An ‘Air Fountain’ was designed and installed in the ship’s atrium by artist Daniel Wurtzel
Viking has named its newest ocean ship, Viking Venus, with a celebration at sea in the English Channel as the ship set sail on her inaugural voyage. British journalist and broadcaster Anne Diamond served as ceremonial godmother and offered a blessing for the ship during the event.
During the naming ceremony, the ship sailed along the coast of England while guests listened to recorded concerts from artists including crossover soprano Sissel Kyrkjebø, violinist Tor Jaran Apold and all-boys choir Libera. Diamond broke a bottle of aquavit on the ship’s hull, using a Viking broad axe to cut a ribbon that held the bottle in place. After speeches by Diamond and Torstein Hagen, chairman of Viking, a custom ‘Air Fountain’ specifically designed and installed in the ship’s atrium by artist Daniel Wurtzel was unveiled.
“It is a huge honour to be chosen as godmother to Viking Venus and to be officially part of the Viking family,” said Diamond. “It is an unforgettable experience, especially as it marks Viking’s global restart. I am looking forward to many more voyages with Viking, including the upcoming sailings of the ‘England’s Scenic Shores’ itinerary. I am also looking forward to another year interviewing some of the world’s most fascinating people on Viking.TV.”
The event also marked Viking’s return to service after 14 months of paused operations. Viking Venus will depart Portsmouth for the first of five roundtrip sailings of the ‘England’s Scenic Shores’ itinerary in May and June, calling at Liverpool, the Isles of Scilly, Falmouth and Portland. Diamond will join guests onboard the ship for the first three voyages, serving as a guest lecturer with a presentation on the story of British radar inventors during World War II. Viking Venus will then sail to Malta, where she will homeport for new voyages in the Mediterranean in the summer and autumn.
“Today is one of the proudest days in Viking’s nearly 24-year history,” said Hagen. “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 onboard. 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.”
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