16 February 2012

Finalists for Viking Line's ship naming competition - WTF?

I felt this subject is too important to pass. Tomorrow, Viking Line will be announcing the name of their new LNG-powered ferry that will be delivered in January 2013 and will replace the Isabella on the Turku-Stockholm run.* Today, Viking Line announced the top eight finalists of the naming competition, from which the final name will be revealed tomorrow. The finalists are (and I swear I'm not making these up):

Viking Joy
XLNT (presumably Viking XLNT, but it was listed without a prefix)
Viking Grace
Viking Nova

Does this ship really look like Adamas or Calista to you? Photo copyright Viking Line.
I'm sorry but what drugs are the people in Mariehamn on? According to the new ship's website, they got 9 900 unique proposals. And, thanks to the website and other sources we know these included such fine names as Daniella, Passionella, Fortunella** and Laurella (the lattest being my own proposal, alongside Viking RLXN, pronounced "Viking Relaxing", which I admit was quite rubbish) and yet they ended up with these eight. No disrespect to anyone who entered these proposals but in my opinion they are rubbish. Viking Joy is boring, SeaMore is a terrible pun (that doesn't even work when written in ALL CAPS, which is probably how the name will appear in most material), Adamas... I don't even know what that means (unless it's a Battlestar Galactica reference and if so it's completely unsuitable for a cruise ship), Calista is OK but boring, Viking Grace has an unnescessary religious tangent, Finella has a nice double meaning (fin = beautiful or fine in Swedish and of crouse a reference to Finland) but it sounds like a 1970s Viking Line name, can be confused for a Finnlines' ship name and is a bit boring. Viking Nova will be outdated as a name as soon as Viking build another new ship and for Finns it associated with Radio Nova, a rather craptastic radio station playing mainstream pop and rock.

The only name out of these I think would be acceptable is Viking XLNT (presumably pronounced "Viking Excellent", just as Viking XPRS is pronounced "Viking Express") - except for the fact XLNT is the name of clothes brand for "big girls" by KappAhl. Viking Line, you still have time to look at the other proposals and select a name that will actually look and sound good. Like Passionella.

* = According to what I have heard the future of the Isabella after the delivery of the new ship will be decided later this year.

* = As an interesting detail, the 1970s/80s Rederi AB Slite -owned Viking Line cruise ship Apollo III was originally to be named Fortuna (and appeared under that name in early VL marketing material). Naming the new ship Fortunella would be like getting the ship they naver had.

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