Second Viking Ocean Ship Officially Launched in London

Viking Sea arrives into Greenwich, London via the River Thames for the christening ceremony.
Viking Sea arrives into Greenwich, London via the River Thames for the christening ceremony.

Viking Sea Naming Ceremony held on the Thames River

The largest ship to sail up the Thames River, Viking Ocean’s new Viking Sea was greeted en route to Greenwich by sailors waving from atop the yardarms of the 19th century Cutty Sark clipper ship while hundreds of curious onlookers lined the shore.

On hand for the traditional christening ceremony as godmother was Karine Hagen, daughter of Viking Cruises’ Chairman Torstein Hagen.

Karine Torstein and her dog Finse.
Karine Torstein and her dog Finse.

In tribute to their Norwegian heritage, a bottle of Norway’s famous aquavit was chosen to christen the ship rather than the usual bottle of champagne. Keeping the Norwegian theme and in deference to the Vikings who once inhabited parts of Britain, a replica of an 11th century Viking axe discovered in the Thames River was used to cut the cord to release the bottle of aquavit.

Also announced during the day-into-night festivities was the new partnership between Viking Cruises and Oslo’s Munch Museum. While the Munch Museum is dedicated to the life and art of Edvard Munch (the artist of the famous painting, “The Scream”), guests cruising on the Viking Sea will experience daily “Munch Moments” in the ship’s Atrium.

Viking Sea fireworks on the Thames River in London.
Copyright Anthony Upton 2016©.

The evening entertainment included a concert from Norwegian soprano Sissel and The Olav’s Choir.

“Today is a proud day for our Viking family. London is one of my favorite cities, and Greenwich is a significant port for Viking. We look forward to bringing more guests here this spring and in future years,” said Torstein Hagen, Chairman of Viking Cruises. “With the arrival of our second ship – and with four more sister ships on the way – we are focused on introducing travelers to the Viking way of destination-centered cruising, a unique style that was inspired by our success on the rivers.”

Viking Sea in London The 930-passenger Viking Sea will spend the summer sailing through Scandinavia and the Baltic. The ship will visit Greenwich again in June as part of Viking’s new Into the Midnight Sun itinerary that sails between London and Bergen to explore the northernmost reaches of Scandinavia and sail across the Arctic Circle.

Viking Sea is the second of six all-veranda ocean cruise ships currently planned for the Viking Oceans fleet. The third and fourth ships, Viking Sky and Viking Sun are under construction for delivery in early 2017 and late 2017. Two more un-named ships are scheduled to be delivered in 2018 and 2020.

Viking Ocean cruises include shore excursions in every port of call, beer and wine with lunch and dinner, Wi-Fi, self-service laundry, access to the Thermal Suite in the LivNordic Spa and 24-hour room service.

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