Her Majesty The Queen will name the new P&O ship, Britannia, on Tuesday 10 March 2015. Accompanied by her husband, His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh, the Queen will name the ship at Ocean Terminal, Southampton. The event comes nearly two decades after Her Majesty named a member of the P&O fleet for the first time.
With a huge Union Jack painted on the ship’s bow and a typically patriotic name, the naming ceremony of the Britannia will be a decidedly British event. Set to be the largest ship built exclusively for the British cruising industry, the Britannia has a capacity of more than 3,500 passengers.
Carnival UK chairman David Dingle enthused: “We are honoured and proud that Her Majesty will name Britannia almost 20 years after she named the P&O Cruises ship Oriana.
“Britannia, a ship for the nation, will be the embodiment of contemporary Britain, and with her Union Jack livery she will fly the flag for Britain across the Globe.”
P&O and the Royal Family have a long-standing relationship with a number of the ships in the fleet given the Royal seal of approval. Her Majesty The Queen named the second incarnation of the P&O Oriana in 1995, following HRH Princess Alexandra launching the original Oriana in 1959. The Queen Mother, HRH The Princess Royal and Miss Zara Phillips have all also named ships for P&O Cruises.
The newest ship from P&O Cruises is set to feature a range of unique culinary experiences, placing significant emphasis on providing excellent dining options. Alongside menus created by celebrity chefs including James Martin, Marco Pierre White, Atul Kochhar, Eric Lanlard – the queen of baking, Mary Berry, will hold exclusive culinary classes for Bake Off fans.
The maiden voyage of the P&O Britannia is scheduled to launch four days after the Queen’s naming ceremony, cruising through Spain, Italy and France from 14-28 March. The ship will complete a range of Mediterranean, Scandinavian and Baltic cruises throughout her maiden season before moving to the Caribbean for her first winter season.
Images sourced via P&O Cruises and Flickr Creative Commons. Credits: Guy Evans