On May 17, 2015, we christened our debut ocean vessel, the 930-guest Viking Star®, in Bergen, Norway.
Thousands celebrating Norway’s Constitution Day gathered along the waterfront for Viking Star’s Christening ceremony, a first-of-its-kind floating concert and brilliant fireworks show.
As thousands of attendees gathered together, they were treated to performances by world-renowned artists and musicians – all of whom have a personal connection to Bergen – including Norwegian soprano Sissel, actor Bjarte Hjelmeland, singer-songwriter Sondre Lerche, acclaimed violinist Charlie Siem and comedy duo Ylvis. Following the event, Viking Star set sail on a special journey to Oslo and from there will continue on to Copenhagen, Berlin, St. Petersburg, Tallinn, Helsinki and Stockholm.
“We believe the arrival of Viking Star signals a new era in destination-focused cruising, and I could not be more proud that she will call my favorite city in the world ‘home,’” said Torstein Hagen, Chairman of Viking Cruises. “This is a ship that was built for exploration and designed with our Scandinavian heritage in mind, and our guests will experience it from the moment they step on board.”
May 17, 2015. Thousands celebrating Norway’s Constitution Day gathered along Bergen’s waterfront for Viking Star’s Christening ceremony, a first-of-its-kind floating concert and brilliant fireworks show.
Expand your horizons on an elegant ship thoughtfully designed by experienced nautical architects and designers to enrich your interaction with your destination in every way.
Gulleik Svalastog grew up near the coast of Norway and dreamed of the day when he would be captain of his own ship. Now, after years of nautical experience on a variety of vessels, he says he has saved his best sailing experience for last: commanding the new Viking Star.
Gene Sloan, USA Today
“This is going to be the soul of Scandinavia, with some touch of Bergen, and I will love her.”
—Trude Drevland, Mayor of Bergen
A ship’s christening is a tradition that blesses the ship and formally recognizes her transition into service. It is observed by the ceremonial breaking of a champagne bottle against her bow.
For more than 4,000 years it has been a maritime tradition for each ship entering service to have a ceremonial godmother. Godmothers are entrusted with protecting the ship by blessing her, her crew and her passengers. In addition to the blessing, godmothers traditionally break champagne against the ship to formally name her before the inaugural sail.
“For our first ocean ship it was very important to have a godmother who personifies our company’s Scandinavian heritage and the Viking spirit, so it is an absolute honor to have Trude as godmother to Viking Star,” said Torstein Hagen, Chairman of Viking Cruises.
With an easy and personable manner, Trude Drevland is known affectionately throughout her city as “Trude.” The Mayor of Bergen since 2011, the Honorable Ms. Drevland was born in Northern Norway, yet today is an innovative and passionate representative of Norway’s second largest city. After 35 years as a resident, she proudly says she is a “Bergensar in my heart.” Her outspoken patriotism and enthusiasm have made her a charismatic leader. She is known for her many civic engagements and support of the arts, having served as a City Council member and as Deputy Mayor from 2007. For five years, she served as General Secretary of the Norwegian Band Federation, the largest volunteer music organization in Norway, and remains a devoted fan of all manner of ensembles.
Ms. Drevland began her career as a nurse, rising to chief nurse in hospitals and in homes for the elderly. Later, she held various roles in health care administration.
She began her public service life as Leader of Business Development for the Chamber of Commerce and Industry, an office she held from 2002 to 2003. Viking Cruises is proud to bestow upon her another title: Godmother of Viking Star.
To complement a day significant to all Norwegians, we chose May 17 as Viking Star’s Christening Day.
On May 17, Norway’s mountain villages and glittering coastal cities sprung to life as processions of children filled the streets. On Norway’s Constitution Day, the nation celebrates not only its freedoms, but its children. The Norwegian Constitution declared the nation’s independence on May 17, 1814, a successful attempt to avoid falling under the Swedish Crown after Napoleon’s navy dissolved the kingdom of Denmark-Norway. The document was the most modern of its kind in Europe for its day, as it also carefully defined the nature of a loose union with Sweden. Those Swedish ties would last until 1905, but Norwegians more robustly celebrate the 1814 date as it ended 400 years of Danish rule.
On this special day, children and adults exhibited their freedom in full, showing local pride by dressing in traditional Bunads, colorful woven costumes from their provinces. Parades converged in town squares, as children of all ages walked behind their school banners, waving red, white and blue flags. The unique Buekorps, Bergen’s youth Bow Corps, drummed and marched. At parade’s end, festivities continued with a fair for children, with games, hot dogs and sweets.