Viking Cruises marked another milestone in its drive to launch new ships. After the company’s first expedition ship and seventh ocean ship Viking Octantis set sail this week to Norway to begin final outfitting, the newest ocean-going vessel floated out of Fincantieri’s Ancona shipyard in Italy.
Viking Mars will be the company’s eighth ocean-going vessel, while the company plans to launch ten more vessels until 2027, marking one of the biggest expansions in the cruise industry. The Countess of Carnarvon of Highclere Castle Will Be Godmother to Viking Mars.
Float Out Marks Major Construction Milestone
The 930-guests Viking Mars will be undergoing final outfitting now that she has passed another major milestone in the construction phase. The traditional float-out ceremony took place at Fincantieri’s Ancona shipyard. The float out of Viking Mars began when a member of the Viking team cut a cord that signaled water to begin flowing into the ship’s building dock.
Viking’s ocean-going vessels all have broadly the same structural designs. With space for 930 passengers and weighing 47,800 tonnes, the ships are not the biggest in the world, yet they have been incredibly popular since the company first started ocean operations with Viking Star in 2015.
Viking Mars‘ interior has been made to mimic the Scandinavian heritage of the company, designed by London-based SMC Design and Los Angeles-based Rottet Studios. Besides the cabins, each with its own private balcony, the ship’s facilities include spacious suites with extensive views, two pools, and a wellness area designed to typically Nordic criteria, with a sauna and ice cave.
Viking Mars is scheduled to start guest operations in 2022 with cruises in the Mediterranean and Northern Europe. The vessel’s maiden voyage will see her sail from Barcelona on May 28, 2022, with calls in Granada, Porto, the UK, Paris (Le Havre), and Amsterdam before coming into her home port of Bergen, Norway.
Godmother to Viking Mars
Although guests have not been on board for 15 months onboard the Viking ships (some ships commended operations only recently), it does not mean the company has been sitting quietly on the sideline. With a loyal following of guests keeping tabs on the cruise line, the company set up Viking TV.
For more than a year, Lady Carnarvon has welcomed viewers to Highclere Castle on Viking’s award-winning enrichment channel, the home of the Earl and Countess of Carnarvon, and known as the filming location of Downton Abbey. Lady Carnarvon of Highclere Castle has now also been chosen as the Godmother to Viking’s newest cruise ship.
Lady Carnarvon said this:
“I am both honored and privileged to be chosen as godmother to the Viking Mars, the latest addition to Viking’s beautiful cruise ships. I’ve no doubt she will delight the many guests who travel with her across the seas and oceans.”
Lady Carnarvon has become like family to the cruise line’s owners, the Hagen family, who are suitably delighted she has accepted the role of godmother to the newest vessel in the fleet:
Karine Hagen, Executive Vice President of Viking:
“The day that a new ship meets water for the first time is always a special moment in time, and today is especially meaningful because for the second time, my dear friend Lady Carnarvon will honor us by serving as godmother to a new Viking ship. Lady Carnarvon has done so much to help Viking, including opening her home almost weekly for our guests to experience life ‘At Home at Highclere’ on Viking.TV.”
It is not the first vessel that lady Carnarvon has served as godmother to though. She was also the godmother to one of Viking’s river ships, the Viking Skadi.