With the Royal Wedding drawing ever closer, Cruise International decided to investigate which cruise lines will be celebrating the wedding of the century at sea.
With strong ties to the British Royal Family, Queen Elizabeth herself having named both their Queen Mary 2 and Queen Elizabeth, it is perhaps not surprising that the line is making a real effort to celebrate in appropriate style.
Each of the company’s ships will be screening the wedding live in ship’s Royal Court Theatres, while each guest will be presented with a ‘royal invitation’ to this screening the night before.
A special royal afternoon tea will follow, featuring a commemorative blend by tea makers Twinings. Champagne, of course, will also be on offer.
The day is set to end in grand style with a special four-course meal devised by Cunard’s head chef, followed by dancing in each of the ship’s Queen’s Rooms.
For more information on Cunard’s plans for the day, vist Cunard
Voyages of Discovery
Taking a slightly different angle on the theme, Voyages of Discovery has decided to celebrate by throwing a Royal Street Party on board their ship the Discovery.
While the wedding itself will be screened at 9AM in three different venues (with accompanying drinks promotions to perk up the atmosphere), an entire deck of the ship is also to be decorated with bunting and royal themed decorations.
As for the food, there will be a traditional pub lunch served on board while supper will see yet more British-themed offerings.
An evening sing-along should keep the good mood going and for those who didn’t quite get enough the first time round, the wedding will be screened for a second time in the evening.
Voyage of Discovery’s A French and Spanish Sojourn departs Portsmouth on April 23rd. Visit Voyages of Discovery for more info.
In their bid to offer a unique celebration, British cruisers Fred.Olsen have decided to print their very own Royal Wedding newspaper. This four-page special, designed to keep those on board up to date with all the latest goings on, will end its run with a special commemorative paper to be given to all guests on the big day itself.
A Gala Wedding Dinner will be held in the evening including Baked Alaska “Catherine” (pictured), while the specially created champagne cocktail, the Royal Honeymoon, should keep spirits high.
Along with this all televisions in public areas on the ship will be screening live coverage of the wedding via BBC World News throughout the day.
Royal themed quizzes and red, white and blue decorations should complete the festive atmosphere.
Visit Fred Olsen Cruises
While other cruises may claim to have gone to further lengths to celebrate, none can quite match P&O in terms of size – with around 13,000 British passengers aboard their ships on April 29th P&O will be holding the largest collective party on sea.
P&O will be handing out invites for the celebrations to guests the night before, while evening entertainment will comprise of Royal Gala Ball and a special Royal themed quiz.
Films shown on board the ships throughout the day will carry through the royal theme, with the King’s Speech, The Queen and The Princess Diaries all being screened across the ships.
For those sailing out of Southampton on April 29 on the Ventura, the celebrations will kick off in style, with a grand sail-away party including bunting and flags. Be sure to get there in time for 11 O’clock!
While most of those on the six P&O ships will be able to watch the wedding during the day, those aboard the Arcadia, which will be sailing through the Panama Canal, will have to be up very early to the wedding live due to time zone issues.
Visit P&O for more information.
Princess Cruises are another line with some claim to a royal connection; in 1984 it was Princess Diana who christened their original vessel the Royal Princess.
The Princess ships are set to screen the Royal wedding on their impressive ‘Movies Under the Stars’ screens. This 300 square foot, 69,000-Watt poolside theatre screen should offer a great view to anyone wanting to watch the wedding in a truly cinematic style.
Along side the big viewing parties, ‘British-style’ refreshments will be served along with a selection of especially concocted royal-themed cocktails to help the party spirit along.
Accompanying the jovial mood on board, royal wedding trivia competitions will take place and in a fun twist, there will also be Will-and-Kate lookalike competitions on board.
While all the ships in the Princess fleet will be screening the wedding – subject to satellite availability – in some time zones the screening may be delayed till a more convenient hour.
For further info visit Princess Cruises
Norwegian Cruise Line
The American orientated Norwegian Cruise Line has announced that 10 out of its 11 ships will be showing the Royal Wedding (the exception being Norwegian Sky in the Bahamas). Unlike most other lines however, some of the additional entertainment will be there but at an extra charge.
Two Royal themed “special dining events” will be held across the fleet. In the morning guests can indulge in the ‘The Prince and Princess Brunch’. Costing $15pp this will include eggs poached in champagne, kippers and scrambled eggs with grilled lamb. In the afternoon at a cost of $10pp, ‘The Royal High Tea’ will be served, with a traditional assortment of cucumber sandwiches, scones with jam and cream, lemon curd and a variety of cakes.
While it might seem a bit cheeky to use the event as a money-spinner, the line has also promised to put on their own interpretation of a British street party. Pie and mash and Beatles tribute bands are the order of the day, while fish and chips will be served as the special across the ships pubs and 24 hour dining halls.
16 night Transatlantic cruise aboard Norwegian Sun, departing UK April 22, travelling from Port Canaveral to Ponta Delgada; Lisbon; Zeebrugge; Amsterdam and Copenhagen, is priced at £1,224pp Fly-Cruise; £529pp Cruise Only.
For more info visit NCL
Other cruise lines that plan to celebrate the wedding in some form include:
Royal Caribbean, Celebrity and Azmara
Royal Caribbean have announced that they will be showing the wedding across all 40 of their ships across the three cruise lines. Indeed they seem to have taken inspiration from Will and Kate and launched their own ‘Royal Wedding Package’, charging $2,904, the price matching the 29/04 date.
MSC Cruises will be broadcasting the wedding ceremony in English on all its ships that are in European water (this excludes the MSC Sinfonia and MSC Opera). Bars on board will be serving a large selection of champagnes and prosecco along with a number of special commemorative cocktails – including the aptly enough named The Royal (sparkling wine, cognac and Grand Marnier). A fair few of these will no doubt be raised in a royal toast!
Cruise and Maritime’s Marco Polo and Ocean Countess will both be setting sail on the 29th, but unfortunate timing means that passengers will be checking in at the actual time of the wedding. In spite of this the line has arranged for large screens to be in place at both departure ports (Tilbury and Hull) and each ship will serve a celebratory royal banquet in the evening. A special cocktail ‘Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue’ has also been devised, so hopefully the day can still be enjoyed by all!
For more on the Royal Wedding – on land – check out our sister title BRITAIN’s comprehensive coverage here.