Naming ceremony announced for new P&O cruise ships

Mar 7, 2003
Author: P&S

P&O Cruises can confirm that Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal and her daughter Miss Zara Phillips will name its two latest ships, the British-flagged Oceana and Adonia. The evening ceremony to rename the ships for the British market will take place in Southampton on Wednesday 21st May 2003.

The Princess Royal and Zara Phillips will attend a reception and gala dinner on board Oceana and Adonia before the first ever double cruise ship-naming ceremony in Britain. The Princess Royal will name Oceana and Miss Zara Phillips will name Adonia.

Commenting on the announcement, Lord Sterling, chairman of P&O Princess Cruises, said: "The double naming of two cruise ships is a unique maritime event in this country and we are honoured that The Princess Royal and Miss Zara Phillips will be the godmothers to Oceana and Adonia. "

The sister ships will are the latest ships to join the British-flagged P&O Cruises fleet. Together with Aurora and Oriana, they will spend summer 2003 operating European cruise holidays to the Mediterranean, Baltic and Fjords from P&O Cruises’ homeport of Southampton.

Statistics and technical data of Oceana and Adonia:

Gross tonnage: 77,000
Overall length: 856 feet/261 metres
Maximum speed: 21 knots
Flag: British
Builder: Fincantieri Italy
Cost: US0 million each
Passenger cabins: 1008
Number of crew: 900
Passenger capacity: 2016

P&O Cruises are represented in South Africa by World Travel for more information please call them on 0800 220808


- Traditions of Godmothers/ship naming:

Ancient rituals used to mark the launch of a new ship with a sacrifice, two oxen in the case of Noah’s Ark, which was later interpreted by the Vikings as two human sacrifices, whose blood was believed to give a new life and soul to the vessel. The practice of naming a ship dates back to the early fourteenth century when a ceremony was held to implore the Gods to safeguard a new ship and its crew from the supposed perils of the oceans.

Over time the naming of a ship became a duty of a member of the British Royal Family and was carried out by throwing wine from a silver cup to the four points of the compass. Over the years the silver cup was replaced by a bottle of wine and then by the more prestigious and expensive champagne. By the early 1800s, royalty were finding it increasingly difficult to attend these functions as the number of royal duties increased and so the task was delegated to the most prominent ladies of the day.

In addition to formally announcing the ship’s name, a lady sponsor will bid the ship good wishes for her seagoing life and has the privilege of saying the evocative words, “May God bless her and all who sail in her”. Her Majesty The Queen named Oriana on 6 April 1995. Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal named Aurora on 27 April 2000.

Click to go back

  - Contact Us

  - Home