Viking marks 25th anniversary with the first ever meeting of fleets - Cruise International

Viking marks 25th anniversary with the first ever meeting of fleets

By Katie McGonagle | 3 Oct 2022

Viking ships sail in convoy, with (L-R) Viking Mars, Viking Polaris and Viking Mani

Viking’s ocean, expedition and river cruise ships sailed together in convoy in a never-before-seen event for the cruise world

 

Viking celebrated the 25th anniversary of the company’s founding with a first for the cruise world, as it brought together the three different arms of its cruise operation in Amsterdam.

Expedition ship Viking Polaris, ocean ship Viking Mars and river longship Viking Mani sailed in convoy to Ijmuiden in the Netherlands.

The line also christened its two expedition ships, Viking Octantis and Viking Polaris, with adventurers Liv Arnesen and Ann Bancroft – the first women to ski across Antarctica – as their respective godmothers.

Viking chairman Torstein Hagen said: “This is historic for Viking – to celebrate our 25th anniversary, to have all classes of our ships 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 honouring us. As renowned explorers who became the first women to ski across Antarctica, they are the perfect choice for ships that are designed for expeditions.

“I am very proud of what we have accomplished in our first 25 years. And in our view, we are just getting started. Where do we go next? Onwards.”

Liv Arnesen, godmother of Viking expedition ship Viking Octantis. Picture: Adam Hillier

Arnesen, who is from Norway, led the first women’s crossing of the Greenland ice cap in 1992 and will join some sailings as part of the Viking Octantis expedition team.

Fellow polar explorer Bancroft is from the US and in 1993, became the first woman to ski to the South and North Poles, as well as dogsledding 1,000 miles from Canada’s Northwest Territories to the North Pole. She is also the founder of the Ann Bancroft Foundation, which works to empower young women in Minnesota.

Both expedition ships will spend the coming season in Antarctica, relocating to the Great Lakes on the border of the US and Canada for spring and summer 2023.

Ann Bancroft, godmother of Viking Polaris, cuts the ribbon to break a traditional bottle of Norwegian aquavit against the ship’s hull

Read more: