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Cruise Ship Godmothers

News: Women's rights activist and Nobel Prize Laureate Malala Yousafzai to be Godmother of Celebrity Edge
World renowned Malala Yousafzai has been named Godmother of Celebrity's latest ship - Celebrity Edge, which is due to sail in late 2018. Malala is a widely respected Pakistani activist, who began her campaign when the influence of the Taliban grew in her home district

There is a special fraternity of people entrusted with blessing cruise ships before they take sail into the wide open seas. Welcome to the world of cruise ship godmothers.

For as long as sailing vessels have been built they have been ceremoniously blessed in a variety of ways before venturing out on the high seas. Historical records tell us that water, wine and even sacrificial human blood have been used in the name of appeasing the gods and blessing the ship. In modern times however, civilisation has gone through a somewhat marked refinement in customs. Now, these occasions are lavish red carpet affairs with elaborate stages and champagne baptisms. These blessing ceremonies have evolved to become huge events where thousands turn out from far and wide to wish well to these amazing ships.

Far removed from the pagan priests of yesteryear, a fraternity of cruise ship godmothers have emerged who are now entrusted to bring good fortune and protection to the crew and ship whilst at sea. Once only thought of as the domain of royalty, high society or the wives of ship owners, cruise ship godmothers now encompass a wide cross section of people in the public eye. This is in someway due to a change in culture and the increase in production of new cruise ships. There is more and more competition within the industry to attract customers and create a unique brand of cruise holiday, and cruise ship godmothers have proven an ideal way to convey these messages.

Celebrity Culture

Ulrika Jonsson, day time TV personality, was named as a cruise ship godmother to Ocean Village in 2003. She is not someone who may immediately be associated with cruising but Ulrika Jonsson attracts a wide audience and for those reasons exemplifies the cruise line's logan, “The cruise for people who don’t do cruises.” In contrast to this, HM Queen Elizabeth -although not officially referred to as such - is godmother to Cunard’s QM2, a ship that embodies the fine high class and classic style ethos of the company, just like her godmother.

It is widely known that ships can change between cruise lines, which can mean one ship has had multiple Godmothers. The current Columbus - owned by Cruise & Maritme - has previously been a P&O, Ocean Village, and Princess ship, and with the latter iconic actress Audrey Hepburn was Godmother.

Celebrating cruise ships with the attendance of cruise ship godmothers has become such an occasion for cruise lines that even the re-naming of ships have now become major events.

In 2007 NCL Cruises launched a website and ran a competition to win the honour of being godmother to one of its latest ships - Norwegian Gem. Contestants were asked to send in video interviews of themselves telling the public why they should be godmother. The competition was open to all age groups, and the lucky winner was Cindy Cardella from New Jersey, USA.

Bon Voyage!

The people who bless these fantastic vessels may have changed over the years reflecting our cultural shifts, but one thing remains the same. And that is that these ships are launched with all the blessings and good will in the hope that they will always return to harbour safe and sound.

Royalty and A-List celebrities to the girl next door, here’s a round up of some in this elite club.

Emma Wilby - Anthem of the Seas (2015)
HM Queen Elizabeth - Britannia (2015)
Emma Wilby - Anthem of the Seas   HM Queen Elizabeth - Britannia

Gloria Hunniford - Magellan (2015)
  Kristin Chenoweth - Quantum of the Seas (2014)
Gloria Hunniford - Magellan   Kristin Chenoweth - Quantum of the Seas

HRH Duchess of Cambridge - Royal Princess (2013)
Helen Mirren - P&O Ventura (2008)
HRH Dutchess of Cambridge - Royal Princess
  Helen Mirren - P&O Ventura

Cindy Cardella - Norwegian Gem (2007)
Kim Cattrall - Norwegian Dawn (2002)
Cindy Cardella - Norwegian Gem   Kim Cattrall - Norwegian Dawn

HM Queen Elizabeth - QM2 (2004)
Sophia Loren - MSC Opera (2004)
HM Queen Elizabeth - QM2   Sophia Loren - MSC Opera

Whoppi Goldberg - RCCL Serenade (2003)
Melanie Trump - NCL Jewel (2005)
Whoppi Goldberg - Royal Caribbean Serenade   Melanie Trump - NCL Jewel

Ulrika Jonsson - Ocean Village (2003)
Ulrika Jonsson - Ocean Village    


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