VENUS RISING: Viking vessel unveiled, re-starts ops
Viking has revealed the name of its newest ocean ship, “Viking Venus,” with a celebration at sea in the English Channel as the ship set sail for her inaugural voyage. The event was marked the cruise line’s returns to service following 14 months of paused operations caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
As part of the intimate event on Tuesday, the ship’s ceremonial godmother, popular British journalist and broadcaster Anne Diamond, offered a blessing of good fortune and safe sailing for the ship – a naval tradition that dates back thousands of years. In keeping with the naming custom, she also assisted in breaking a bottle of Norwegian aquavit on the ship’s hull – using an historic Viking broad axe to cut a ribbon that symbolically held the bottle in place.
After the ceremony, the vessel set sail from Portsmouth (banner photo) for the first of five roundtrip sailings of the “England’s Scenic Shores” itinerary that, over eight days, also calls in Liverpool, the Isles of Scilly, Falmouth and Portland.
Following her time in England, Viking Venus will then sail to Malta, where she will homeport for voyages in the Mediterranean this summer and fall. Viking recently announced that it would restart operations with Welcome Back ocean voyages exclusively for vaccinated guests in England, Iceland, Bermuda and Malta.
Delivered in April, 2021 at Fincantieri’s shipyard in Ancona, Italy, Viking Venus is the newest vessel to join Viking’s ocean fleet of identical sister ships, which also includes Viking Star, Viking Sea, Viking Sky, Viking Orion and Viking Jupiter. The small-ships have a gross tonnage of 47,800 tons and 465 all-veranda staterooms that accommodate 930 guests, and feature clean, minimalist Scandinavian design, airy public spaces filled with natural light, and abundant al fresco dining options.
“Today is one of the proudest days in Viking’s nearly 24-year history,” said Viking chairman Torstein Hagen. “When we became the first cruise line to suspend operations in March 2020, we certainly did not know it would be 14 months before guests would be welcomed back on board. Now, we are among the first to set sail again…”
First published at Travel Industry Today