The new Viking Ocean cruise ship, which was floated out at Meyer Werft shipyards in Germany in December, recently began sailing Norwegian waters. The name of the ship is the Viking Star, and it will be sailing the North Atlantic waters on her maiden voyage.

The new Viking Ocean cruise ship, named the Viking Sky, was floated out of the shipyard in its home port of Bremerhaven, Germany, on July 11. The ship is the first of three new generation vessels that will bring Viking Cruises to the European market.

Viking announced Thursday that its newest ocean liner, Viking Mars, with a capacity of 930 passengers, left the shipyard today and touched the water for the first time.

The cruise line has also appointed a godmother who will christen the ship after its debut. Lady Fiona Carnarvon, the eighth countess of Carnarvon, will pay her respects when the Viking visits Mars early next year.

New Viking Ocean Cruise Ship Floated Out, Godmother Named

(Photo courtesy of Viking)

The day a new ship is launched for the first time is always a special moment, and today is extra important because it is the second time my good friend Lady Carnarvon has honored us with the title of patroness of the new Viking ship, said Karin Hagen, Viking’s Executive Vice President.

The past year and a half has been a time of uncertainty for all of us, and it’s in these moments that you get to know your real friends. Lady Carnarvon has done much for Viking, including opening her home to our guests almost weekly to show life in the Highclere house on Viking.TV. She really looks like the sister I never had. We are excited to celebrate this milestone and look forward to next year when Viking Mars joins our award-winning ocean fleet.

The launching took place at the Fincantieri shipyard in Ancona and marks the beginning of the final construction phase of the ship. After a two-day launching process, the vessel is taken to a nearby dock for final construction and interior finishing.

New Viking Ocean Cruise Ship Floated Out, Godmother Named

(Photo courtesy of Viking)

Viking and castle Heickler

The announcement that Lady Carnarvon will become patroness builds on Viking’s longstanding relationship with the Carnarvon family.

Since 2013, Viking has offered guests different ways to experience life at Highclere Castle, home of the Earl and Countess of Carnarvon and the setting of Downton Abbey.

Extras before and after the cruise include Oxford and Highclere Castle, as well as the Great Houses, Gardens and Gin, available on selected river and sea routes. On the Nile Cruise with Pharaohs and Pyramids, Viking offers a five-day pre-cruise extension to the British Ancient Egyptian collections, including a visit to a castle.

For over a year Lady Carnarvon has been welcoming viewers to Highclere Castle on the online channel Viking.TV. Lady Carnarvon’s home in the Highclere series offers privileged virtual access to the historic house and grounds.

New Viking Ocean Cruise Ship Floated Out, Godmother Named

Highclere Castle (Courtesy of Pixabay/Leefenn-tripp)

Lady Carnarvon was not only the godmother of the Viking Mars, but also the godmother of the Viking Scadi.

I am honored and privileged to have been chosen as the godmother of Viking Mars, the newest addition to Viking’s line of beautiful cruise ships. I have no doubt that she will please the many guests who will travel with her across seas and oceans, she said.

Viking Mars will sail the Mediterranean and Northern Europe in its first season, then Asia and Australia.

[READ MORE : The Seabourn Ovation will be homeported in Miami this fall.

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