The Viking Ocean Cruises new cruise ship Viking Sea was officially christened on 5 May in a ceremony at Greenwich. Thousands of people gathered along the Thames as London welcomed the new 930-passenger ship, which has a crew of 550.

She had to pass through the Thames Barrier on her way upriver to become the first ship to be named in Greenwich for almost a decade. The naming ceremony ended in spectacular fashion with a firework display that lit up the Greenwich skyline.

The 47,800gt Viking Star is the second of six similar vessels to be built for the company. She was delivered last year and the next in the series Viking Sky will be completed in 2017.

She was built by Fincantieri’s Ancona shipyard in Italy. Among the features on board Viking Sea are a luxury spa which features a ‘snow grotto’ where artificial snowflakes fall from the ceiling through chilled air.

Her maiden voyage started at the beginning of April in Istanbul, from where she sailed to Venice. From there she has proceeded through the Mediterranean and arrived at Greenwich from Le Havre on 5 May. She sailed for Bergen on 6 May and will spend her first season cruising around Scandinavia, the Baltic and Mediterranean. Thanks to Chris Brooks


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