Hundreds of people turned out in Greenwich to watch Viking Sea become the largest ship ever to be launched in London.
The 47,800 ton vessel travelled westwards along the Thames on Thursday, May 5, making its way through the Thames Barrier, past the O2 and the legendary 19th century clipper Cutty Sark , before coming to a halt at Greenwich Pier.
The ship, owned by Viking Ocean Cruises , was warmly received by the waiting crowd including a group of sailors who manned the Cutty Sark and saluted Viking Sea as she arrived.
Viking Ocean Cruises managing director Wendy Atkin-Smith said: “This day is about a massive celebration for Viking Cruises, we are here to christen our second ocean ship Viking Sea.
“As you can see here today, Greenwich is an absolutely fabulous spot and London is one of the most fantastic cities in the world, that’s why we chose it.
“It’s a small ship but it’s still an amazingly beautiful ship and inside she’s so elegant. People absolutely love her.
“We were on board last week and all the guests were so excited about sailing to London and everybody has fallen in love with the ship.
“You can see the reaction when people come on board, they are stunned by the design of it and the fact she is a small ship able to get into places like this makes it a fantastic experience.”
Londoners lined the waterside from the Trafalgar Tavern to the Cutty Sark, many eagerly taking photographs of the spectacle.
Greenwich resident Steve Lock, who saw the ship when it pulled up, said: “It isn’t the biggest ship I have seen but it is still very impressive. It must have been a tight fit through the barrier.
“I live in Greenwich and this kind of thing is what the area needs, especially with all the building going on. It wants something like this to bring people here.”
During the evening, guests were treated to a fireworks display and a concert from Norwegian soprano Sissel and The Olav’s Choir.
The christening is the culmination of Viking Sea’s first voyage that began on Sunday, April 3, making stops in Athens, Santorini, Kotor, Dubrovnik, Venice, Rome and Barcelona.