A ceremony has been held at Fincantieri’s Monfalcone shipyard near Trieste to mark the float out of P&O Cruises’ newest ship, Britannia.
The first ceremony involved the welding of significant coins on the open deck of Britannia for good luck.
A 1oz solid silver brilliant uncirculated 2013 coin featuring Britannia with her trident and shield was chosen to mark the occasion as 2013 was the year the hull was laid.
After the coin ceremony, the focus then moved to the dockside where the ship was blessed, and a bottle of Italian prosecco was smashed against the hull by the Madrina.
Italian tradition dictates that a Madrina “godmother” officiates at a float out ceremony and P&O Cruises selected Travel Counsellor’s Louise Hunt as Madrina for Britannia.
Louise was selected through a travel agent competition run to find the best person possible to fulfil this role.
The valves of the dry dock were then opened so Britannia met the water for the first time.
During the formal ceremony, Carnival UK chief commercial officer Gerard Tempest said: “Britannia will be a market-leading ship for a market-leading brand when she makes her debut in spring 2015.
“There will be an unrivalled mixture of contemporary sophistication mixed with those enduring hallmarks of P&O Cruises: high quality service, cuisine and entertainment delivered with style and glamour.
“We wanted Britannia to become a modern classic with the core of P&O Cruises heritage augmented by the latest contemporary design.
“Today is a landmark event for P&O Cruises and for the British cruise industry and is the start of a new chapter in our future.”
Ten the biggest ship built for the British cruise market will set sail on March 14th 2015.