Viking renames Spirit
VIKING Cruises has renamed its fifth ocean vessel Viking Orion and named American chemist, emergency room physician and recently retired NASA astronaut Dr Anna Fisher as its godmother.
The 930-passenger Viking Orion will debut in Jul 2018 and spend time sailing down under during her maiden year.
The former Viking Spirit was renamed after the prominent constellation and in honour of Fisher’s contributions to NASA’s Orion exploration vehicle project.
Viking Orion was floated out on 28 Sep at Fincantieri’s Ancona shipyard and Fisher attended, taking part in several maritime traditions at the event.
She assisted with the “mast stepping” by welding commemorative coins under the ship’s mast, and cut a cord to allow water to begin flowing into the ship’s building dock.
The ship was later moved to a nearby outfitting dock for final construction & interior build-out.
MEANWHILE, Viking River Cruises has confirmed plans to grow its fleet by seven ships in 2019, with six new longships and one new ship on the Douro.