Luxury cruise company Viking leaves Portsmouth to hold celebration to name its newest ship Viking Venus

A CELEBRATION took place in the Solent to mark the naming of a new cruise ship.

Tuesday, 18th May 2021, 11:03 am

Luxury cruise company Viking left Portsmouth International Port yesterday to officially name its newest ocean ship, Viking Venus

As part of the intimate event, the ship’s ceremonial godmother, British journalist and broadcaster Anne Diamond, offered a blessing of good fortune and safe sailing for the ship—a naval tradition that dates back thousands of years.

In addition to commemorating Viking Venus as the company’s newest ocean ship, the event was also an important milestone as Viking returned to service following 14 months of paused operations.

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A naming celebration took place on board Viking Venus on May 17 - with the ship's godmother Anne Diamond

Torstein Hagen, chairman of Viking, said: ‘Today is one of the proudest days in Viking’s nearly 24-year history. When we became the first cruise line to suspend operations in March 2020, we certainly did not know it would be 14 months before guests would be welcomed back on board.

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‘Now, we are among the first to set sail again—and with our industry-leading health and safety protocols in place, we believe there is no safer way to travel the world than on a Viking voyage.’

Viking Venus is the newest vessel to join Viking’s ocean fleet of identical sister ships, which also includes Viking Star, Viking Sea, Viking Sky, Viking Orion and Viking Jupiter.

A naming celebration took place on board Viking Venus on May 17 - with the ship's godmother Anne Diamond

They are classed as ‘small ships’ holding just 930 passengers in the 465 rooms – and come equipped with a dedicated coronavirus testing lab. Guests and staff will be tested daily.

This Saturday, guests will embark Viking Venus in Portsmouth for the first of five roundtrip sailings of the England’s Scenic Shores itinerary in May and June.

Part of Viking’s Welcome Back collection, the eight-day voyages also visit Liverpool, the Isles of Scilly, Falmouth and Portland.

Anne will join guests for the first three sailings of England’s Scenic Shores and will give a guest presentation about the story of British radar inventors, including her father, during the Second World War.

A naming celebration took place on board Viking Venus on May 17 - with the ship's godmother Anne Diamond

Anne said: ‘It is a huge honour to be chosen as godmother to Viking Venus.

‘Over my many years as a journalist I have reported and been part of many historic events, but I never dreamt I would be godmother to an ocean ship or that I would be celebrating the occasion with my family and friends on board the beautiful Viking Venus on the very first day that we are able to cruise again in the UK.

‘It is an unforgettable experience.’

A naming celebration took place on board Viking Venus on May 17 - with the ship's godmother Anne Diamond

During the naming ceremony festivities, the group of invited guests on enjoyed scenic sailing along the coast of England, and exclusively recorded concerts.

Anne assisted in breaking a bottle of Norwegian aquavit on the ship’s hull – using an historic Viking broad axe to cut a ribbon that symbolically held the bottle in place.

A naming celebration took place on board Viking Venus on May 17 - with the ship's godmother Anne Diamond