Today came the announcement that Viking has taken delivery of its eighth ocean-going vessel, the Viking Mars. The new ship was presented during a formal delivery ceremony this morning at Fincantieri’s shipyard in Ancona, Italy.
Viking Mars will now journey on to Valletta, Malta, where she’ll be officially christened by her ceremonial godmother, Lady Fiona Carnarvon, the Countess of Carnarvon, in a traditional naming ceremony that’s scheduled to take place on May 17—Norwegian Constitution Day.
Following Viking Mars’ entry into service, she’ll start by sailing itineraries throughout the Mediterranean, Northern Europe and Scandinavia before being repositioned at the end of 2022 to offer voyages around Australia and New Zealand.
“As we celebrate our 25th anniversary and a year of important milestones for Viking, today we are very proud to welcome the newest ocean ship to our award-winning fleet,” said Torstein Hagen, Chairman of Viking. “Lady Carnarvon has honored us by serving as godmother to the Viking Mars, and we look forward to welcoming guests on board this beautiful new sister ship in the coming weeks.”
Lady Carnarvon has also previously served as godmother to the Viking Skadi, one of the longships in Viking’s river fleet, which currently sails popular European itineraries along the Rhine, Main and Danube rivers.
For years, Viking has enjoyed a relationship with the current Earl and Countess of Carnarvon—owners of Highclere Castle, famously the primary filming location of Masterpiece’s celebrated television series, Downton Abbey, which Viking also sponsored during its time on air.
The Viking Sky, one of Viking Mars’ identical sister ships. (photo courtesy of Viking)
The cruise line’s Executive Vice President Karine Hagen worked closely with the Carnarvon family to create exclusive ways for guests to experience life at Highclere Castle. Viking now offers Privileged Access Pre- and Post-Cruise Extensions, available on select river and ocean voyages, that showcase the 400-year-old estate; including the popular ‘Oxford & Highclere Castle’ and ‘Great Homes, Gardens & Gin’ itineraries.
At 47,800 gross tons, Viking Mars, the latest addition to Viking’s award-winning ocean fleet will be identical to its seven sister ships, classified by Cruise Critic as “small ships”. The intimate vessels feature 465 all-veranda staterooms that can host up to 930 guests, light-filled public spaces, multiple al-fresco dining options and the line’s signature Scandinavian design throughout.
For more information, visit viking.com.