Viking Ocean Cruises today announced its second ship—the 930-passenger Viking Sea —was floated out yesterday from Fincantieri’s Ancona shipyard, marking a major construction milestone and the first time that the new ship touches water.
“The day that a new ship first touches water is always a special day, and today is indeed a proud one for our Viking family,” said Torstein Hagen, founder and chairman of Viking Cruises. “Having just celebrated the launch of our first ocean cruise ship, we are pleased at the positive reviews she is receiving from our guests and travel industry partners. We have no doubt that her sister ship, Viking Sea, will be met with the same reception upon her debut next spring.”
Viking Sea is set to launch in early 2016. The company’s third ship on order, Viking Sky, is also currently under construction in Ancona and will debut in 2017.
In addition to the float out of Viking Sea, Viking Cruises also announced that Karine Hagen, Viking’s senior vice president of product and daughter of Torstein Hagen, will be godmother to Viking Sea and will officially name the ship during the christening ceremony in early 2016.
“Viking Sea is a magnificent ship, and I am very honored to be her godmother,” Karine said. During the float out ceremony she welded Norwegian commemorative coins representing four generations of birth years in her family: 1911 (grandmother Ragnhild, after whom the onboard restaurant Mamsen’s is named); 1943 (father Torstein, Viking’s chairman); 1970 (Karine’s own birth year) and 2012 (Karine’s Labrador, Finse, who was also present at the ceremony).
Karine then cut a cord to allow water to begin flowing into the ship’s building dock. Following a two-day process that will set Viking Sea afloat, the ship will then be moved to a nearby outfitting dock for final construction and interior build-out.
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