Viking Takes Delivery of Newest Ocean Ship

Viking has taken delivery of its newest ocean ship, the Viking Mars. The ship’s naming ceremony was held in Valletta, Malta, where it was officially named by its ceremonial godmother, Lady Fiona Carnarvon, the Countess of Carnarvon.

The ship will begin its maiden season with itineraries in the Mediterranean, Scandinavia and Northern Europe before repositioning at the end of the year for voyages around Australia and New Zealand.

For years, Viking has offered several ways for its guests to experience life at Highclere Castle, the home of the Earl and Countess of Carnarvon. Karine Hagen, EVP of Viking, worked closely with the Carnarvon family to develop “Privileged Access Pre/Post Extensions” that feature the estate, including the “Oxford & Highclere Castle” and “Great Homes, Gardens & Gin” extensions, both of which are available for guests on select river and ocean voyages. Also, for guests on the “Pharaohs & Pyramids Nile River” itinerary, Viking offers the five-day “British Collections of Ancient Egypt Pre Extension,” which gives them an introduction to Egyptian antiquities in preparation for their Nile experience—and includes retracing the steps of the Egyptologist, Howard Carter, and his benefactor, the 5th Earl of Carnarvon. Guests enjoy “Privileged Access” to archives and museum exhibits not accessible to the public, and at Highclere Castle, have the opportunity to view the earl’s private collection of Egyptian artifacts.

Lady Carnarvon also welcomed viewers to Highclere Castle on Viking’s channel, Viking.TV ( In her ongoing series, “At Home at Highclere,” Lady Carnarvon offers virtual “Privileged Access” to the historic home and its grounds. In the past two years, she has led over 20 virtual tours of her home. Additionally, Lady Carnarvon has served as godmother to a Viking Longship, the Viking Skadi, which sails itineraries on the Rhine, Main and Danube rivers.

By the end of the year, Viking will welcome a second identical expedition ship, another identical ocean ship, and new purpose-built vessels for the Nile, Mekong and Mississippi rivers.

The Viking Mars is the newest ship in Viking’s ocean fleet of identical sister ships. These vessels have a gross tonnage of 47,800 tons, with 465 staterooms that can host 930 guests. The ships feature all veranda staterooms, Scandinavian design, light-filled public spaces and abundant al fresco dining options.

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