A spectacular fireworks display illuminated London’s skyline this week for the naming ceremony of Viking Sea, the largest ever cruise ship to be christened in London. The 930 passenger luxury vessel was welcomed by thousands of people at the River Thames as the first ship in a decade to hold a naming ceremony in Greenwich.
Viking Sea was welcomed by 48 sailors that saluted her as they stood on Cutty Sark’s yardarms as a traditional naval custom whilst the fireworks display depicted the colours of the two main runners in the Mayoral elections. A spokeswoman for Los Angeles-based Viking cruises claimed to have chosen London for the ship’s christening because it is a special city for its founder and chairman, Torstein Hagen, and for its impressive history and scenery.
The ship, weighing 47,800 tonnes, has previously sailed its inaugural voyage from Instanbul to Venice last month and is now set to spend its maiden season sailing around Scandinavia and the Baltics, as well as the Mediterranean. Viking Sea is the second sea-going cruise ship from Viking, measuring the length of two football pitches at nearly 750 foot.
Passengers have been promised chic Scandinavian décor in staterooms that will range from 270 ft to more than 1,100 square foot, with five different room classes to choose from. The all-balcony ship features a luxury spa, live theatre, infinity pool on the aft deck, three pools- one with a retractable roof and multiple restaurants that offer anything from American classics to heart healthy options. It also boasts a snow grotto where artificial snowflakes fall from the ceiling through chilled air.
Viking are more known for its smaller vessels that sail the rivers of Europe and Asia, but Hagen said he aimed to buck the trend of bigger cruise liners by creating smaller ships that can easily access historic destinations. Before the maiden voyage and christening, Hagen said: ‘Too often in recent years the most talked about ships have been the biggest ships. It is our view that some cruise lines have been focused too much on building bigger ships and not enough on helping guests connect with the destination’.
Hagen added: ‘We have created ocean cruises that put the destination at the centre of the experience, with smaller ships that are smarter in design. As our second ship sets sail we look forward to introducing more travellers to the unique way that Viking does ocean cruising- a style that was inspired by our own experience and success on the rivers.’
In 2018 London will be the final destination on the company’s first round-the-world cruise of the soon-to-be-built sister ship to Viking Sea, Viking Sun. Also classified as a small cruise ship, Viking Sun will weigh 47,800 tonnes and carry 930 passengers with 465 all-balcony cabins to accommodate its capacity. In 2018 and 2019 Viking will add its fifth and sixth ocean-going ships to its fleet.
What do you think of Viking Sea? Will you be sailing on her or her sister ship, Viking Sun? Let us know in your comments below…// END - About the Author ?>