On June 22, 2017, we christened our third ocean vessel, the 930-guest Viking Sky, during a public celebration in Tromsø, Norway.
Located above the Arctic Circle on Norway’s northwest coast, Tromsø is a popular destination for viewing the Northern Lights—and a key port of call on our popular Into the Midnight Sun itinerary, which sails between Bergen and London, allowing guests to explore the northernmost reaches of Scandinavia.
“This is a special time of year in Norway—these are the days of the Midnight Sun and the perfect backdrop for a celebration. All of our ships proudly carry the Norwegian flag, so it is an especially proud day to officially welcome our new ship in Tromsø, the Arctic capital of the world” said Torstein Hagen, Chairman of Viking Cruises. “Vikings were explorers, and our ships are built with their spirit of exploration in mind. We design every aspect of our ships and cruises so that our guests can spend more time immersed in their destination. Scandinavia is Viking territory, but as we continue to expand our fleet, we also look forward to introducing new travelers to the Viking way of travel around the world.”After arriving today in Tromsø, Viking Sky was positioned in the harbor adjacent to a concert stage constructed specifically for the celebration. Viking guests and residents of Tromsø were treated to a public concert, with performances from a variety of Norwegian musicians—including Arctic Philharmonic, Lisa Stokke, Violet Road, Sara Marielle Gaup Beaska and Jørn Hoel. During Viking Sky’s christening ceremony, Marit Barstad, sister of Viking Chairman Torstein Hagen, served as ceremonial godmother and offered a blessing of good fortune and safe sailing for Viking Sky—a naval tradition that dates back thousands of years.
Viking Sky, the third ship in the Viking ocean fleet, is christened in Tromsø with a tribute to early Vikings and a brilliant fireworks show.
Understated elegance, world-class service and spacious all veranda staterooms grace Viking Sky, sister ship to the multiple award-winning Viking Star and Viking Sea.
Atle H. Knutsen saw his first cruise ship at age six and knew he was destined to be a sea captain. During his 30-plus years on cruise ships, he worked his way up the ranks from deckhand to master and enjoyed a diverse maritime career. Serving as master on Viking Sky is especially meaningful as it carries the name of his hometown of Bergen and the flag of Norway.
John Oseid, Forbes
The legacy of the Vikings—their bravery and innovation, their elegant ships and their influence on art and culture—endures in Viking Sky. Inspired by the clean, streamlined designs of those early Viking ships and constructed of materials from the natural world, she embodies the Viking spirit through and through.
Even the smallest details take their inspiration from the exploratory spirit of the original Vikings, reflecting our deeply held Nordic traditions. Like our forebears, we’ve used light wood grains throughout the ship that show their natural beauty. Colorful textiles such as rugs and tapestries recall the patterns of early Norwegian artists and craftsmen. Subtle accents of leather handrails and touches of slate and teak exude warmth and character. In the Viking Bar, admire the clinker-built design of overlapping wood, mirroring the construction style of the original Viking longships. At The Spa, relax amid the soothing textures of natural Swedish limestone and fragrant juniper wood. In the Explorers’ Lounge, converse with friends amid cozy pelts, Turkish marble and amber and pewter details in the bar—all inspired by the far-reaching trade journeys of Vikings. You’ll find the inspiration of Vikings in every corner of every deck.
Marit Barstad is the sister of Viking Chairman Torstein Hagen. She (and her brother) grew up along the Nitelva River outside Oslo. They were brought up under modest circumstances by parents who valued education, hard work and perfection. Mrs. Barstad has a degree in Russian from the University of Oslo and started her working life as a personal assistant to the chairman of Øivind Lorentzen AS, a company that in the late 1960s built two of the ships that subsequently became Princess Cruises. Most recently, Mrs. Barstad has retired from her work in the health services sector of Ski, a town outside Oslo, where she has lived with her husband, Odd, of over 40 years. She claims there has never been exchanged one unfriendly word between herself and her brother!
Several elements of the christening ceremony paid homage to the Norwegian heritage of both the company and godmother. Instead of champagne for the traditional bottle-breaking, Viking Sky was christened with a bottle of Gammel Opland aquavit, which hails from the same county in Norway where Torstein and Marit’s mother, Ragnhild – also lovingly known as “Mamsen” – was born. “Mamsen’s,” the Norwegian deli onboard Viking Sky, was also named after Ragnhild, and Gammel Opland was her favorite brand of aquavit.