Viking followed maritime tradition by smashing a bottle of champagne against the ship’s hull for good luck
Viking’s newest ocean ship, Viking Mars, was officially named during a private ceremony in Valletta, Malta, on 17 May 2022, attended by godmother Lady Fiona Carnarvon, the countess of Carnavon in Wales, and invited guests and business partners of Viking.
Lady Carnarvon, who was chosen as godmother due to the cruise line’s connections to Highclere Castle through excursions and itineraries, attended the ceremony via video from the castle. During the ceremony, a bottle of Norwegian aquavit was smashed on the ship’s hull for good luck.
“I am honoured and privileged to be the godmother of the Viking Mars,” said Lady Carnarvon. “I have no doubt she will delight the many guests who travel with her around the world. 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.”
The christening event also paid tribute to Norwegian Constitution Day – since Viking ocean ships are registered in Bergen, Norway – with a performance by Norwegian singer Sissel Kyrkjebø, who is also the godmother to Viking Jupiter.
“It is always a proud day when we welcome a new sister ship to our fleet,” said Torstein Hagen chairman of Viking. “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.”
To further celebrate the naming ceremony and Viking’s 25th anniversary, Viking and Lady Carnarvon are donating £10,000 ($12,394) each to 25 charities.
Following its naming ceremony, Viking Mars will begin its maiden season sailing itineraries in the Mediterranean, Scandinavia and Northern Europe. The ship will then reposition towards the end of this year to operate around Australia and New Zealand.
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