A first-hand account of Viking River’s 10-ship christening ceremony

Viking River's 10-ship christening.  Image courtesy of Viking River Cruises

Viking River’s 10-ship christening. Image courtesy of Viking River Cruises

Have you ever wondered what a new ship christening entails?  I am pleased to pass along information from a friend of mine-  because Jeffrey is an expert Viking River Cruise world, he had the privilege of being invited to this Viking River’s most recent christening day.

Here’s what he had to say about March 2013’s 10-ship christening in Amsterdam:

This lovely ceremony in Amsterdam debuted the Longships™  – Viking Aegir, Viking Atla, Viking Bragi, Viking Embla, Viking Forseti, Viking Jarl, Viking Rinda, Viking Skadi, Viking Tor and Viking Var.  This record breaking ceremony christened 4 ships in person, and another 6 via satellite (they remain in the Neptun shipyard in Rostock, Germany) – the most ever by one line in a single event.

Following is a list of the 10 most extraordinary moments from the christening:

  1. The red carpet – Incredible.  How many times do most of us get to experience the feeling of walking on a red carpet?  A red carpet is traditionally used to mark the route taken by heads of state on ceremonial and formal occasions, and has in recent decades been extended to use by VIPs and celebrities at formal events.
  2.  The impressive music– Beautiful, and synchronized to water; this cascading water spelled out the names of the ships.
  3.  The vision of the ships – Just amazing! There were a total of 6 ships in Amsterdam, docked 3 deep on either side of the floating ceremony platform. Those ships present included Viking Aegir, Viking Bragi, Viking Embla, and the Viking Skadi. The Viking Odin and Viking Freya were also present for the christening before beginning their respective sailings. (The christenings for the Viking Var, Viking Tor, Viking Forsetti, Viking Rinda, Viking Jarl, and Viking Atla were held in the Neptun shipyard in Rostock, Germany.) Have the waters of Amsterdam ever before seen such a beautiful site?
  4.  The floating vessels, fountains and flowers – The Viking River ships were beautifully decorated in red and white garlands, festooned with balloons and flags, and had large television screens mounted to the front two ships for a viewing of the absent ships.  There was a floating platform in the center, where the Godmothers, line executives and members of the crew (among others) stood; as attendees, we were on the adjacent pier for the one hour ceremony.
  5.  “Viking Drummers” – High spirited men, dressed like Vikings, were part of the pre-christening entertainment, along with violinists.
  6.  The Godmothers – We enjoyed remarks by each godmother; to find out more about these ladies, please click here Need a link from CCV.
  7.  Rubbing elbows with the famous – There were many well known and respected attendees; one special note of interest for us: Lady Fiona Carnarvon, Godmother of Viking Skadi, and her husband manage affairs at the Castle, featured in the program Downton Abbey.
  8.  The atmosphere – The party after the christening was held in the Passenger Terminal Amsterdam, and it had been transformed beyond recognition; they created a ballroom using fabric and crystal chandeliers.
  9.  The champagne was flowing – Dressed in white and carrying silver trays, waiters delivered Veuve Clicquot (a premium brand of champagne) to guests. Founded in 1772 by Philippe Clicquot-Muiron, Veuve Clicquot played an important role in establishing champagne as a favored drink of haute bourgeoisie and nobility throughout Europe.
  10.  Guiness World Records™ – This christening was a record-breaking achievement. The previous record of “The Most Ships Inaugurated in One Day by One Company’”– two- was obliterated at the event.  The new record was certified by a Guiness World Records™ adjudicator.  Upon receiving the award, Torstein Hagen, Chairman of Viking Cruises commented, “Our guests are explorers, just like the ancient Vikings of our Norse heritage, which is why we deliver authentic and enriching travel experiences like no other cruise line.”  This new record probably won’t stand for long, however; in 2014, the company plans to christen 12 new Longships.

Upon receiving the award, Torstein Hagen, Chairman of Viking Cruises commented, “Our guests are explorers, just like the ancient Vikings of our Norse heritage, which is why we deliver authentic and enriching travel experiences like no other cruise line.”

The celebration concluded with an onboard dinner and maiden voyage cruise around the Amsterdam harbor.  It was an amazing privilege to be included and event not soon forgotten.

Viking River now has 56 ships, with plans for many more. One more concept of note: on May 16, 2013 they will be revealing what we anticipate will the biggest cruise story of year… Perhaps they will begin building actual cruise ships!

If you’d like more information on how to book a cruise on one of these amazing longships, please contact Jennifer@AllThingsCruise.com

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