Viking River Cruises christened the first four of its new 190-passenger Viking Longships in Amsterdam on Wednesday, Marc h 21. Rebecca Eaton, executive producer of the PBS series Masterpiece, which includes the hit show Downton Abbey, and Joanna Lumley, the British actress known for her role as Patsy Stone on Absolutely Fabulous, joined the celebration as the ceremonial “godmothers” for the Viking Freya and Viking Odin. Harvard physicist Dr. Lisa Randall and Viking’s most traveled passenger, Gail Wiswedel, served as godmothers for Viking Idun and Viking Njord.
“As we celebrate our 15th anniversary in 2012, this is the biggest day in our company’s history. The christening of four new Viking Longships is the first step toward an exciting new horizon in our future,” said Torstein Hagen, chairman of Viking River Cruises, in a prepared statement. “By the end of 2013, we will have launched an unprecedented 12 new Viking Longships in two years.
The christening of the four new Viking Longships represents the first time in modern history that four cruise ships have been christened at once, with Viking Odin and Viking Idun christened in Amsterdam and Viking Njord and Viking Freya christened via satellite from the Neptun shipyard in Germany.