Britannia To Rule The Waves

 

It’s safe to assume that when Queen Elizabeth christened the P&O Oriana in 1995, when she was a mere child of 69, that nobody imagined two decades later she’d be christening Royal visit to Hertfordshireanother P&O ship, the Britannia.

It happens tomorrow.

This is the biggest ship ever built for Brits. It weighs 141,000 tons, carries 3,647 passengers and has the largest Union Jack ever seen painted on her bow. Under the circumstances, it’s a wonder they didn’t called her the Royal Ship Britannia…an upgrade on the Queen’s long-time Royal Yacht of the same name.

Tomorrow’s ceremony will take place in Southampton, the new ship’s permanent home. It will be live-streamed at live.pocruises.com, an Internet event that the cruise line has been counting down by the second for days now. On board are 13 bars and 13 restaurants — good thing nobody’s superstitious — and a million Britannia-artpounds Sterling ($1.5 million US) worth of art.

Passage on the Britannia has been available for a year and the chance to be first on her disappeared quickly. After hanging around Southampton to celebrate her arrival, the Britannia leaves Saturday on the historic maiden voyage. The first cruise with space still available leaves two weeks later, on March 28, and the prices aren’t outrageous.

For a two-week cruise to Spain and back, prices start at the equivalent of about $3,000, or $212 a day. 

There has been no word whether Queen Elizabeth II plans to go on a Britannia cruise, but she probably will.

In another 20 years. After all, she’ll only be 109.

Today at portsandbows.com: Oceania expanding fleet and itineraries

Costa Fascinosa
7 nights
May 3, 2015
Savona (return): Rome, Palermo, La Valletta, Palma De Mailorca, Barcelona
Inside: $399
Cost per day: $57
www.costacruise.com

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