Princess Cruises announced today that Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge will name Royal Princess, the newest addition to the line’s fleet. The ceremony at which The Duchess will name the ship will take place in Southampton on Thursday, June 13, and will be the highlight of week-long inaugural celebrations to welcome the vessel into service.
The spectacular ceremony will uphold British ship-naming traditions including the blessing, a performance by the Royal Marines Band and the pipers of the Irish Guards, together with contemporary highlights.
Royal Princess will arrive at the Ocean Terminal in Southampton on Friday, June 7, where she will commence a series of events for customers and travel agents, including a special naming gala on the evening of Wednesday, June 12. The ship’s inaugural celebrations will conclude with her maiden voyage on June 16.
The 3,600-passenger Royal Princess is a new-generation ship. Among the special features found on board will be a greatly expanded atrium, the social hub of the ship; an over-water SeaWalk, a top-deck glass-bottomed walkway extending 28 feet beyond the edge of the ship; plush private poolside cabanas that appear to be floating on water; the new Princess Live! television studio; the largest pastry shop at sea; a special Chef’s Table Lumiere, a private dining experience that surrounds diners in a curtain of light; and balconies on all outside staterooms.
After her maiden voyage the ship will sail Grand Mediterranean cruises throughout the summer, followed by Eastern Caribbean cruises beginning in the autumn. More information and video previews of the ship are available at www.princess.com/royalprincess.
FYI: The naming and christening of ships date as far back as 4,000 years ago. Originally, ships were blessed by priests and men were typically bestowed the title of godfather. The godfather would hand flowers to the godmother and together they would say the name of the ship to bless it. Over time, the role has evolved to be predominantly female and now most cruise ships are christened with a godmother. In fact, more recently, some godmothers have been royalty or celebrities to help see a ship off for her inaugural sailing. A cruise ship Godmother bestows a blessing on the ship asking for the safety of its crew and passengers.