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Milestone event featured all classes of Viking ships in the same place for the first time and named two new expedition ships. Viking® (www.viking.com) celebrated its 25th birthday today with a historic event in Amsterdam. Three types of Viking ships—a river ship, an ocean ship, and the company’s newest exploration ship, the Viking Polaris®—met in Amsterdam to celebrate the milestone for the first time ever before sailing in a special convoy to IJmuiden, Netherlands. The Viking Longship®, Viking Mani, and the ocean liner Viking Mars® all joined the Viking Polaris in the convoy.
The Viking Polaris and her identical sister ship, the Viking Octantis®, which is presently sailing her debut season on the Great Lakes, were also named during the Amsterdam celebration by Viking. After spending the Austral summer in Antarctica, both ships will head north to the Great Lakes for a number of spring and summer excursions.
The ceremonial godmothers of the Viking Octantis and Viking Polaris, renowned explorers and educators Liv Arnesen and Ann Bancroft, respectively, were present in Amsterdam and blessed the new ships with good fortune and safe passage. Arnesen also blessed the Viking Octantis remotely via video to the Great Lakes. Arnesen and Bancroft helped break a bottle of Norwegian aquavit on each hull of the ship in accordance with the naming custom. During the event, Sissel Kyrkjeb, one of the top crossover sopranos in the world and the Viking Jupitergodmother, ®’s and violinist Tor Jaran Apold entertained the audience.
The naming ceremony and the historic convoy could both be seen from the outside viewing areas of the three Viking ships docked in Amsterdam by visitors.
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