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P&O Cruises plans grand launch for Ventura

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The largest cruise ship exclusively designed for Britain – Ventura – will be named in a spectacular ceremony at the port of Southampton in April.

Oscar winning actress Dame Helen Mirren will perform the naming ceremony. But rather than simply pressing a button to smash a bottle of Taittinger champagne on the ship’s hull, Dame Helen will get help from a crack squad of Royal Marine Commandos who will abseil down Ventura.

The naming ceremony in Southampton on 16 April will be part of what P&O Cruises describes as “an exciting show with dramatic surprises”. The cruise holiday company has invited 1,500 guests to the show, including consultant celebrity chef for Ventura, Marco Pierre White, and children’s favourite Noddy.

"Dame Helen Mirren embodies glamour, vitality and Britishness, which are all values that will be a feature of Ventura. We are honoured that she has agreed to become Godmother,” says P&O Cruises MD, Nigel Esdale.

“The arrival of Ventura is set to usher in a new era for the British cruise industry and will accelerate the rate of progress of an already fast growing market. We are delighted that Dame Helen is to be associated with her. At the same time, we are determined to get the bottle-smashing right, and are grateful for the military coordinated assistance of the Royal Marines," adds Esdale.

P&O’s new cruise ship Ventura is more than 40% larger than its existing ship Arcadia, currently the largest in the British market. Ventura will be able to carry almost 3,600 cruise holidaymakers and 1,200 crew.

Shortly after the naming ceremony, Ventura will embark on her maiden cruise to the Mediterranean from her home port of Southampton.

Written by: Nick Purdom


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