Queen Elizabeth II officially names Britain’s biggest ship News

The 473-million-pound vessel – the biggest ever built for the British market – carries the biggest stylised Union Jack in the world painted 94m down her bows reflecting this is a proudly British project.

Queen Elizabeth II officially names Britain’s biggest ship News   Ticker-tape rains down as Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II names the new P&O Cruises ship

The Queen and His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh appeared to be in very good spirits during the ceremony, which comes two decades after she named the P&O Cruises ship Oriana. The naming ceremony in the nation’s maritime hub of Southampton came with plenty of promotion, such as banners throughout the town proclaiming the ship was inspired by the past but designed for the future. Carnival UK chairman David Dingle said: “Britannia, a ship for the nation, will be the embodiment of contemporary Britain, and with her Union Jack livery she will fly the flag for Britain across the Globe.

“The ship reflects the vibrancy, spirit and energy of modern Britain. It is designed to be a modern classic. Today’s Britain has emerged as a place of style and sophistication, optimism and excitement and Britannia has been envisaged to capture that spirit”.

The 141,000 tonne, 3647 guest ship with 15 passenger decks features 13 bars, 13 eateries, four pools, nine entertainment venues, luxury spa, and much more. Though built in Italy she is British through and through, from the 70 British beer and cider choices from 56 counties in Brodie’s pub to the 20 gin choices in the Crow’s Nest lounge.

The best of Great Britain was on display for the historic launch, from bagpipes and bearskin hats to men with swords, medals, chains of office, in kilts, even a military drummer in a tiger skin. A Nebuchadnezzar of British Wiston Estate Brut NV was smashed over the bow upon the naming, which was witnessed by VIPs including Britannia’s ‘Food Heroes’ – celebrity chefs overseeing the ship’s menus.

Queen Elizabeth II officially names Britain’s biggest ship News   Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II with the ship’s Master Captain Paul Brown

James Martin, Marco Pierre White, Atul Kochhar, Eric Lanlard, wine expert Olly Smith and cheese expert Charlie Turnbull are big drawcards for the ship, which officials believe will attract guests who had not previously have considered a cruise holiday.

In the ship’s Cookery Club, a 24 person state-of-the-art cookery school, these chefs and guest experts will demonstrate their culinary skills, for passengers eager to develop their cooking skills.

The 330m long liner is the third P&O ship to carry the prestige name, and on her naming the anthem Rule Britannia was sung loud and proud to assembled guests.

Queen Elizabeth II officially names Britain’s biggest ship News   The crew of the new P&O cruise liner “Britannia” await the arrival of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II

The ship has features such as The Crystal Room with grand chandeliers and dancing, The Limelight Club reviving the great tradition of supper club entertainment, 27 single cabins for solo travellers, kids’ and teen clubs for families, boutiques, and a grand ‘starburst’ feature in the three story atrium. The ship initially will sail Western Europe, Baltics, British Isles and Caribbean itineraries.