Princess celebrates float out

Alan Buckelew, president CEO Princess Cruises; Madrina of Royal Princess, Victoria Nash; Captain Tony Draper; Master Designate, Royal Princess, Nick Nash, Master, First Royal Princess (2002-2003)

Princess Cruises has floated out its latest ship, the Royal Princess, from its Fincantieri shipyard in Italy. The ceremony was marked by the unveiling of a commemorative ship’s bell and the cutting of the cord – a tradition for the Italian shipyard.

The event was attended by Princess president and CEO Alan Buckelew, Royal Princess captain Tony Draper, Princess master captain Nick Nash and his daughter Victoria who served as the ship’s madrina (godmother).

Victoria Nash was chosen as godmother to the ship in line with the tradition of having a person with a special connection with the vessel – Nash was chosen because, as a baby, she was christened aboard the original Royal Princess.

“The original Royal Princess left our fleet some time ago, but we wanted to bring the spirit of that much-loved ship, also a prototype design, to the new Royal Princess,” said Buckelew during the ceremony. “And who better to do that than Victoria, who has grown up into a beautiful young lady who will now have a special connection with both vessels.”

According to tradition, the ship’s bell was used as Nash’s christening bowl for the ceremony in 1996 and Victoria’s name was subsequently engraved inside it to commemorate the occasion. This same bell will be aboard the new ship, after being given by the Nash family.

“Captain Nash was presented with the ship’s bell from our original Royal Princess following its decommissioning, and we are delighted that he has very generously offered this bell to be placed aboard our new Royal Princess, in honour of his daughter,” said Buckelew. “Thank you Nick, for this wonderful gift.”

A video of the float out is available below. The ship will begin make her maiden voyage in June 2013.

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