Wednesday was a huge day for Viking River Cruises. Not only did the company christen an astonishing 10 new Viking Longships in a single go, Viking River Cruises also set a new Guinness World Record for most cruise ships christened by a single line on a single day.
As Avid Cruiser’s Ralph Grizzle writes in his post, Viking founder Torstein Hagen feels this may just be the beginning. Next year, the line is hoping to up the ante and christen 12 Viking Longships in a single day, thereby besting its own record once again. We’d better bring even more memory cards next year, because this year’s ceremony was jam-packed with special moments befitting the importance of this occasion.
Here’s a look at a few photographs from this special day in river cruise history:
Being christened Wednesday were the following Viking Longships (and their respective Norse Gods), with those in bold physical present here in Amsterdam. The remainder were in Rostock, Germany at the Neptun Werft shipyards, where they were christened live via a video uplink.
- Viking Aegir, Norse God of the Sea
- Viking Atla, Daughter of Aegir
- Viking Bragi, God of Music, Eloquence, Poetry and Storytelling
- Viking Embla, The Mother of the Human Race
- Viking Forsetti, God of Justice
- Viking Jarl, The Noble Warrior
- Viking Rinda, Norse Princess of the Frozen Earth
- Viking Skadi, Goddess of Winter
- Viking Tor, God of Thunder, Lightning and Fertility
- Viking Var, Goddess of Oaths
Viking Odin and Viking Freya also participated in the christening before setting off on their respective sailings.
As it turned out, this year’s ceremony was filled with wonderful moments that are appropriately befitting this special occasion. After all ten bottles of Veuve-Clicquot were successfully smashed against their respective hulls with nary a snag, the cascading sounds of the ship’s horns could be heard mixed with fireworks, cannon fire, and the wails of a nearby fireboat that launched water cannons skyrocketing upward.
Everyone is here for the Viking Longhsips but in a way, they’re also here for Torstein Hagen. After losing nearly “every penny I had,” according to his own admission, Hagen started over and launched Viking River Cruises in 1997 with four Russian-registered vessels he was able to acquire. Although a veteran of the cruise industry, Hagen tells the story with the sort of humility that seems absent from so many corporate chief executives. When the keynote speaker asked Hagen to remain on stage so they could present him with a gift, he replied, “I have already received ten wonderful gifts today.”
More information on the christening of these spectacular Longships, along with detailed ship profiles, are coming soon here on River Cruise Advisor.