Portsmouth played host to one of Viking Cruises’ newest ocean ships, Viking Sun, as she made her maiden visit to the city on Friday 12 October.
The ship’s 930 guests began their voyage in Bergen, Norway and are seven days into their 15-day Trade Routes of the Middle Ages itinerary, calling into Portsmouth to discover the city’s world-renowned maritime heritage.
To commemorate this inaugural visit Leader of the Council Gerald Vernon-Jackson exchanged official plaques with Viking Sun Captain Olav Soevdsnes during an on board reception.
Cllr Gerald Vernon-Jackson, Leader of Portsmouth City Council said: “We’re honoured to welcome Viking Sun to our port and hope this will be the first of many visits to Portsmouth.
“Viking Cruises is a valued cruise line to the city and we’re delighted to host so many of their fleet. As a port we offer great connections from both the sea and the land, ships are closer to the main shipping channels and we’re also neighbours to world-class attractions and the motorway for tours further afield.
“Guests will have enjoyed a picturesque arrival into Portsmouth, sailing between historic forts in the Solent and passing stunning landmarks at the harbour’s entrance.
“We hope many will have taken the opportunity to explore the city’s prestigious maritime past, with excursions including the Historic Dockyard and the newly opened D-Day Story.”
Wendy Atkin-Smith, Managing Director of Viking Cruises UK added: “It is great that our ocean ships are now visiting Portsmouth more frequently – the rich local culture and fascinating naval history makes it an interesting port for our guests to visit. They are spoilt for choice when it comes to experiences in the local area and always make the most of our included shore excursions – from a walking tour of the historic dockyard to optional activities such as a ride on a steam train on the Watercress Line or a flight in a vintage Spitfire.”
Viking Sun Captain Olav Soevdsnes said: “Our arrival into Portsmouth was efficient and easy. Guests are certainly fascinated by the history the city offers and as my first introduction to Portsmouth I am also impressed by the location and attractions.”
Launched in 2017, the 227-metre Viking Sun is an intimate, small ship class, with capacity for 930 guests.
Viking Jupiter, the cruise line’s sixth ocean ship, will set sail in February next year making its debut in Portsmouth in May.