Port of London Authority
Tidal Thames

> Cruise ship christening
   – a new Thames record

> Time to talk – our Annual
   Stakeholder Forum

> Breaking the hound
   barrier – flood defence
   dog rescue

> The AHOY Centre

> Rib Masters fined
   for river offences

> How London schoolkids
   learn about their river

> Booking a container?
   There’s an app for that

> Thames Oilport –
   a facility reborn

> Here comes the fun
   – summer recreation
   on the Thames

> Thames Skills Academy

Bin it, for a Cleaner Thames

London’s night sky was lit up by
a multi-coloured burst of fireworks
– for a landmark ship-naming ceremony on the tidal Thames.

Luxury cruise ship Viking Sea, at 227 metres long, recently became the biggest-ever ship of its kind to be christened in central London. She was guided upriver and through the Thames Barrier to Greenwich Ship Tier (GST) by PLA pilots who were aided by VTS staff and our Harbour Master and Marine Services teams.

After passing through the Thames Barrier, Viking Sea received a warm traditional welcome from 28 able seamen who manned the yardarms of the Cutty Sark at Greenwich. During the ceremony, guests were entertained by Norwegian soprano Sissel while a real 11th Century Viking battle axe, found in the Thames more than 90 years ago, was used to cut the cord for the ship’s official launch. A bottle of Norwegian aquavit spirit was used to formally launch her.

“It’s a proud day for our Viking family, London is one of my favourite cities and Greenwich
is a significant port for Viking,” said Viking Cruises chairman Torstein Hagen. “We look forward to bringing more guests here this spring and in future years.”

It’s the second ship of Viking Cruises’ fleet to be welcomed
onto the Thames, following
her sister Viking Star’s call
last year.

River pilot Stuart Hay, who’s worked at the PLA for 16 years, took control of the 47,800-tonne Viking Sea for her journey back into the Estuary on Friday afternoon and on to Bergen on Norway’s east coast. It was Stuart’s first time handling a ship of her size.

He said: “Both myself and the second pilot, who provides back up, were extremely well-prepared after extensive work on our ship’s bridge simulator.

“Taking Viking Sea through the barrier was challenging, as you

have just 15 metres of space either side, going at a rate of
six knots. It was a pleasure piloting her.”

Viking Sea was also crewed by PLA pilots trialling Portable Pilot Units in central London. Usually deployed further downriver in the estuary. These are invaluable electronic aids for bringing large ships to the Thames. They use chart, safety and navigational information to help pilots with their decision making. Harbour Master (upper) Mark Towens joined guests for the naming ceremony on Thursday and revealed Viking Sea bridge crew were very impressed with our PPUs and general knowhow.

He added: “It was a fantastic occasion on the tidal Thames and one that we hope to see the likes of more of in the future. We should all be proud of how Viking Sea was welcomed onto her berth safely and efficiently.”

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Port of London Authority, London River House, Royal Pier Road, Gravesend, Kent DA12 2BG. +44 (0) 1474 562200
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