This was part of my day yesterday, the ceremonial float-out of Regal Princess at Fincantieri’s Monfalcone shipyard in north-east Italy, with Cruise Critic editor-on-chief Carolyn Spencer Brown as madrina, or godmother.
It is a mere seven months since the first blocks for the ship’s construction were laid in the dry dock, and there’s another year of work to be completed before the ship is ready to take on her first paying passengers.
As a Champagne bottle smashed against one end of the hull, the sluices were opened to allow water to reach the other.
It will be tomorrow (Thursday) before tugs can gently ease Regal out of the dock. Once it is clear, work can commence on assembly of P&O’s as-yet-unnamed new ship, to be built to the same hull design, and expected to be launched in 2015.