Viking’s eighth ocean ship, Viking Mars, took to the water for the first time July 15 at the Fincantieri shipyard in Ancona, Italy.

The ship will be similar to its sister ships at about 47,800 gross tons with 465 cabins to accommodate 930 passengers.


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Like its sisters, the ship will have a modern Scandinavian design with all-veranda staterooms, two pools including an infinity pool off the stern, al fresco dining, and a spa with a sauna and a snow grotto.

Viking also announced that Lady Fiona Carnarvon, the eighth Countess of Carnarvon, will serve as ceremonial godmother of the Viking Mars, which is scheduled to debut in early 2022. The Earl and Countess of Carnarvon live at Highclere Castle, known as the filming location of the popular PBS show “Downton Abbey.”

The ship will spend its maiden season in the Mediterranean and in Northern Europe before embarking on voyages in Asia and Australia.

“The day that a new ship meets water for the first time is always a special moment in time, and today is especially meaningful because for the second time, my dear friend Lady Carnarvon will honor us by serving as godmother to a new Viking ship,” said Karine Hagen, executive vice president of Viking. “The last year and a half has been a period of uncertainty for all of us, and it is in those times that you know your true friends. Lady Carnarvon has done so much to help Viking, including opening her home almost weekly for our guests to experience life ‘At Home at Highclere’ on Viking.TV. She is truly a like the sister I never had.”

The float-out of Viking Mars began when a member of the Viking team cut a cord that signaled water to begin flowing into the ship’s building dock. Following a two-day process that will set Viking Mars afloat, it then will be moved to a nearby outfitting dock for final construction and interior build-out.

The Viking units are all built according to the latest navigation regulations and equipped with the most modern safety systems. They also feature energy-efficient engines, optimized hydrodynamics and hull which reduce fuel consumption, as well as systems that minimize pollution produced by exhaust gases.

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