Viking Ocean Cruises also announced that it has placed an order with Fincantieri for three additional sister ships, which will bring Viking's total number of ocean ships to six by 2020.
"It is a special day when a new ship meets water for the first time. This is our third ship to be floated out in three years, so it is indeed a proud moment for our entire Viking family," said Torstein Hagen, founder and chairman of Viking Cruises. "Our first ship, Viking Star, has enjoyed great success in her maiden season. I look forward to her five sister ships experiencing the same respective success as they debut over the coming years."
A float out ceremony is significant because it denotes a ship moving into its final stage of construction. Viking Sky's float out began at approximately 4:30 p.m. local time, and in keeping with maritime tradition, a madrina—a special woman of honor—assisted with the ceremony. Marit Barstad, sister of Viking Chairman Torstein Hagen, served as Viking Sky's madrina and welded commemorative coins under the ship's mast that represented three family birth years: 1911 (mother Ragnhild "Mamsen" Hagen, after whom the onboard Norwegian deli Mamsen's is named; 1943 (Ms. Barstad's own birth year) and 1948 (brother and Viking Chairman Torstein Hagen's birth year). Ms. Barstad also cut a cord to allow water to begin flowing into the ship's building dock pictured above. Following a two-day process that will set Viking Sky afloat, she will then be moved to a nearby outfitting dock for final construction and interior build-out.
Image Courtesy Viking Ocean Cruises