(March 21, 2012) Garlands of red & white balloons, what seemed like acres of red carpet, some fireworks, a pirouetting fireboat spraying water jets & a tenor belting out "Nessun Dorma" before a crowd of 600... the Viking Longships are here!
The Viking River Cruises launch of four ships during a single ceremony, breaks the previous record for multiple and simultaneous christenings (three), which it also held.
Viking Odin and Viking Idun, were named in Amsterdam and two, Viking Freya and Viking Njord, by live video link at the yard in Rostock, where they're being finished off for a mid-April debut. Four godmothers cut scarlet ribbons and four bottles of Veuve Cliquot, two in Amsterdam and two in Rostock, smashed to cheers of a 600-strong crowd gathered in Amsterdam under dazzling sunshine.
Joanna Lumley (left), star of "Absolutely Fabulous," christened Viking Odin, a ship named after the chief god of Norse mythology. "I've never been godmother to a god before," she told the delighted crowd.
Gail Wiswedel (second from left), who named Viking Njord, was chosen because she's Viking's most travelled customer, having notched up 11 cruises (which goes to show how young river cruising really is, given that plenty of ocean-going passengers would consider nothing less than 30 as an impressive total).
Dr Lisa Randall (third from left), Viking Idun's godmother, is a respected theoretical physicist, a subject close to the heart of Viking's Norwegian founder, Torstein Hagen, who himself holds a degree in nuclear physics.
Award-winning TV producer Rebecca Eaton, who served as godmother for Viking Freya, heads up "Masterpiece Theatre," a company sponsored by Viking.
Shipbuilding is filled with tradition. Wine poured upon the deck before a long voyage represents a libation to the gods which will bring good luck. "Christening" a ship by breaking a bottle of champagne across her bow at the time of launching arose from this practice. Read more about Nautical Superstitions & Legends.