Viking Cruises’ Viking Saturn Named By Metropolitan Opera Chairwoman Ann Ziff

On June 6, 2023, in New York City, Viking Cruises’ Viking Saturn, the cruise line’s newest ship, was named by philanthropist, Chairwoman of the Metropolitan Opera, and longtime Viking Cruises cultural partner, Ann Ziff, who will serve as the ship’s godmother. After the celebration, Viking Saturn will resume her inaugural season sailing two new Viking itineraries- “Iconic Iceland, Greenland & Canada,” between New York City and Reykjavik, and “Iceland & Norway’s Arctic Explorer,” between Reykjavik and Bergen.


“This is a very proud day for Viking as we name our newest identical ocean ship in New York City, one of the great cultural capitals of the world,” said Chairman of Viking Cruises, Torstein Hagen. “It is especially fitting that Ann Ziff, Chairman of the Metropolitan Opera—one of the world’s greatest cultural institutions—has honored us by serving as godmother of the Viking Saturn. We thank Ann for her loyalty as a Viking guest, as well as her many impressive contributions to the arts and other important causes.” 

More About the Ceremony

Keeping in line with tradition, Ziff used the steel sword from the Metropolitan Opera’s production of Verdi’s IL Trovatore to perform the christening- cutting a ribbon that allowed a bottle of Norwegian aquavit to break across the ship’s hull. The sword was originally used by baritone Dmitri Hvorostovsky in the role of Count di Luna in David McVicar’s production, premiering in the 2008-2009 season. Lady Fiona Carnarvon, the Countess of Carnarvon, is also the godmother of Viking Mars and longship Viking Skadi.

“It is an honor to be godmother of the new Viking Saturn and celebrate this momentous occasion in New York,” said Ann Ziff. “Viking and the Metropolitan Opera share a common goal in creating enriching experiences throughout the world and there is no doubt the Viking Saturn will do just that for her guests.”

Guests at the ceremony also enjoyed performances from soprano Sissel Kyrkjebø and Norwegian violinist Tor Jaran Apold. After dinner aboard the ship, the Metropolitan Opera stars soprano Susanna Phillips, tenor Charles Castronovo, and baritone Quinn Kelsey delivered a series of operatic classics, including pieces from Giuseppe Verdi’s La Traviata, Antonín Dvorák’s Rusalka, Giacomo Puccini’s La Bohème, and selections from American composers Rodgers and Hammerstein, Jerome Kern, and more.

About Ann Ziff

Ann Ziff is a committed philanthropist with a specific focus on the arts, education, culture, and environmental conservation. She actively participates in multiple organizations and boards, including: 

  • The Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts 
  • Sing for Hope 
  • The World Science Festival 
  • The Los Angeles Opera 

Ms. Ziff’s deep passion lies in introducing culture and arts to underprivileged children, which led her to co-found Smile Train and serve as a board member at Maloto, an organization dedicated to providing education and shelter to abused and abandoned girls in Malawi. Additionally, she expresses her love for culture, art, and music through her eponymous fine jewelry brand, Tamsen Z, where she designs and crafts unique pieces inspired by her extensive travels as a loyal Viking guest.

More about Viking Saturn

The Viking Saturn joins Viking’s highly acclaimed ocean fleet as the newest addition, joining its identical sister ships: 

  • Viking Star 
  • Viking Sea 
  • Viking Sky 
  • Viking Orion 
  • Viking Jupiter 
  • Viking Venus 
  • Viking Mars 
  • Viking Neptune 

These ships, classified as “small ships” by Cruise Critic, boast a gross tonnage of 47,800 tons and offer 465 staterooms, accommodating up to 930 guests. Featuring all veranda staterooms, they showcase elegant Scandinavian design, inviting public spaces flooded with natural light, and a variety of delightful options for al fresco dining.

The christening of Viking Saturn aligns with Viking’s ongoing celebrations of its 25th anniversary and marks a significant milestone, as the company experienced its most successful month of bookings in January 2023, building on years of remarkable growth. Since 2020, Viking has introduced an impressive fleet of 17 new ships, including eight new Viking Longships for European river cruising, purpose-built vessels for the Mekong, Nile, and Mississippi rivers, four identical ocean ships, and two Polar Class expedition vessels. Recent accolades affirm Viking’s exceptional standing in the industry, including being voted: “Best Cruise Line” in Food & Wine’s Global Tastemakers Awards.

Furthermore, Viking achieved resounding success in Cruise Critic’s Cruisers’ Choice Awards in March 2023, earning top honors in six categories such as “Best Overall Line,” “Best River Line,” and “Best Dining” for both ocean and expedition voyages. Additionally, Viking has secured the coveted titles of #1 Ocean Line and #1 River Line from Travel + Leisure and Condé Nast Traveler, simultaneously attaining this remarkable distinction from both publications- an unprecedented achievement.

During the period from now until June 30, 2023, Viking Cruises presents its 25th Anniversary Sale, featuring enticing offers such as a mere $25 deposit, exclusive savings, and the possibility of complimentary international airfare for river, ocean, and expedition voyages. For more information, travelers can reach out to Viking directly by calling their toll-free number at 1-855-8-VIKING (1-855-884-5464) or by getting in touch with a travel agent.

Will you be sailing on Viking Saturn? Let us know in the comments!

By Ethan Leckie