Waves rule Britannia for the first time

//Waves rule Britannia for the first time

Within hours of the lavish event which showed off some of Britannia’s interior design and introduced its brigade of Food Heroes, the ship was officially floated out today.
The ceremony took place at Fincantieri’s Monfalcone shipyard, near Trieste, Italy. In keeping with local tradition, the ship was blessed by a priest and a bottle of Prosecco – Italian sparkling wine – was smashed against the hull by a madrina, or godmother.
The woman chosen for the role was Louise Hunt, a cruise sales agent from Travel Counsellors UK.
Also in keeping with tradition, a coin – in this case a British 1oz uncirculated solid silver coin featuring Britannia holding a trident and shield – was welded to the superstructure.
Then the valves of the dry dock were opened, allowing sea water to touch the vessel for the first time. It will take most of the weekend for the ship to be fully floated and it will then be towed to another part of the yard for final fitting out, which will include painting a 94-metre Union Flag along its bow.
Completion of Britannia is scheduled to be next February, and the ship makes its maiden voyage from Southampton on March 14.
Carnival UK’s chief commercial officer, Gerard Tempest, said that when lines opened yesterday (Thursday) for customers registering to book cruises on Britannia, there was a bigger response than for P&O’s last new-build, Azura, in 2010.
With a capacity of 3,600 passengers, and measuring 141,000 gross tons, 330 metres long and 38 metres wide, Britannia will be the largest cruise ship built for the British market.
Tempest added: “Today is a landmark event for P&O Cruises and for the British cruise industry and is the start of a new chapter in our future.”

By | 2017-06-15T15:59:27+00:00 14 February 2014|Cruise News|0 Comments

About the Author:

John Honeywell is a travel writer specialising in cruise ships and cruise travel. Winner of CLIA UK's Contribution to Cruise award 2017.

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