AMSTERDAM — On the day before the unprecedented simultaneous naming of 10 Viking River Cruises Longships, a fly-in visit by the godmothers of six of those ship was spoiled by an unseasonal snowstorm.
Although the six Viking Longships are among those being christened, they are still under construction in a shipyard in Rostock, Germany, 320 miles away from Wednesday’s official naming ceremony in Amsterdam. The visit was to introduce the godmothers to their ships, which will “participate” in the ceremony by live video feed.
A private jet was to bring the godmothers — as well as VIPs including Viking Chairman Torstein Hagen, his daughter Karine and other company executives — to the shipyard, but before the jet was scheduled to take off, snow started falling in Rostock. Ten inches was predicted to accumulate.
According to one person who was supposed to be on the plane, it seemed possible that the jet could land before too much snow fell, but it also seemed possible that the airport would close before they boarded for the return flight to Amsterdam, stranding officials who were to lead or play a prominent role in the official naming ceremony in Germany.
Although the 10 ships will be christened on Wednesday, only four — the Aegir, Embla, Bragi and Skadi — will be complete and on site at the ceremony. (The Aegir and Embla went into service in 2012, but had not been officially named.)
Four of the six in the Rostock shipyard are in the water and are receiving final furnishing details, and two are still in drydock getting electrical fittings, according to Viking’s senior vice president of marketing, Richard Marnell.
Follow Arnie Weissmann on Twitter @awtravelweekly.