Princess Cruises Welcomes Royal Princess

Princess Cruises today welcomed the latest addition to its fleet In a ceremony steeped in British ship-naming tradition in Southampton. Escorted by Captain Tony Draper on the naming platform, Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge christened the new Royal Princess when she released a bottle of Moët & Chandon champagne that smashed against its hull, the highlight of a week-long celebration to mark the arrival of the vessel. She joins a list of illustrious godmothers for the line’s ships, including Diana Princess of Wales (who named the first Royal Princess in 1984), Audrey Hepburn, Sophia Loren, Dame Margaret Thatcher and Olivia de Havilland.

 

The ceremony included star-studded entertainment that blended maritime tradition with contemporary elements. Quayside festivities included a host of musical performances by British artistes including pop singer Natasha Bedingfield singing her hit “Unwritten”, as well as an original song by actress and “the first lady of London’s West End”, Kerry Ellis. Internationally renowned percussive orchestra Mass Ensemble wowed the 2,000 invited guests with a performance of its signature “Earth Harp”, an architectural instrument with strings extending over 300 meters, while The Band of Her Majesty’s Royal Marines Portsmouth and The Pipe Band of 1st Battalion Irish Guards opened the event with the pomp and pageantry. The Right Reverend Tim Dakin, Bishop of Winchester, conducted the traditional ship’s blessing.

 

One of the industry’s most anticipated newbuilds this year, Royal Princess introduces several groundbreaking features, including the glass-bottomed SeaWalk cantilevered 39 meters above the water, the piazza-style Atrium, Princess Live broadcast studio and the exclusive, adults-only The Sanctuary. Carrying 3,600 passengers in 1,780 staterooms and suites, she retains popular facilities such as the Movies Under the Stars outdoor theatre, Princess Theatre and the Lotus Spa.

 

The ship will embark on her maiden voyage this Sunday, 16 June 2013, departing Southampton for a 7-day sailing down the Iberian coast to Barcelona, where she homeports for her inaugural Mediterranean season operating 12-day sailings that call at Civitavecchia, Istanbul, Kusadasi, Livorno, Mykonos, Naples, Piraeus, Toulon and Venice. Royal Princess then sets course for a transatlantic crossing to Fort Lauderdale, from where she will offer 7-day roundtrip Caribbean itineraries visiting St. Maarten, St. Thomas and Princess Cay, the line’s private island destination.

 

Princess Cruises will next welcome the Regal Princess, sister ship to Royal Princess and currently under construction by Fincantieri in Italy, in 2014.

 

For more information, visit www.princess.com.

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