Viking named and christened its newest ocean ship Viking Neptune during a celebration this past Sunday in Los Angeles. As part of the event, the ship’s godmother, retired NASA astronaut, aquanaut, and artist Nicole Stott offered a blessing of good fortune and safe sailing for the ship.
Viking Neptune arrived in Los Angeles early in the morning on January 8th, and departed for Honolulu following the naming ceremony. The vessel is currently sailing Viking’s 2022-2023 World Cruise, a 138-day voyage from Fort Lauderdale to London that is visiting 57 ports in 28 countries.
“Today is a proud day for the entire Viking family as we name our newest ocean ship in Los Angeles, the home of Viking’s U.S. office for more than 20 years,” said Torstein Hagen, Chairman of Viking. “The Viking Neptune is a ship named for both the furthest planet in our solar system and the god of the sea—and our newest Viking godmother, Nicole Stott, as a NASA astronaut and aquanaut, also has connections to space and the sea. We are grateful for her many contributions to the scientific community and are proud to have her as part of the Viking family.”
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In keeping with Viking’s naming tradition, during the ceremony Nicole used a historic Viking broad axe to cut a ribbon that allowed a bottle of Norwegian aquavit to break on the ship’s hull. Prior to the ribbon-cutting, the axe was presented to Nicole by Sissel Kyrkjebø, one of the world’s leading crossover sopranos and godmother of Viking Jupiter, who used it to name that ship in January 2020.
Viking Neptune is the eight ocean ship in Viking’s fleet, and in April will be followed by the ninth, Viking Saturn. Viking’s ocean vessels are 47,800 gross tons each, and hold 930 guests in all-balcony staterooms.
Although identical to the other ocean ships, Viking Neptune is equipped with a small hydrogen fuel system, making it the cruise industry’s first ship to test the use of hydrogen power for on board operations. The line is using the system as a test to determine how hydrogen fuel could be used at a larger scale in future newbuilds.
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