As Oprah Winfrey prepares to name Nieuw Statendam and Malala Yousafzai becomes godmother to Celebrity Edge, we celebrate some of our favourite cruise ship godmothers

Dame Darcey Bussell

Former Royal Ballet principal turned Strictly judge Darcey christened P&O Cruises’ Azura in Southampton in 2010 and presented a performance by the Royal Ballet School as part of the celebrations. Since then she has cruised to Norway on Azura and says: “Seeing the landscape and the formations from the sea gave totally different vistas than one gets from being on the land.”

A seven-night cruise on Azura, round trip from Southampton, departing 1 June 2019, starts from £729pp for an inside cabin, based on two people sharing. Ports of call include Stavenger; Alesund; Flam; and Bergen. Price includes kids’ clubs, full board meals and entertainment. To book call P&O on 03453 566 699 or visit pocruises.com.

Dame Helen Mirren

The Oscar-winning actress became godmother to P&O Cruises’ Ventura, then the UK’s biggest cruise ship, in 2008, and described it as an honour. “I’d always had a romantic vision of sipping cocktails on the deck of a cruise ship, but never actually set foot on one before Ventura,” she said, adding that she loved the “opulence and comfort”of the ship.

A 14-night cruise on Ventura round-trip from Southampton, departing 2 June 2019, starts from £1,399pp for an inside cabin, based on two people sharing. Ports of call include Ajaccio; Cadiz; Cartagena; Barcelona; Gibraltar; Marseille; and Monte Carlo. The price includes kids’ clubs, full board meals as well as entertainment on board. To book call 03453 566 699 or visit pocruises.com.

Queen Elizabeth II

HM The Queen once described the Royal Yacht Britannia as “the one place where I can truly relax,” and in 2015 she named P&O Cruises’ ocean ship Britannia at a glittering ceremony in Southampton. This wasn’t her first outing as a cruise ship godmother; she also named Cunard’s Queen Elizabeth in 2010, Queen Mary 2 in 2004, and was godmother to the QE2.

A 14-night Caribbean fly-cruise on Britannia, round-trip from Barbados, departing 6 December 2019 starts from £1,399pp for an inside cabin, based on two people sharing. Ports of call include St Lucia; Curacao; St Kitts; Bonaire; Antigua; St Vincent; St Maarten; and Grenada. The price includes flights from selected UK airports, kids’ clubs; full board meals, and entertainment on board. To book call 03453 566 699 or pocruises.com.

Oprah Winfrey

After Holland America Line and O, The Oprah Magazine formed a partnership and announced a series of themed cruises including the (sold-out) Girls’ Getaway, it was a natural progression that Oprah herself would become godmother to new ship Nieuw Statendam, which launches in December 2018.

A 10-night cruise on board Nieuw Statendam departing from Fort Lauderdale on 20 January 2019 starts from £1,629pp, based on two people sharing. Ports of call include Turks and Caicos; the Dominican Republic; Aruba; Bonaire; Curacao; and Holland America’s private island in the Bahamas. Price includes return flights from London Heathrow, all overseas transfers, and a one-night pre-cruise stay in Fort Lauderdale. Call 0344 338 8605 or visit hollandamerica.com.

The Duchess of Cambridge

Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Cambridge was eight months pregnant with Prince George when she named Princess Cruises’ Royal Princess in Southampton in June 2013.

A seven-night Alaska cruise sailing on Royal Princess from Vancouver to Whittier in May 2019 starts from £1,782pp, with $200pp onboard spend (based on two guests sharing an inside stateroom). Ports of call include Ketchikan; Juneau; Skagway; Glacier Bay National Park (scenic cruising); and beautiful College Fjord (scenic cruising). The price includes accommodation, return flights from London, one-night pre-cruise hotel stay, transfers, all main meals and entertainment. For bookings call 0344 338 8663 or visit princess.com.

Sophia Loren

The Italian film icon is godmother to all 15 of MSC Cruises ships, including MSC Seaview, which started sailing in June, and MSC Seaside, which started sailing last December, adding a touch of Hollywood glamour to every christening ceremony.

A seven-night round trip from Miami, sailing on MSC Seaside, departing on 2 February 2019, starts from £499pp, including all meals and entertainment, cruise only. Ports of call include San Juan, Puerto Rico; Charlotte Amalie, US Virgin Islands; Philpsburg, St Maarten; and the Bahamas. To book call 020 3426 3000 or visit msccruises.co.uk.

Malala Yousafzai

A Nobel Laureate and UN Messenger of Peace who stood up to the Taliban, 19-year-old Malala is a role model for young women around the world. Celebrity Cruises supports the Malala Fund, with a mission to secure 12 years of safe, free quality education for every girl, and Malala will become godmother to Celebrity Edge when it starts sailing in November.

A seven-night Western Caribbean fly/cruise on board new ship Celebrity Edge departing from Fort Lauderdale on 31 March 2019, starts from £3,479pp, based on two people sharing an Ocean View Stateroom. Ports of call include Key West; Costa Maya; Cozumel, Mexico; and George Town, Cayman Islands. Price includes return flights from London Heathrow, transfers, meals and entertainment on board. To book call 0800 441 4057 or visit celebritycruises.co.uk.

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