Viking marks summer equinox with christening of third ocean ship in Norway
Viking Cruises® today announced that its third ship, Viking Sky®, was officially christened during a public celebration in Tromsø, Norway. Located above the Arctic Circle on Norway’s northwest coast, Tromsø is a popular destination for viewing the northern lights – and a key port of call on Viking’s popular Into the Midnight Sun itinerary, which sails between Bergen and London.
The 930-guest, 47,800-tonne Viking Sky navigated into the Tromsø harbour this morning, where she received a warm welcome with coordinated water cannons from Norwegian redningsskøyten boats, music from local bands and flag-waving Tromsø residents.
After arriving today in Tromsø, Viking Sky was positioned in the harbour adjacent to a concert stage constructed specifically for the celebration, with performances from a variety of Norwegian musicians – including Arctic Philharmonic, Lisa Stokke, Violet Road, Sara Marielle Gaup Beaska and Jørn Hoel. Marit Barstad, sister of Viking Chairman Torstein Hagen, served as ceremonial godmother and offered a blessing of good fortune and safe sailing for Viking Sky – a naval tradition that dates back thousands of years.
Several elements of the christening ceremony paid homage to the Norwegian heritage of both the company and godmother. Instead of champagne for the traditional bottle-breaking, Viking Sky was christened with a bottle of Gammel Opland aquavit. Additionally, in honour of the original Viking explorers, a gilded Viking axe was used to cut the cord for the aquavit christening. This particular axe used is a replica of a gilded Viking axe artifact discovered near Tromsø.
Immediately following the christening, Viking Sky set sail from Tromsø with a convoy of small boats and fishing vessels to spend the longest day of the year in Nordkapp (North Cape). The ship will now spend the summer season sailing Viking’s popular itineraries in Scandinavia and the Baltic, before crossing the Atlantic in September on her way to the Americas and the Caribbean.
Michelle Black, Managing Director of Viking Cruises Australia and New Zealand, said:
“The Christening of Viking Sky is an important occasion, and the fitting location of Norway’s Tromsø serves as a stunning backdrop. Viking Sky – the third in Viking’s Ocean fleet – will be joined by another sister ship Viking Sun in October, followed by Viking Spirit in 2018 and a yet-to-be-named sixth ship in 2019. As Viking grows, we extend our ability to offer our guests even more destination-centric journeys that go beyond the expected.”