UP CLOSE WITH HISTORY
Christening a new cruise ship is part of a sequence of events that gets recorded in history books for all the world to see forever. We compare ships in age, gross tonnage, number of passengers they hold and more. These and other facts can be Googled with ease but are limited to numbers and dates. At the christening of Viking Ocean Cruises new Viking Sea, there were a few other noteworthy elements that probably won’t be part of the official record. It would be easy enough not to include them here as well and just move along. Reflecting on the experience though, that would be a lot like baking a wonderful cake and skipping the icing. We don’t do that.
The cake here is the beautiful Viking Sea, sister to last year’s Viking Star second in a planned fleet of at least six ships. And what a tasty cake she is. With a recipe for success based on and supported by the fleet of Viking Longships that ply rivers of the world, Viking Ocean Cruises is off to a good start.
A whole lot of that market-dominating river effort is based on Nordic history, with those longships named mostly after Viking gods. Appropriately, an actual Viking was on hand, complete with a replica of an 11th-century Viking axe discovered in the 1920s. That axe was dredged from the bottom of the Thames River near the London Bridge, not far from where Viking Sea was christened.
Serving as ceremonial godmother, blessing the ship with good fortune and safe sailing was Karine Hagen, Viking’s senior vice president and daughter of Viking chairman Torstein Hagen. But let’s back this story up a bit to just before the christening and a highlight of the occasion.
Karine Hagen is also the author of a series of children’s books, The World Of Finse, that teaches children about geography via the adventures of Karine’s yellow Labrador and London resident, Finse (aka Queen of Snoreway Ninkompoop Finse Daisy Dunsmere) who was on hand that day aboard Viking Sea.
An unadvertised and special part of the christening day festivities, Finse’s mother Bella was on hand. Also in attendance, Bella’s human friend Lady Carnarvon from Downton Abbey’s Highclere Castle was there too.
Continuing Viking’s seamless theme of engaging destinations in all they do, including christening ships, some other Viking-curated photos from the christening:
Included at the christening event, a concert from Norwegian soprano Sissel and The Olav’s Choir.
Instead of champagne for the traditional bottle-breaking, Viking Sea was christened with a bottle of Gammel Opland aquavit, which hails from the same town in Norway where Torstein’s mother and Karine’s grandmother was born. Known as Mamsen the family element of the Viking organization has a permanent place on their ocean ships with “Mamsen’s” the name of a Norwegian deli onboard Viking Sea
A talk by Stein Olav Henrichsen, director of Oslo’s Munch Museum officially launched Viking’s exclusive partnership with the museum designed to celebrate the life and artwork of Norway’s most famous artist, Edvard Munch. Daily “Munch Moments” are staged for guests each day in the ship’s Atrium.