward to continuing welcoming the extended Viking family to explore our home for years to come.”
For more information visit www.vikingcruises.com.au
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