Viking has officially taken delivery of its newest ship, Viking Mars, bringing the new vessel into the line’s exclusive ocean fleet.
The momentous event took place Thursday, May 12, 2022, at Fincantieri’s shipyard in Ancona, Italy, on the Adriatic Sea. The ship is now en route to its naming ceremony, planned for May 17 in Valletta, Malta.
Viking Mars Delivery Ceremony
A cruise ship’s delivery ceremony is when the shipyard officially turns the vessel over to the cruise line. This technical change of ownership is often accompanied with great fanfare, thanks and acknowledgments of the construction team, and introductions of the ship’s master and officers.
“As we celebrate our 25th anniversary and a year of important milestones for Viking, today we are very proud to welcome the newest ocean ship to our award-winning fleet,” said Torstein Hagen, Chairman of Viking.
Viking Mars is the newest ship in Viking’s award-winning ocean fleet, which includes six identical sister ships, all prefaced with the name “Viking” – Star, Sea, Sky, Orion, Jupiter, and Venus. The new ship continues the line’s tried and true exclusivity at just 47,842 gross tons and a guest capacity 930 adventurous travelers.
Viking Mars features all verandah staterooms and suites, with a range of luxurious amenities that include dramatic ocean views, premium toiletries, and abundant storage.
On board, guests will enjoy the understated elegance and Scandinavian design the line is known for, that will not distract from the amazing destinations the ship will visit.
Viking Mars will set sail on her first passenger voyage on May 28, a 14-night, one-way journey from Barcelona, Spain to Bergen, Norway. Along the way, the ship will visit astonishing ports in England, France, Belgium, and Netherlands.
Additional itineraries in the coming weeks will bring the ship to amazing locations in northern Europe, Iceland, and the British Isles, before the vessel moves to the Mediterranean in late September.
The delivery of Viking Mars comes as the line continues to mark its 25th anniversary. In January, the company launched Viking Expeditions and its first purpose-built Polar Class vessel, Viking Octantis, and in March, the company named eight new European river ships during a special event in Paris.
By the end of 2022, Viking will have also welcomed a second identical expedition ship, Viking Polaris, another identical ocean ship, Viking Neptune, and new purpose-built vessels for the Nile, Mekong, and Mississippi rivers.
Naming Ceremony on May 17
While the new vessel now officially belongs to Viking, her ceremonies aren’t yet complete. On May 17, Viking Mars will be officially named in Malta by her ceremonial godmother, Lady Fiona Carnarvon, the Countess of Carnarvon.
The naming ceremony is sure to include various speeches and blessings to introduce the new ship and prepare her to welcome guests for years of safe sailings.
“Lady Carnarvon has honored us by serving as godmother to the Viking Mars, and we look forward to welcoming guests on board this beautiful new sister ship in the coming weeks,” said Hagen.
Viking has offered a variety of ways in recent years for guests to experience Highclere Castle, the home of the Earl and Countess of Carnarvon and well known as the filming location of the hit British historical drama Downton Abbey.
Pre- and post-cruise extensions on select river and ocean voyages often feature the estate, allowing privileged guests exclusive access to the Earl’s magnificent private collection of Egyptian artifacts. The castle has also been documented on Viking’s award-winning enrichment channel, Viking.TV.
Lady Carnarvon has also served as ceremonial godmother to a Viking Longship, Viking Skadi, which joined the line’s fleet in 2019 and is currently offering river sailings between Budapest and Amsterdam.