Viking celebrated its 25th anniversary today in Amsterdam. A special convoy of three Viking ships – a river ship, an ocean liner, and the company’s newest expedition ship, the Viking Polaris – sailed from Amsterdam to IJmuiden, the Netherlands, to celebrate this milestone. Participating in the convoy with Viking Polaris were Viking Longship, Viking Mani, and the ocean liner, Viking Mars.
During the Amsterdam event, Viking also named Viking Polaris, and her identical sister ship, Viking Octantis, currently sailing her inaugural Great Lakes season. Both ships will spend the Australian summer in Antarctica, before traveling north to the Great Lakes for a series of voyages during the spring and summer.
“Today is a historic day for Viking—to celebrate our 25th anniversary, to have all of our ship classes sailing together for the first time, and to name our phenomenal new expedition vessels.” We are very grateful to their godmothers, Liv Arnesen and Ann Bancroft, for doing us the honor. As renowned explorers who became the first women to ski across Antarctica, they are the perfect choice for ships that are designed for expeditions,” said Thorstein Hagen, Viking’s president. “I am very proud of what we have achieved in our first 25 years. And in our opinion, we are just getting started. Where do we go next?
Renowned explorers and educators Liv Arnesen and Ann Bancroft, ceremonial godmothers of Viking Octantis and Viking Polaris, were on hand in Amsterdam to offer blessings of good luck and safe sailing for the new vessels — and Arnesen gave her blessing remotely via video for Viking Octantis in the Great Lakes. In keeping with naming tradition, Arnesen and Bancroft helped smash a bottle of Norwegian aquavit against each of the ship’s hulls.
During the ceremony, guests enjoyed performances by Siselle Kirkebo, one of the world’s leading crossover sopranos and godmother of Viking Jupiter, and violinist Tor Jaran Apold. Guests on all three Viking ships in Amsterdam were able to join the naming ceremony, as well as witness the historic convoy, from their open-air ships.
Viking’s 25th-anniversary celebration in Amsterdam is the latest event in a landmark year that has also seen the company welcome eight new Viking longships to its fleet on the rivers of Europe and new dedicated vessels on the Mekong, Nile and Mississippi rivers. By the end of 2022, two new, identical ocean liners will also join Viking’s fleet. Earlier this year, Viking was named #1 Ocean Line and #1 River Line in Travel + Leisure’s 2022 “World’s Best” awards, making the company the first cruise line ever to be #1 in both categories in the same year.