Show business personalities and British Royals have all christened cruise ships by cracking a bottle of champers over the bow, naming the ship, and saying, “May God Bless her, and all who sail on her”
Officially they are known as the ships’ godmothers.
Latest godmother-to-be is the Duchess of Cambridge (wife of Britain’s Prince William) who will name the 3,600 passenger Royal Princess as the newest addition to Princess Cruises’ fleet, in Southampton (UK) next month.
As australiancruisingnews.com notes, the Duchess of Cambridge follows in the regal footsteps of her mother-in-law Queen Elizabeth II who was godmother to Cunard’s stately liner Queen Elizabeth 2 in 1967, Queen Mary 2 in 2004, and Queen Elizabeth in 2010.
British actress Dame Helen Mirren named P&O’s Ventura in 2008 while Dame Judi Dench did the honours for Carnival Legend in 2002. MSC Cruises goes no further than Italian screen goddess Sophia Loren who has christened its entire fleet.
River cruise ships also keep the “godmother” tradition alive with US actress Andie McDowell recently christening Uniworld’s Queen Isabel and another US actress Sharon Stone doing the same for APT’s AmaVida – both now sail along Portugal’s Douro River.
When launched on the Mississippi last year the paddle steamer American Queen was named by Priscilla Presley (ex-wife of heartthrob Elvis).
Cruise news log: Aurora Expeditions will “adopt a polar bear” for each passenger booked on Polar Pioneer voyages to Spitsbergen and Greenland in the Arctic next year. The move supports the World Wildlife Fund’s programme to maintain a healthy environment for Polar bears. Polar Pioneer carries 34 passengers and each one will be given an “adoption” certificate.