Viking Sea turning in the Thames
The Viking Sea turning around in the Thames IBT Media

Viking Sea will become the first ship christened on the Thames in six years in a ceremony at Greenwich on Thursday. The newest ocean line of cruise company, Viking Cruises, Viking Sea will be seen moving along the Thames before docking at Greenwich Ship Pier for the ceremony.

Its arrival at Greenwich will be celebrated with 48 sailors manning the yard-arm of the Cutty Sark, a traditional naval custom. The ship went through the Thames Barrier around 11am and is slated to moor at Greenwich at 12:15pm.

The massive craft holds 930 passengers and has itineraries including Scandinavia, the Mediterranean and the Caribbean. It is the second ocean-going ship in Viking's cruises.

Torstein Hagen, Chairman of Viking Cruises, said as Viking Sea was leaving Instanbul on its maiden voyage: "Too often in recent years the most talked-about ships have been the biggest ships. It is our view that some cruise lines have focused too much on building bigger ships and not enough on helping guests connect with the destination."

Viking Ocean Cruises are expected to have a fleet of six by 2020.

The Thames Clipper River Bus services have seen a number of minor and severe delays, especially around the North Greenwich area, due to the massive cruise liner making awkward manoeuvres before docking.