Viking has officially named its newest ocean liner, Viking Venus, with a celebration in the English Channel ahead of her maiden voyage.
The ship’s “godmother” British journalist and broadcaster Anne Diamond, offered a blessing of good fortune and safe sailing for the ship—a naval tradition that dates back thousands of years.
The event also celebrated the line’s return to service after 14 months of paused operations.
On 22 May, Venus Viking will set sail in Portsmouth for the first of five roundtrip sailings of the ‘England’s Scenic Shores’ itinerary.
Delivered in April at Fincantieri’s shipyard in Italy, Viking Venus is the newest vessel to join Viking’s ocean fleet of identical sister ships, which also includes Viking Star, Viking Sea, Viking Sky, Viking Orion and Viking Jupiter.
“Today is one of the proudest days in Viking’s nearly 24-year history,” Torstein Hagen, chairman of Viking said.
“When we became the first cruise line to suspend operations in March 2020, we certainly did not know it would be 14 months before guests would be welcomed back on board.
“Now, we are among the first to set sail again—and with our industry-leading health and safety protocols in place, we believe there is no safer way to travel the world than on a Viking voyage.”
During the naming ceremony festivities, the group of guests on board Viking Venus enjoyed scenic sailing along the coast of England, and exclusively recorded concerts from artists that included Sissel Kyrkjebø, one of the world’s leading crossover sopranos and godmother of Viking Jupiter; violinist Tor Jaran Apold; and acclaimed English boys choir LIBERA.
In keeping with the naming custom, Diamond assisted in breaking a bottle of Norwegian aquavit on the ship’s hull using a historic Viking broad axe to cut a ribbon that symbolically held the bottle in place.