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Why do cruise ships have godmothers?

A guide to cruise ship godmothers

Cruise ship godmothers

Posted on

18 Aug 2021

What do Dame Helen Mirren, the Queen of England and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge all have in common? They’re all cruise ship godmothers.

What is a cruise ship godmother?

A cruise ship godmother “is a female civilian who is invited to ‘sponsor’ a vessel, presumably to bestow good luck and divine protection over the seagoing vessel and all that sail aboard.”

Why do cruise ships have godmothers?

According to Cruise Critic, cruise ships have godmothers “to bring good luck and protection to the vessel. The duties are simple; godmothers attend their ships ceremonial ship launch and naming ceremony, where they bless and officially name the ship. In past years, they would crack a bottle of champagne on the hull of a new ship for good luck. Today, due to sheer size and logistics, that usually means the godmother pushes a button or pulls a lever that triggers a bottle of bubbly to swing down and crash on the bow.”

Which cruise ships have godmothers?

Crystal Serenity

Dame Julie Andrews

Crystal Serenity joined the Crystal Cruises fleet in 2003. She was formally named by Dame Julie Andrews at a lavish ceremony in Southampton, United Kingdom. Andrews embarked on the first leg of Crystal Serenity’s world cruise in 2005 as a special guest.

Nieuw Statendam

Oprah Winfrey

Nieuw Statendam, one of Holland America Line’s newer ships, was christened by Oprah Winfrey in 2019. In an intimate ceremony, which was held in Nieuw Statendam’s World Stage, Winfrey officially blessed the ship.

Queen Elizabeth 2

Queen Elizabeth II

The now-retired Queen Elizabeth 2 was operated by Cunard as both a transatlantic liner and cruise ship from 1969 to 2008. Queen Elizabeth II named the ship in 1967 - she used the same pair of gold scissors her mother and grandmother had used to launch Queen Elizabeth and Queen Mary.

Royal Princess

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge Catherine, Her Royal Highness

The Duchess of Cambridge named Princess Cruises’ ship Royal Princess in 2013. The ceremony, which was held in Southampton, United Kingdom, featured ship-naming traditions such as the blessing, a performance by the Royal Marines Band and the pipers of the Irish Guards.

Spirit of Discovery

Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cornwall

In 2019, Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cornwall named Spirit of Discovery in a special ceremony at the Port of Dover. Camilla, The Duchess of Cornwall, was given a short tour of Saga Cruises’ ship and unveiled a commemorative plaque before she joined the celebrations.

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