Viking Sun float out at Fincantieri’s Ancona shipyard © Viking Cruises
Viking Sun float out at Fincantieri’s Ancona shipyard © Viking Cruises

Viking Ocean Cruises has announced its fourth ship Viking Sun was floated out last Friday, marking a major construction milestone and the first time that the new ship touches water.

“It is always a proud moment for the entire Viking family when a new ship meets water for the first time,” Viking Cruises Chairman Torstein Hagen said at the ceremony, which took place on 15 December at Fincantieri’s Ancona shipyard.

Viking Sun will debut in late 2017 and will be marketed to travellers in the UK, North America, Australia and New Zealand. The ship will begin its maiden season sailing voyages to Cuba and the Caribbean before embarking on a 141-day world cruise that spans five continents, 35 countries and 66 ports.

As Viking Sun will be the company’s first ocean ship to call on China, Mrs Yi Lou, Vice President of China Merchant Bank Financial Leasing (CMBFL), served as Viking Sun’s madrina. She welded commemorative coins representing her birth year, as well as the birth years of her parents. A special coin, dated 1911, was also welded to represent mother Ragnhild “Mamsen” Hagen, the mother of Viking’s Chairman and the woman after whom the onboard Norwegian deli Mamsen’s is named.

“CMBFL is an important partner, and we wanted to honor our relationship by naming one of their executives as madrina to our newest ship,” added Torstein.

Mrs Lou 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 Sun afloat, the ship will then be moved to a nearby outfitting dock for final construction and interior build-out.