The Royal Princess is Ready for her Inaugural Celebration

Photo courtesy of Princess Cruises
Photo courtesy of Princess Cruises

A musical salute provided a spectacular welcome for Royal Princess to Southampton as the new cruise ship arrived to begin a week-long series of special inaugural events. British actor, director and writer Simon Callow orchestrated the Southampton University Brass Band to serenade the new Princess Cruises ship with a rendition of “God Save The Queen” as the vessel sailed into the harbor. Royal Princess will be officially named in Southampton on Thursday. June 13 by The Duchess of Cambridge.

Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge Photo Courtesy of Princess Cruises
Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge
Photo Courtesy of Princess Cruises

The unprecedented musical welcome, conducted by Callow, was answered back by Royal Princess with its own special horn that plays the first notes of the theme song from the TV show “The Love Boat.”

“What an extraordinary welcome Royal Princess received for her arrival in Southampton,” said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises executive vice president. “Starting the week off with this amazing musical orchestra offered the perfect way to tune up for a naming ceremony that will celebrate with many special musical performances.”

The June 13 naming event will feature not only the christening by The Duchess, but also star-studded musical entertainment including British pop singer Natasha Bedingfield singing her hit “Unwritten,” as well as a performance by British actress and “the first lady of London’s West End,” Kerry Ellis. The Band of Her Majesty’s Royal Marines Portsmouth and The Pipe Band of 1st Battalion Irish Guards will open the event with the pomp and ceremony of British ship-naming traditions.

Viewers around the world can also watch the celebrations as Princess Cruises will be streaming the ceremony live online at www.princess.com, so everyone can share in the spectacular event, which will formally welcome the new ship into the company’s fleet.

The live streaming will begin at 11:15 am local time in Southampton, which will be 6:15 am EDT in the U.S. and 3:15 am PDT. Viewers can also choose to play back a recording of the ceremony soon after the event for viewing at their leisure. Social conversation on Twitter will also be featured with a direct feed on the naming page, and viewers can join in as they watch by using the #RoyalPrincess hashtag.

The 3,600-passenger Royal Princess is a new-generation ship. Among the special features found on board is a dramatic multi-story atrium serving as the social hub of the ship offering a host of dining and entertainment options; an over-water SeaWalk, a top-deck glass-bottomed walkway extending 28 feet beyond the edge of the ship; plush private poolside cabanas that appear to be floating on water; the new Princess Live! television studio; the largest pastry shop at sea; a special Chef’s Table Lumiere, a private dining experience that surrounds diners in a curtain of light; and balconies on all outside staterooms.

The Royal Princess will be sailing her maiden voyage from the port of Southampton. The ship will be cruising in the Mediterranean for the rest of the Summer. She will make her way to Fort Lauderdale to start cruising the Caribbean in October 2013.

To book a cruise on the Royal Princess call you travel agent or go to www.princess.com/royalprincess.

Silversea’s new flagship, Silver Spirit, arrives in America

Cruise News Weekly Editor Michael Coleman will be reporting on Silversea Cruises’ new flagship, Silver Spirit, during christening ceremonies in Fort Lauderdale this week. Here’s his latest dispatch.

FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA., Jan. 19, 2010 – Silversea Cruises’ new flagship, Silver Spirit, arrived here this morning at Port Everglades completing a maiden voyage across the Atlantic which began 16-days ago in Lisbon.

As the first new cruise ship in 2010 to make her way to this busy port, Silver Spirit’s arrival was celebrated in grand style with escorting fireboats providing a water salute while a plane circled overhead towing a large banner that read “Welcome Silver Spirit.”

The elegant, all-suite ship will host several days of inaugural activities here, including an exclusive evening event on Jan. 20 for guests sailing on the 91-day Grand Inaugural Voyage that will feature acclaimed singer and pianist Michael Feinstein.

“It’s a great honor for us to welcome our beautiful new Silver Spirit to the Americas,” said Kenneth W. Watson, Silversea’s chief operating officer.

“This ship is the perfect expression of the graceful elegance and comfortable ambiance found aboard our ships fleetwide, plus her 1930s Art Deco-inspired features recall the glamour of ocean travel’s grandest era.”

The 540-passenger, all-suite vessel is Silversea’s first newly-constructed ship since 2001. The line now features a six-ship fleet.

Later this week: We’ll take a closer look at Silver Spirit.