Queen Elizabeth II will become "Godmother" to P&O Cruises' newest ship

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P&O Cruises invites the world to view the naming of the Britannia, Britain’s largest and most glamorous cruise ship. The lavish ceremony will begin streaming live at 11:30 a.m. GMT – (6:30 a.m. ET) March 10, 2015 when Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, becomes “Godmother” to P&O Cruises’ newest addition to its fleet, during a naming ceremony at Ocean Terminal Southampton, England. She will be accompanied by Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.

The inspiring naming ceremony is produced by Chicago-based UNDER THE RADAR for P&O Cruises and includes British entertainment that blends the country’s rich maritime tradition and the contemporary innovative spirit of P&O Cruises’ Britannia.

The naming celebration will take place in a specially constructed stage on the Southampton dock adjacent to the Britannia. More than 1,500 esteemed guests including dignitaries, politicians, business leaders, travel industry executives as well as British entertainment celebrities will be on location for the event. A global online audience will also view the Britannia naming ceremony.

“The Britannia combines the excitement of cruising with the sophistication of a five-star hotel,” P&O Cruises marketing director Christopher Edgington said. “We are very excited to celebrate this wonderful event with the help of the dedicated talent and experience of the UNDER THE RADAR team,” he added.

“We invite the world to view and listen to the extraordinary celebration,” Edgington said. “By streaming the Britannia naming online, we invite our global audience to experience and share this historic event.”

Rob Brydon, the Welsh actor, comedian and singer will serve as host for the hour-long event. The ceremony will include many British ship-naming traditions including a blessing of the Britannia; a performance by The Band of Her Majesty’s Royal Marines Portsmouth; and the Pipers of the 1st Battalion Irish Guards. In addition, the Red Hot Chili Pipers (winners of the BBC talent show When Will I be Famous?) will entertain guests attending the ceremony and perform a fusion of traditional pipe tunes and contemporary pieces.

“Every aspect of the Britannia naming ceremony reflects the sophisticated yet comfortable elegance travelers will experience on this contemporary beautiful new ship,” said Mark Dow, Partner and Executive Creative Director, UNDER THE RADAR.

“The Britannia is truly the embodiment of P&O’s passion for cultivating the best of Britain. The naming ceremony will be a milestone in British maritime history,” Dow added.

The pinnacle of the ceremony is the naming by the ship’s Godmother, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. She will “break” a Nebuchadnezzar-size bottle of sparkling wine on the Britannia name on the starboard side of the ship, using a proprietary technique developed exclusively by UNDER THE RADAR. The equivalent of 20 bottles of bubbly will cascade onto the ship, ensuring good luck for all who board the Britannia.

When the bottle smashes against the side of Britain’s biggest cruise ship, P&O Cruises will enhance its celebration of all things British by selecting sparkling wine from the Wiston Estate Winery. Thousands of bottles of Brut NV and Rosé, Vintage 2011 will be enjoyed during the various inaugural events that are scheduled to take place around launch events.

Britannia was built at Fincantieri’s Monfalcone shipyard near Trieste, Italy for the British cruise market offering a unique and sophisticated, contemporary experience. The ship will be porting from Southampton, England.

The new Britannia is 177 years in the making and it is the culmination of a heritage that reflects the best Britain offers spanning nearly two centuries and manifests the passion of all that Britain is today. Britannia will boast Britain’s largest floating art collection, containing more than 8,000 artworks. The multi-million-dollar art collection represents a new approach by P&O Cruises with works chosen to complement and enhance Britannia’s interior designs to give the feel of a luxury hotel.

P&O Cruises is assembling the cream of British culinary talent. The new ship’s Food Heroes includes an unprecedented line up of the country’s celebrity chefs. Britain’s favorite TV chef, James Martin, will develop The Cookery Club, the first cookery school on board a British cruise ship. Passengers will be able to participate in a hands-on class with guest chefs on board in a state-of-the-art cookery school.

Over the years, UNDER THE RADAR has designed, produced and managed live events in all ports of calls around the world for almost every brand of cruise line.

Most recently In Ft. Lauderdale, Florida in November 2014, UNDER THE RADAR produced the naming ceremony for the Regal Princess, the newest ship to join the Princess Cruises fleet of modern ships. The Princess Cruises line was made famous as the backdrop of the iconic Love Boat television series. As a tribute to the show, as all six of the original cast members served as the ship’s godparents, and were joined by 25 of the show’s past guest stars. In Southampton in June 2013, UNDER THE RADAR orchestrated Princes Cruises naming ceremony for the Royal Princess when Her Royal Highness, Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge became the Godmother.

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