It may have been via part video link up, but all four godmothers of the newest Viking Longships celebrated the christening of their respective ships in Amsterdam and Germany yesterday.
Actor and human rights campaigner Joanna Lumley was announced as godmother to Viking Odin, with the woman famous for her role as Patsy from cult TV show “Absolutely Fabulous” gushing, “I have never been godmother to a god before!”
“I’m absolutely delighted to become the godmother of the wonderful Viking Odin. She’s magnificent! It’s been a fantastic day and I do hope that the Longships will have a long and successful tenure exploring some of the most famous, historic and monumental waterways around the world,” Ms Lumley said at the launch yesterday.
Lumley joined Viking Idun godmother and theoretical physicist Dr Lisa Randall in Amsterdam for the christening, while award-winning TV producer Rebecca Eaton, godmother to Viking Freya and Viking Njord godmother and constant cruiser Gail Wiswedel, joined the festivities alongside their Longships still in the Neptun Werft shipyard in Germany.
Expected to launch in mid-April, Viking Freya and Viking Njord were still a part of the official celebrations via live video link up following the recent announcement that the two Longships would not be ready to launch at the same time as their sisters as planned.
“As we celebrate our 15th anniversary in 2012, we’re proud to say this is the biggest day in our company’s history,” Viking River Cruises chairman Torstein Hagen said.
“The christening of four new Viking Longships is the first step toward an exciting new horizon in our future. By the end of 2013 we will have launched an unprecedented 12 new Viking Longships in two years and today we are thrilled and honoured to have had such an eminent and sophisticated group of women helping us christen the first four of those vessels.”
Eaton represents culture and heritage, Lumley represents inspiration, Randall represents discovery and Viking River Cruises’ most constant cruiser, Wiswedel represents journeying.
“I’m so honoured, I honestly feel like the Viking staff are part of my family…they care; they truly care,” Ms Wiswedel who has two more Viking cruises booked for later this year said.
With garlands of red and white balloons and special effects, the 600-strong crowd watched as the four godmothers cut four red ribbons and smashed four bottles of Veuve Clicquot against the bow of their Longships.
The ceremony continued into the evening when Viking Odin and Viking Idun sailed to Amsterdam’s Ij Bay where guests attended a celebratory dinner onboard.
Two additional Longships will debut this northern hemisphere summer with six more scheduled for release in 2013.