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Charities benefit in lieu of large scale naming of latest Viking ship

Donations of £10,000 each to 25 charities was made by Viking as its latest ship was named in a private ceremony in Malta.

Godmother Lady Carnarvon offered her blessing for Viking Mars via a video link from Highclere Castle – the setting of TV and film drama Downton Abbey.

The line said: “In lieu of a large-scale event, Viking and Lady Carnarvon jointly decided to celebrate the naming of the Viking Mars and Viking’s 25th anniversary in a private and more meaningful way – donating £10,000 each to 25 worthy charities covering a spectrum of causes that are important to both Viking and the Carnarvon family.”

The 930-passenger Viking Mars is the latest in a fleet of seven identical ocean-going ships operated by the company.

Malta was one of the first countries to welcome Viking ships when the line restarted operations from the pandemic in 2021.

Viking chairman Torstein Hagen said: “It is always a proud day when we welcome a new sister ship to our fleet.

“The Viking Mars will allow us to offer even more opportunities for curious travellers to explore the world in comfort.

“Many of our guests were introduced to both Viking and Highclere Castle while watching Downton Abbey, and over the years we have continued a close friendship with the Carnarvon family as they have welcomed our guests into their home.

“We are very grateful that Lady Carnarvon has honoured us by serving as godmother of our newest ocean ship.”

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