Viking has officially launched its newest ship, the Viking Saturn in New York.
In a celebration filled with dignitaries and friends of the brand, the ship was blessed by Anne Ziff, the Chairman of the Metropolitan Opera.
The ship will now continue her inaugural season, sailing two new Viking voyages: Iconic Iceland, Greenland & Canada, between New York City and Reykjavik, and Iceland & Norway’s Arctic Explorer, between Reykjavik and Bergen.
“This is a very proud day for Viking as we name our newest identical ocean ship in New York City, one of the great cultural capitals of the world,” said Torstein Hagen, Chairman of Viking.
“It is especially fitting that Ann Ziff, Chairman of the Metropolitan Opera—one of the world’s greatest cultural institutions—has honoured us by serving as godmother of the Viking Saturn. We thank Ann for her loyalty as a Viking guest, as well as her many impressive contributions to the arts and other important causes.”
“It is an honour to be godmother of the new Viking Saturn and celebrate this momentous occasion in New York,” said Ann Ziff. “Viking and the Metropolitan Opera share a common goal in creating enriching experiences throughout the world and there is no doubt the Viking Saturn will do just that for her guests.”
In keeping with the naming tradition, during the ceremony, Ms Ziff used the steel sword from the Metropolitan Opera’s production of Verdi’s Il Trovatore to cut a ribbon that allowed a bottle of Norwegian aquavit to break on the ship’s hull. The prop sword was originally used by baritone Dmitri Hvorostovsky in the role of Count di Luna in David McVicar’s production, which premiered in the 2008-2009 season.
As part of the ceremony, guests also enjoyed performances from Sissel Kyrkjebø, one of the world’s leading crossover sopranos and godmother of the Viking Jupiter and Norwegian violinist Tor Jaran Apold. Following a celebratory dinner on board the ship, stars of the Metropolitan Opera—soprano Susanna Phillips, tenor Charles Castronovo, and baritone Quinn Kelsey—treated guests to a performance of opera classics, including selections from Giuseppe Verdi’s La Traviata, Antonín Dvořák’s Rusalka, Giacomo Puccini’s La Bohème, as well as a collection of American musical classics from Rodgers and Hammerstein, Jerome Kern and others.