Viking Mars, the latest ocean ship to join the fleet, has officially been named at a low-key ceremony in the Maltese capital of Valletta.
The ship’s Godmother, Lady Fiona Carnarvon, the Countess of Carnarvon, was on hand to offer a blessing of good fortune and sailing for the brand-new vessel. The naval tradition dates back thousands of years and is customary before a new ship sets sail on her maiden voyage. Viking Mars will begin her season sailing itineraries across the Mediterranean, Scandinavia and Northern Europe, before relocating at the end of 2022 for cruises around Australia and New Zealand.
Lady Carnarvon is best known for living in Highclere Castle – the setting for Downton Abbey – which has become one of the most iconic historical houses in the world.
Chairman of Viking Torstein Hagen said: “It is always a proud day when we welcome a new sister ship to our fleet. The Viking Mars will allow us to offer even more opportunities for curious travelers to explore the world in comfort.
“Many of our guests were introduced to both Viking and Highclere Castle while watching Downton Abbey, and over the years we have continued a close friendship with the Carnarvon family as they have welcomed our guests into their home. We are very grateful that Lady Carnarvon has honored us by serving as godmother of our newest ocean ship.”
The naming ceremony took place while Viking Mars was docked in Valletta’s Grand Harbour. Lady Carnarvon gave her blessing for the ship via video link from Highclere Castle, and a bottle of Norwegian aquavit was smashed on the ship’s hull. The event took place on 17 May, Norwegian Constitution Day, in a nod to the origins of Viking Cruises.
Explore the range of cruises available on the all-new Viking Mars by clicking here.