What is a Cruise Godmother?

To celebrate five years since HRH The Duchess of Cambridge christened the Royal Princess, I’ve compiled a list of my top ten favourite cruise godmothers.

It’s a naval tradition for new cruise ships to be ‘christened’ by someone, typically a woman, also known as a godmother.  At the new cruise ship’s launch and naming ceremony, the cruise godmother breaks a bottle of champagne on the ship’s hull to bring good luck to the cruise ship and everyone who sails on her.

10. Mary Berry – Viking Lonship Alvsin, 2014

Star of the BBC’s Great British Bake Off, Mary Berry christened the Viking’s Alvsin in 2014.  I think she deserves a mention in my top 10 as the christening was slightly overshadowed by the fact that it was one of 14 Viking cruise christenings within the space of 24 hours, setting a new Guinness World Record.

Onboard she would mostly be found… in the kitchen!  Or perhaps sampling Afternoon Tea somewhere cosy.

Mary Berry christening Viking Cruises
Mary Berry at the Viking Cruises’ christening, photo credit: dailymail.co.uk

9. Elizabeth Hill – Independence of the Seas 2008

Known for being the first of the mega-ships to be introduced by Royal Carribean, the Independence of the Seas was christened by Elizabeth Hill from Derbyshire.  Elizabeth was selected to be the godmother of the cruise ship after being recognised for her exceptional charity work with the Gamelea Countryside Training Trust, which helped young people with disabilities to gain important skills.

Onboard she would mostly be found… chatting to other passengers and being pampered like a true cruise godmother!

Elizabeth Hill at the christening ceremony of Independence of the Seas
Elizabeth Hill at the christening ceremony of Independence of the Seas              photo credit express.co.uk

8. Darcey Bussell – P&O Azura 2010

When I was growing up, Darcey Bussell was my hero.  I lived and breathed dance and I was lucky enough to see her perform with the Royal Ballet; I still have her signed autobiography on my bookshelf.  Darcey christened the Azura in 2010 and did it in style with a choreographed dance routine.

Onboard she would mostly be found… on a dance floor, if there was a dance-off she’d win!

Why choose a P&O cruise?

Darcey Bussell P&O Azura christening
Darcey Bussell christened P&O’s Azura in style, photo credit: dailymail.co.uk

7. Princess Fiona – Allure of the Seas 2009

Not your typical cruise godmother, Princess Fiona, from Dreamworks’ Shrek movies christened the Allure of the Seas in 2009.  I love Shrek and her picture is hung in pride of place onboard the ship.

Onboard she would mostly be found… in the spa having a mud therapy massage!

Princess Fiona christening the Allure of the Seas
Princess Fiona christening the Allure of the Seas

6. Helen Mirren – P&O Ventura 2008

This photo alone shows that Helen Mirren, most noteably know for starring as the lead role in ‘The Queen’, had a fabulous time christening Ventura in 2008.  The national treasure christened the P&O cruise ship in Southampton.

Onboard she would mostly be found… on the Bridge with the captain, rockin’ this hat!

Helen Mirren Ventura christening
Helen Mirren rocking that hat at the Ventura christening, photo credit: Getty

5. Audrey Hepburn – Star Princess 1989

This style-icon christened the Star Princess in Fort Lauderdale in 1989.  Audrey Hepburn is your classic Hollywood star so christening the Star Princess created a perfect partnership.  This cruise ship no longer sails in the Princess fleet and became P&O’s Arcadia before going on to join the Ocean Village group.

Onboard she would mostly be found… with a cocktail in her hand, browsing the jewellery shop!

Audrey Hepburn christening the Star Princess
Audrey Hepburn christening the Star Princess, photo credit express.co.uk

4. Malala Yousafzai – Celebrity Edge 2018

At the time of posting, Celebrity Edge is yet to be launched but is due to be christened by young advocate for women’s rights and Nobel Prize winner, Malala Yousafzai.  Malala famously stood up to the Taliban and is an incredible role model to young women.

Oboard she would mostly be found… at an enrichment lecture or sat somewhere quiet with a good book!

Malala is due to christen the Celebrity Edge in 2018
Malala is due to christen the Celebrity Edge in 2018, photo credit richtopia.com

3. HRH Queen Elizabeth II – numerous cruise ships

The Queen has christened many cruise ships including P&O’s Britannia and Cunard’s Queen Elizabeth.  She’s an old hand at this job and so The Queen is quite rightly included in my top 10 cruise godmothers.

P&O Britannia – 8 free ‘must do’ activities + 2 ‘should do’s!

Onboard she would mostly be found… enjoying fine dining in the main dining room.  I’d secretly like to see her on the late-night karaoke or on the slot machines in the casino!

HRH Queen Elizabeth II christening Britannia
HRH Queen Elizabeth II at the naming ceremony of Britannia, photo credit USA Today

2. HRH Princess Diana – Royal Princess

The ‘People’s Princess’ Diana Princess of Wales christened the first Royal Princess in 1984 in Southampton.  This was particularly special as the Royal Princess was the first purposely built cruise ship for Princess Cruises and was one of the first ship to have all outside cabins (no internal cabins).  The ship went on to become P&O’s Artemis until 2011.  Princess Diana was the perfect choice for its godmother.

Onboard she would mostly be found… in the pool having fun and not taking herself too seriously!

HRH Princess Diana cruise ship christening
HRH Princess Diana having a tour of the Royal Princess cruise ship

1. HRH The Duchess of Cambridge – Royal Princess 2013

And so it was to be that the next Royal Princess was christened by the next royal princess, Kate Middleton.  Heavily pregnant with Prince George, the Duchess of Cambridge looked stunning in her outfit as she christened the Royal Princess cruise ship in Southampton.  I was fortunate to visit the Royal Princess and a display of the christening ceremony can be found near the Piazza.

Onboard she would mostly be found… in The Sanctuary being treated like a princess!  Kate would also feel at home in the corner suite on the Royal Princess.

Royal Princess cruise christening display

Future Godmothers

With so many new ships on the horizon, cruise companies are always on the look out for new cruise godmothers to christen their ships.  Who do you think would make a good godmother?  I think Jane McDonald should be honoured after all the television work she’s done in recent times to encourage more people to cruise.  Let me know your thoughts in the comments section, I’d love to hear your suggestions.

Happy cruising!


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Laura is a UK cruise blogger based in Cornwall, UK. She founded Cruise Lifestyle in 2016 to share useful advice about cruising, destinations and food.
Last port visited: Bridgetown, Barbados
Next port of call: unknown, but she can’t wait for cruising to resume safely!

Find me on: Twitter



  1. June 19, 2018 / 1:39 am

    I personally saw the princesses dress on the Royal. She is so petite.

    • June 19, 2018 / 7:46 am

      It’s lovely that it’s there on display for everyone to see, what did you think of the Royal Princess? I loved the ship.

  2. July 13, 2018 / 7:56 pm

    Hey are using WordPress for your site platform? I’m new to the blog world but I’m trying to get started and set up my own. Do you need any html coding knowledge to make your own blog? Any help would be really appreciated!

    • July 14, 2018 / 11:43 am

      Hi Ben, no need for any coding knowledge with WordPress!

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