Viking celebrates quarter of a century with special convoy

Dubrovnik, Croatia - 22 May 2019: Viking Star cruise ship docked under the Franjo Tudman bridge in the Dubrovnik cruise port near the old town

Viking has marked its 25th anniversary with a historic celebration in Amsterdam.

To commemorate the milestone, for the first time ever, three classes of Viking ships—a river ship, an ocean ship and the company’s newest expedition vessel, the Viking Polaris—met in Amsterdam and sailed in a special convoy to IJmuiden, Netherlands.

Participating in the convoy with the Viking Polaris were the Viking Longship, the Viking Mani, and the ocean vessel, the Viking Mars.

During the Amsterdam event, Viking also named the Viking Polaris and her identical sister ship, the Viking Octantis, which is currently sailing her inaugural season in the Great Lakes. Both ships will spend the Austral summer in Antarctica, before travelling north to the Great Lakes for a series of voyages during spring and summer.

“Today is historic for Viking—to celebrate our 25th anniversary, to have all classes of our ships sailing together for the first time, and to name our phenomenal new expedition vessels. We are very grateful to their godmothers, Liv Arnesen and Ann Bancroft, for honouring us,” said Torstein Hagen, chairman of Viking.

“As renowned explorers who became the first women to ski across Antarctica, they are the perfect choice for ships that are designed for expeditions.

“I am very proud of what we have accomplished in our first 25 years. And in our view, we are just getting started. Where do we go next? Onwards.”

Renowned explorers and educators Liv Arnesen and Ann Bancroft, the respective ceremonial godmothers of the Viking Octantis and the Viking Polaris, were in attendance in Amsterdam and offered a blessing of good fortune and safe sailing for the new ships—with Arnesen offering her blessing remotely via video to the Viking Octantis in the Great Lakes.

In keeping with the naming tradition, Arnesen and Bancroft assisted in breaking a bottle of Norwegian aquavit on each of the ship’s hull. During the ceremony, guests enjoyed performances from Sissel Kyrkjebø, one of the world’s leading crossover sopranos and godmother of the Viking Jupiter, and violinist Tor Jaran Apold.

Guests on all Viking three ships in Amsterdam were able to join in the naming ceremony, as well as witness the historic convoy, from their ships’ respective outdoor viewing areas.

Viking’s 25th anniversary celebration in Amsterdam is the most recent event during a milestone year in which the company has also welcomed to its fleet eight new Viking Longships on the rivers of Europe and new purpose-built vessels on the Mekong, Nile and Mississippi rivers.


Image: iStock/BackyardProduction

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