Viking Cruises’ fifth ocean ship Viking Orion has been named at a spectacular ceremony in Livorno, Italy.

Credit: Viking Cruises

Torstein Hagen, CEO of Viking Cruises, said: “The spirit of exploration is at the heart of the Viking way of travel, and we look forward to welcoming guests onboard our newest ship, which has been designed to offer opportunities for learning about the great history of space exploration.”

The ship’s godmother, NASA astronaut Dr Anna Fisher had blessed Viking Orion during its float out in Ancona, Italy.

Credit: Viking Cruises

Dr Fisher said: “The honour of being part of the space programme and exploring was incredible but being the godmother to Viking Orion is one of the most incredible things I’ve done.”

Legendary explorer Sir Ranulph Fiennes was a guest speaker at the event, which included entertainment by musicians and dancers in a tribute to the Viking explorers and a magnificent firework display.

And in a moment which surprised and delighted the VIP guests, a jetpack-wearing “rocket man” wearing a purple neon spacesuit, flew through the air from the Fortezza Vecchia historic tower to the ship carrying the axe used in the naming ceremony.

Viking Orion was named after the constellation which continues to inspire explorers like Dr Fisher, whose work on NASA’s Orion project is helping to navigate more uncharted territories.

Livorno was chosen as the setting for Viking Orion’s naming ceremony because of its location in Tuscany, which represents a pinnacle of exploration by the Vikings.

With capacity for 930 guests, Viking Orion boasts the same Nordic style as the other ships in the Viking fleet but with the added attraction of an onboard planetarium.

You can find out more about Viking Cruises here.