Hagen with the godmothers of the 10 new Viking Longships. // © 2013 Viking River Cruises
Having your vision come to reality can be an overwhelming experience, and Viking River Cruises chairman and CEO Torstein Hagen pronounced himself “numb” at the christening of 10 new Viking Longships in Amsterdam March 20, as he looked at the spectacular success of his company.
In a ceremony marked by deep emotion and colorful spectacle, Viking christened four ships in Amsterdam and another six by video link with the shipyard in Rotterdam as musicians and acrobats marked the occasion. Vikings in horned helmets enthusiastically drummed to the assembled. Godmothers representing key partners and ports christened Viking Aegir, Viking Atla, Viking Bragi, Viking Embla, Viking Forsetti, Viking Jarl, Viking Rinda, Viking Skadi, Viking Tor and Viking Var. The ceremony set an official Guinness World Record of the most ships christened by one company in a 24-hour period.
After all the gift giving and thanks to everyone from the line to the shipyard, travel agents and the press, and to the triumphant sounds of the Star Wars theme, attendees moved on to attend a commemorative dinner and an evening of entertainment, leaving Hagen to contemplate next year’s flock of river vessels and the debut of the first of potentially six seagoing ships, as well as to absorb “a reality I can’t believe.