After a rainy day of festivities celebrating the National Constitution Day of Norway, the first Viking ocean-going cruise ship, the 930-passenger, 47,800-GT Viking Star was christened yesterday (May 17) in a gala event performed in the heart of Bergen Norway, at UNESCO world heritage site of Bryggen.
Bergen’s mayor since 2011, Trude Drevland, served as the godmother. An extra bonus was the presence of the ancestor of Viking Star, the former Royal Viking Star, now Fred. Olsen Black Watch, berthed at the cruise terminal. Viking Star shares Bergen, the ship’s port of registry, with Black Watch.
The ceremony was emceed by the actor Bjarte Hjelmeland and offered performances by violinist Charlie Siem, rock singer Sondre Lerche, the comedy duo Ylvis and Norwegian soprano Sissel. The christening was entirely done in Norwegian. Godmother Trude Drevland offered a lovely blessing of good fortune, along with a smashing of a Jeroboam of Veuve Cliquot. Impressive festive fireworks followed.
Viking Star is the first in a trio of identical cruise vessels to be commissioned for Viking Cruises. The ship will be followed by Viking Sky and Viking Sea in 2017. Viking chairman Torstein Hagen soon announced plans to create at least 9 nearly identical ships.
Viking Star entered service in April 2015 and arrived in Bergen after a 2-night voyage from Greenwich on May 15, Friday. Sophisticated and stylish, the Star ship is adult-focused, all-inclusive, and devoid of the amusement park-style distractions found on many of today’s mass-market cruise ships.