It’s an old maritime tradition that cruise ships have godmothers. Royals and celebrities usually fit the bill to crack a bottle of champagne over the bow, while naming the vessel and wishing all who sail in her “Bon Voyage.”
Just weeks ago, The Duchess of Cambridge (wife of Prince William) named Britain’s new polar research ship Sir David Attenborough after the much-loved British naturalist who was at the christening. The Duchess’ mother-in-law, Queen Elizabeth II, is godmother to Cunard’s Queen Elizabeth 2, Queen Mary 2, and Queen Elizabeth.
Princess Charlene of Monaco christened Regent Seven Seas Cruises’ Seven Seas Explorer while Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli sang for guests.
Dame Judy Dench (M in Bond movies) did the honors for Carnival Cruises’ Carnival Legend, while MSC Cruises went no further than Italian screen star Sophia Loren, who has christened the lines entire fleet.
Dame Helen Mirren (movie royal who won an Oscar for her portrayal of Queen Elizabeth II) was in New York recently to christen the discovery yacht Scenic Eclipse, which is also a six-star performer.
A break from the norm
A ship christening does not have to be a solo event as The Rockettes dancers from Manhattan’s Radio City Music Hall christened Norwegian Cruise Line’s Norwegian Breakaway, while rapper Pitbull did the honors for Norwegian Cruise Line’s Norwegian Escape.
Christening in Antarctica
Polar explorer and head of Hurtigruten’s expedition team, Karin Strand, will name the exploration ship MS Roald Amundsen in Antarctic waters on November 8, 2019, using a chunk of ice, instead of a bottle of champagne.
River ships also have christening ceremonies. Film actor Sharon Stone was godmother to APT’s AmaVida, Andie McDowell did the same for Uniworld’s Queen Isabel, and Priscilla Presley (ex-wife of late heartthrob Elvis) named the Mississippi paddle steamer American Queen.
Grammy award-winning artist Kelly Clarkson will be godmother to Norwegian Cruise Line’s newest ship Norwegian Encore, which debuts in Miami this month.