There’s more to nam­ing a ship than you might think

The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - Escape - - LINER NOTES - AN­DREA BLACK

Ever won­dered how cruise lines come up with the name of a new ship? It’s a big call as the ship will be sail­ing for years un­der that moniker. There are vary­ing fac­tors in­volved, some com­ply­ing with tra­di­tion and oth­ers as a way to pro­mote the type of ex­pe­ri­ence a guest might ex­pect on that par­tic­u­lar ves­sel. From Nor­we­gian Bliss to Har­mony of the Seas, and En­chanted Princess to Cu­nard’s more tra­di­tional Queen El­iz­a­beth we look into the what, why and how cruise lines be­stow names upon their ships.


In keep­ing with its “freestyle cruis­ing” phi­los­o­phy, Nor­we­gian Cruise Lines has left it to the pub­lic to de­cide on the name of some of its Break­away class ships. Around 100,000 Face­book fans voted for the names Nor­we­gian Es­cape and Nor­we­gian Bliss. While these choices seem in line with the brand, we all know a pub­lic vote can be risky (and en­ter­tain­ing too), look at the name of the po­lar re­search ves­sel as voted by the British pub­lic – Boaty McBoat­face – with an over­whelm­ing 124,109 votes. An­other con­tender was “It’s bloody cold here” with 10,679 votes.


An ob­vi­ous and smart mar­ket­ing choice is to keep the cruise line’s name in the ti­tle, as Princess Cruises does with its fleet from Ma­jes­tic Princess to Sky Princess which will ar­rive in Oc­to­ber 2019. Its new­est NOR­WE­GIAN BLISS an­nounce­ment is En­chanted Princess, set to sail in 2020.

Mean­while, Royal Caribbean uses “of the Seas” in its ship names in­clud­ing Majesty of the Seas, Al­lure of the Seas and the mu­si­cal over­tones of Sym­phony, Har­mony, An­them and Ova­tion of the Seas.

Cu­nard uses names of queens for its ships. There’s Queen Mary 2, Queen Vic­to­ria and Queen El­iz­a­beth. The name of Cu­nard’s new 3000pas­sen­ger ship, be­ing launched in 2022, is awaited with great an­tic­i­pa­tion. At the re­cent World’s Lead­ing Cruise Lines Sum­mit, Cu­nard’s David Rousham, vi­cepres­i­dent UK and in­ter­na­tional de­vel­op­ment, hints that the name has been cho­sen and it will be shared later this year.

“It’s ap­pro­pri­ate to the brand,” he says. Some­one in the au­di­ence suggested Queen Cather­ine but it might be a lit­tle pre­ma­ture for that, an­other shouted Queen Camilla.

“The name is a re­ally fas­ci­nat­ing sub­ject,” David says. “Cu­nard is known as a brand but ac­tu­ally the ship names are of­ten re­ferred to in a more lov­ing way by ex-Cu­nardists.”

David says most peo­ple have as­pired to cruise on the QEII.

“It’s fas­ci­nat­ing to see peo­ple talk­ing about how they’re still go­ing on QEII but the QEII is now a ho­tel ship in Dubai, so we need to en­sure the new ship name is ap­pro­pri­ate for the brand­ing … we don’t want it to dom­i­nate too much be­cause Cu­nard should be the lead for our brand.”


When the 3900-pas­sen­ger Car­ni­val Splen­dor sails into Aus­tralian wa­ters in De­cem­ber 2019 she will have un­der­gone the full “Aussiefication” in every­thing but name. There will be barista-style cof­fee, fresh menus for Aus­tralian tastes and a new water theme park but the ac­tual ti­tle of the ship will not have the added U in Splen­dour. How come? To add a U would cost $250,000. It’s not just a mat­ter of plonk­ing that let­ter on the side of the ship and shift­ing the oth­ers up a bit, there’s red tape in­volved, the name would need to be re-reg­is­tered. Car­ni­val saw the money would be bet­ter spent on the sig­nif­i­cant bowto-stern up­grade be­fore she sails to Syd­ney for year-round cruises. QUEEN EL­IZ­A­BETH


Com­pa­nies of­ten name their ships to re­flect a de­sired ex­pe­ri­ence for their guests, such as Nor­we­gian Bliss; while Cu­nard sticks with a royal theme.

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