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  • 2023 June 8 15:09

    Viking hosts a naming ceremony for its newest ocean ship in NYC

    The 930-guest Viking Saturn was named at Manhattan Cruise Terminal

    Viking on June 6, 2023, named its newest ocean ship, the Viking Saturn®, with a celebration in New York City. As part of the event, the ship’s ceremonial godmother, Ann Ziff, the esteemed philanthropist and Chairman of the Metropolitan Opera, a longtime Viking cultural partner, offered a blessing of good fortune and safe sailing for the ship—a maritime tradition that dates back thousands of years. The ship will now continue her inaugural season, sailing two new Viking voyages: Iconic Iceland, Greenland & Canada, between New York City and Reykjavik, and Iceland & Norway’s Arctic Explorer, between Reykjavik and Bergen, the shipping company said in its news release.

    In keeping with the naming tradition, during the ceremony Ziff used the steel sword from the Metropolitan Opera’s production of Verdi’s Il Trovatore to cut a ribbon that allowed a bottle of Norwegian aquavit to break on the ship’s hull. The prop sword was originally used by baritone Dmitri Hvorostovsky in the role of Count di Luna in David McVicar’s production, which premiered in the 2008-2009 season. Prior to the ribbon cutting, the sword was presented to Ziff by Lady Fiona Carnarvon, the Countess of Carnarvon, who is also the godmother of the Viking Mars® and a Viking Longship, the Viking Skadi.

    As part of the ceremony, guests also enjoyed performances from Sissel Kyrkjebø, one of the world’s leading crossover sopranos and godmother of the Viking Jupiter® and Norwegian violinist Tor Jaran Apold. Following a celebratory dinner on board the ship, stars of the Metropolitan Opera—soprano Susanna Phillips, tenor Charles Castronovo, and baritone Quinn Kelsey—treated guests to a performance of opera classics, including selections from Giuseppe Verdi’s La Traviata, Antonín Dvořák’s Rusalka, Giacomo Puccini’s La Bohème, as well as a collection of American musical classics from Rodgers and Hammerstein, Jerome Kern and others.

    The Viking Saturn

    The Viking Saturn is the newest ship in Viking’s award-winning ocean fleet of identical sister ships, which also includes the Viking Star®, the Viking Sea®, the Viking Sky®, the Viking Orion®, the Viking Jupiter®, the Viking Venus®, the Viking Mars®, and the Viking Neptune®. Classified by Cruise Critic as “small ships,” Viking’s ocean vessels have a gross tonnage of 47,800 tons, with 465 staterooms that can host 930 guests; the ships feature all veranda staterooms, Scandinavian design, light-filled public spaces and abundant al fresco dining options.

    The naming of the Viking Saturn comes as the company continues to celebrate its 25th anniversary and its most successful single month of bookings in January 2023, following recent years of strong growth. Since 2020, Viking has welcomed 17 new ships to its fleet—including eight new Viking Longships on the rivers of Europe; new purpose-built vessels on the Mekong, Nile and Mississippi rivers; four new, identical ocean ships; and two Polar Class expedition vessels. Most recently, Viking was voted “Best Cruise Line” by Food & Winereaders in the publication’s inaugural Global Tastemakers Awards. In March 2023, the company dominated Cruise Critic’s Cruisers’ Choice Awards, receiving top honors in six categories including “Best Overall Line,” “Best River Line,” and “Best Dining” for its ocean and expedition voyages. Additionally, Viking has been named both the #1 Ocean Line and #1 River Line by both Travel + Leisure and Condé Nast Traveler, making it the first line ever to simultaneously earn #1 in its categories from both publications.

    Viking was founded in 1997 and provides destination-focused journeys on rivers, oceans and lakes around the world. Designed for experienced travelers with interests in science, history, culture and cuisine, Chairman Torstein Hagen often says Viking offers experiences for The Thinking Person™. Viking has more than 250 awards to its name, including being the first cruise line to ever be named both the #1 Ocean Line and the #1 River Line in a single year in Travel + Leisure’s 2022 “World’s Best” Awards. Viking has also been rated the #1 River Line and #1 Ocean Line by Condé Nast Traveler in the publication’s 2022 and 2021 Readers’ Choice Awards.


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