Viking Venus Officially Named Ahead of May 22 UK Start

Viking Venus Naming Ceremony Anne Diamond cuts the ribbon 2

Viking has named its newest ocean ship, the Viking Venus, with a celebration at sea in the English Channel as the ship set sail for her inaugural voyage. As part of the event on May 17, the ship’s ceremonial godmother, 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.

Viking said in a press release that the naming event was an important milestone also because the cruise line is finally returning to service following 14 months of paused operations. On May 22, guests will embark Viking Venus in Portsmouth for the first of five roundtrip sailings of the England’s Scenic Shores itinerary in May and June.

“Today is one of the proudest days in Viking’s nearly 24-year history. 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 onboard. Now, we are among the first to set sail again—and with our industry-leading health and safety protocols in place, we believe there is no safer way to travel the world than on a Viking voyage,” said Torstein Hagen, chairman of Viking.

“On behalf of the entire Viking family, we are delighted to celebrate the naming of our newest ship in England. We are also grateful to her godmother, Anne Diamond, for her many journalistic and selfless contributions—as well as for her tireless efforts fostering a community on Viking.TV each week for more than a year,” he added.

Part of Viking’s Welcome Back collection, the eight-day voyages also call in Liverpool, the Isles of Scilly, Falmouth and Portland. Anne Diamond will join guests for the first three sailings of England’s Scenic Shores and will serve as a guest lecturer with her presentation about the untold story of British radar inventors, including her father, during World War II. Diamond’s presentation will also be featured on Viking.TV in the future.

Following her time in England, the Viking Venus will then sail to Malta, where she will homeport for new Welcome Back voyages in the Mediterranean in summer and fall 2021.

Delivered in April 2021 at Fincantieri’s shipyard in Ancona, Italy, the Viking Venus is the newest vessel to join Viking’s ocean fleet of identical sister ships, which also includes the Viking Star, Viking Sea, Viking Sky, Viking Orion and Viking Jupiter.

Viking Venus in Portsmouth 2

Viking’s ocean vessels have a gross tonnage of 47,800 tons and with 465 all veranda staterooms that accommodate 930 guests, the ships feature clean, minimalist Scandinavian design, airy public spaces filled with natural light and abundant al fresco dining options.

“It is a huge honor to be chosen as godmother to Viking Venus and to be officially part of the Viking family. Over my many years as a journalist, I have reported and been part of many historic events, but I never dreamt I would be godmother to an ocean ship or that I would be celebrating the occasion with my family and friends onboard the beautiful Viking Venus on the very first day that we are able to cruise again in the UK,” said Anne Diamond.

“It is an unforgettable experience, especially as it marks Viking’s global restart. I am looking forward to many more voyages with Viking, including the upcoming sailings of the England’s Scenic Shores itinerary. I am also looking forward to another year of interviewing some of the world’s most fascinating people on Viking.TV,” she added.

Diamond continued: “I would like to take this opportunity, on behalf of the whole Viking family, to thank Torstein and Karine Hagen. They have worked tirelessly over the past 14 months to ensure that hope has stayed on the horizon and to keep their guests and crew connected and entertained. I find it both reassuring and inspirational to see the lengths to which Viking has gone to ensure that we can all start exploring the world again safely. Welcome back to everyone at Viking—here’s to brighter days ahead. As they say at sea, ‘I wish you, your guests and crew fair winds and following seas as you return to service.’”

During the naming ceremony festivities this evening, the group of invited guests onboard the Viking Venus enjoyed scenic sailing along the coast of England, and exclusively recorded concerts from artists that included Sissel Kyrkjebø, one of the world’s leading crossover sopranos and godmother of Viking Jupiter; violinist Tor Jaran Apold; and acclaimed English boys choir Libera.

In keeping with the naming custom, Diamond assisted in breaking a bottle of Norwegian aquavit on the ship’s hull—using a historic Viking broad ax to cut a ribbon that symbolically held the bottle in place.

The event also honored May 17 as Norwegian Constitution Day and paid tribute to the Nordic spirit of exploration. Additionally, after speeches by Chairman Hagen and Diamond, guests were treated to the unveiling of a custom “Air Fountain” by artist Daniel Wurtzel, which was specifically designed and installed in the ship’s Atrium for the event.

Best known for his kinetic sculptures and installations using air and lightweight materials that fly, Wurtzel has shown his artworks at the Musée Rodin, the Grand Palais in Paris, the Tate Modern Turbine Hall and the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery.

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