Peter Knego attends the christening of Viking Cruises spectacular new VIKING STAR, the line’s first ocean-going cruise ship, at Bergen, Norway.
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All photos by and copyright Peter Knego 2015 unless otherwise noted.
Sunday, May 17, 2015
Constitution Day parade in Bergen.
The unofficial VIKING STAR float.
After a rainy day of festivities celebrating Norway’s Constitution Day, Viking River Cruises’ first ocean-going cruise ship, the 47,800-gt, 930-passenger VIKING STAR was christened tonight in a gala event performed at the UNESCO world heritage site of Bryggen, in the heart of Bergen, Norway, the ship’s port of registry. Remarkably, despite the threat of rain, the skies remained dry throughout the ceremonies.
VIKING STAR (left) shares Bergen with BLACK WATCH (ex ROYAL VIKING STAR).
An extra bonus was the presence of VIKING STAR’s “ancestor” of sorts, the former ROYAL VIKING STAR, now Fred. Olsen Cruises’ BLACK WATCH, which was berthed at the cruise terminal.
Bergen’s mayor Trude Dreveland.
Trude Drevland, Bergen’s mayor since 2011, served as the ship’s godmother.
Viking Cruises CEO Torstein Hagen and Bergen mayor Trude Dreveland take the stage. Photo by Rob Di Stefano.
Bottle break. Photo by Rob Di Stefano.
With the VIKING STAR towering over the stage after being maneuvered into the heart of Bergen harbor, Drevland joined Viking’s CEO Torstein Hagen on stage for a speech in Norwegian before releasing a bottle of champagne into the ship’s hull.
Norwegian songstress Sissel. Photo by Rob Di Stefano.
Fireworks above Bergen and the VIKING STAR. Photo by Rob Di Stefano.
The music-filled ceremony was emceed by actor Bjarte Hjelmeland and featured performances by rock singer Sondre Lerche, violin prodigy Charlie Siem, the novelty band Ylvis and elegant songstress Sissel, concluded in a spectacular fireworks display over Bergen harbor.
Viking Cruises’ VIKING STAR at Bergen on the day of her maiden arrival.
The VIKING STAR is the first in a trio of nearly identical cruise ships to be commissioned for Viking Cruises and will be followed in 2016 and 2017 by the VIKING SKY and VIKING SEA.
The VIKING STAR entered service in April and arrived in Bergen after a two night voyage from Greenwich on Friday, May 15.
VIKING STAR Lobby.
Sophisticated and stylish, the ship is all-inclusive, adult-focused and devoid of the gimmicks and amusement park-style distractions that are found on many of today’s larger, mass-market cruise ships. A full Sea Treks and Decked! blog series will be coming soon, showcasing many of the VIKING STAR’s design highlights.
Having documented over 400 passenger ships and taken more than 200 cruises, MaritimeMatters’ co-editor Peter Knego is a leading freelance cruise writer, a respected ocean liner historian and frequent maritime lecturer both on land and at sea. With his work regularly featured in cruise industry trades and consumer publications. Knego also runs the www.midshipcentury.com website which offers MidCentury cruise ship furniture, artwork and fittings rescued from the shipbreaking yards of Alang, India. He has produced several videos on the subject, including his latest, The Sands Of Alang and the best-selling On The Road To Alang."
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