Viking last week announced its sixth ship – the 930-guest Viking Jupiter – was “floated out,” marking a major construction milestone and the first time that the new ship touched water. Scheduled for delivery in early 2019, the arrival of Viking Jupiter will officially make Viking the largest small ship ocean cruise line in the industry, only four years after launching its ocean business. Named in honor of the planet Jupiter, the ship will spend her maiden season sailing itineraries in the Mediterranean and Northern Europe
“It is always a proud moment when a new ship touches water for the first time and is one step closer to welcoming guests onboard,” said Torstein Hagen, Chairman of Viking. “As a Norwegian native, I am also particularly proud to announce today Sissel Kyrkjebø, my mother's favorite singer and a longtime Viking partner, will be honored as godmother to Viking Jupiter and will preside over the ship's naming ceremony in Oslo, Norway in June 2019.”
The traditional float out ceremony took place at the Fincantieri's Ancona shipyard and is significant because it denotes a ship moving into its final stage of construction. Viking Jupiter's float out began at approximately 11:30 a.m. local time and in keeping with maritime tradition, a madrina – a special woman of honor – assisted with the ceremony, first welding commemorative coins under the ship mast. Norwegian singer Sissel Kyrkjebø, who is widely considered one of the world's top crossover sopranos and who has long been a cultural partner to Viking, served as Viking Jupiter's madrina. She welded a commemorative coin representing her birth year, as well as the birth years for Chairman Hagen (1943) and Finse (2012), Hagen's “grand dog.” A special coin, dated 1911, was also welded to represent Ragnhild “Mamsen” Hagen, the mother of Chairman Hagen and the woman after whom the onboard Norwegian deli Mamsen's is named. Kyrkjebø then cut a cord to allow water to begin flowing into the ship's building dock. Following a two-day process that will set Viking Jupiter afloat, the ship will then be moved to a nearby outfitting dock for final construction and interior build-out.
Viking's ocean ships have a gross tonnage of 47,800 tons, have 465 staterooms and host 930 guests. Classified by Cruise Critic® as a “small ship,” the all-veranda Viking Jupiter will join Viking's award-winning ocean fleet, which also includes , , and . Viking will welcome its fifth ship, , to the fleet in June 2018. Ten additional ships are also planned for delivery starting in 2021, which could bring Viking's ocean fleet to 16 ships by 2027.