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From Sky to Sea, Viking Orion Named by NASA Astronaut

For NASA astronaut Dr. Anna Fisher, exploration is just part of the job. As a veteran of NASA’s Discovery space programs and the first mother to ever leave our atmosphere, Dr. Fisher’s list of accomplishments is hard to top. She’s also an accomplished chemist, emergency room physician and thanks to Viking Cruises, she can add cruise ship Godmother to the list.

A Lavish Ceremony

Viking Orion Christening Ceremony | Photo: Viking Cruises

Viking Orion, the latest ship from Viking Cruises, got its name in a lavish ceremony in Livorno, Italy on June 14th. Surrounded by her friends and family, Dr. Fisher offered a blessing of good fortune and safe travel for Viking Orion – a practice dating back thousands of years of maritime tradition.

Torstein Hagen, Chairman of Viking Cruises, was proud to honor Dr. Fisher and her accomplishments.

“Today is a proud day for the entire Viking family. Just three years ago we launched our first ocean ship, and now we are welcoming our fifth ship, whose name was selected to honor both the original Viking explorers who used the constellations for long-distance navigation, as well as the great space explorers of our time,” he said.

“We are grateful for Dr. Fisher’s many contributions to the scientific community, and we are humbled that she is godmother to Viking Orion. The spirit of exploration is at the heart of the Viking way of travel, and we look forward to welcoming guests onboard our newest ship, which has been designed to offer opportunities for learning about the great history of space exploration.”

RELATED: Around the World in 245 Days With Viking Cruises (VIDEO)

Viking Orion

Dr. Anna Fisher cuts the ribbon to officially christen Viking Orion | Photo: Viking Cruises

In keeping with tradition, Dr. Fisher also cut a ribbon using a massive viking axe that allowed a bottle of Norwegian aquavit to smash on the hull of the ship. The vessel was officially blessed by Monsignor Liberio Andreatta. who has led Opera Romana Pellegrinaggi, an office of the Vicariate of Rome, an organ of the Holy See, reporting directly to the Cardinal Vicar of the Pope.

Viking Orion: Future Cruising

The ship was named after the constellation of the same name and in honor of Dr. Fisher’s work on NASA’s Orion exploration vehicle project. Holding 930 guests and weighing in at more than 47,000 tons, Viking Orion is set to spend the summer cruising the Mediterranean before sailing off to locations in Asia, Australian and Alaska in the future.

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