Viking Mars, the newest ocean cruise ship which Fincantieri is building for Viking, has been floated out today at the shipyard in Ancona.
Viking has celebrated a major construction milestone of its newest ocean ship Viking Mars. The 930-guest vessel floated out and touched water for the first time. the luxury cruise line also announced that Viking Mars, which is scheduled to debut in early 2022, will officially be named by her ceremonial godmother, Lady Fiona Carnarvon, the eighth Countess of Carnarvon. The ship will spend her maiden season sailing itineraries in the Mediterranean and in Northern Europe before embarking on voyages in Asia and Australia.
“The day that a new ship meets water for the first time is always a special moment in time, and today is especially meaningful because for the second time, my dear friend Lady Carnarvon will honor us by serving as godmother to a new Viking ship,” said Karine Hagen, Executive Vice President of Viking. “The last year and a half has been a period of uncertainty for all of us, and it is in those times that you know your true friends. Lady Carnarvon has done so much to help Viking, including opening her home almost weekly for our guests to experience life ‘At Home at Highclere’ on Viking.TV. She is truly a like the sister I never had. We are delighted to celebrate this important milestone, and we look forward to welcoming Viking Mars to our award-winning ocean fleet next year.”
The traditional float out ceremony took place at Fincantieri’s Ancona shipyard and is significant because it denotes a ship moving into its final stage of construction. The float out of Viking Mars began when a member of the Viking team cut a cord that signaled water to begin flowing into the ship’s building dock. Following a two-day process that will set Viking Mars afloat, she will then be moved to a nearby outfitting dock for final construction and interior build-out.
Viking and Highclere Castle
Today’s announcement that Lady Carnarvon will serve as the godmother to Viking Mars builds on the longstanding relationship between Viking and the Carnarvon family. Since 2013, Viking has offered guests a variety of ways to experience life at Highclere Castle, the home of the Earl and Countess of Carnarvon, and known as the filming location of Downton Abbey.
For more than a year, Lady Carnarvon has welcomed viewers to Highclere Castle on Viking’s award-winning enrichment channel, Viking.TV. In her ongoing series ‘At Home at Highclere’ Lady Carnarvon offers virtual Privileged Access to the historic home and its grounds. Additionally, Lady Carnarvon has served as godmother to a Viking Longship, Viking Skadi.