The Queen names Britannia Cruise Ship and a first look inside

Brittania - P&O Cruises largest ship
Brittania – P&O Cruise’s largest ship – The Top Deck

On a bright sunny Tuesday morning, I find myself with a throng of ladies in colourful hats and fascinators and men in smart suits queuing on the dock beside P&O’s Britannia Cruise Ship. We were on our way to the stands for the official naming ceremony by Her Majesty The Queen.

There is an air of excitement as Rob Brydon warms up the crowd with a few nautical jokes and introduces a few “Godmothers” to other P&O ships like Darcy Bussell. The Royal Marines and the Irish Guards marching bands kicked off the suitable pomp. The crowd went crazy over the Red Hot Chilli Pipers, a band of hunky Scots in kilts playing Queen songs on bagpipes.

Amazing- The Red Hot Chilli Pipers. Kilts, Bag pipes& pop songs!! #britannialaunch #Britannia #instavideo

A video posted by May London (@londonmay) on

The Queen arrives with Prince Philip and after she declares “I name this ship Britannia, ‘God bless her and all who sail in her” a nebuchadnezzar (20 bottles) of English sparkling wine from the Wiston Estate Winery exploded in a spectacular fashion against the side of the ship (see video) amid a sea of red, white and blue confetti. 

The VIP party embarks on a tour of the ship while the rest of us file back in for a very lovely lunch. See below.

You can see a picture tour of Britannia here

The Britannia Naming Ceremony

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Britannia Cruise Ship Naming Ceremony
No hats!

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Britannia A nebuchadnezzar (20 bottles) of English sparkling wine from the Wiston Estate Winery
A nebuchadnezzar (20 bottles) of English sparkling wine from the Wiston Estate Winery awaits
Britannia Naming Ceremony The World Press awaits the Queen
The World Press awaits the Queen
Britannia Red Hot Chilli Pipers
The Red Hot Chilli Pipers were a big hit


The Tigers from the Princess of Wales' Royal Regiment  on Brittania
The Tigers from the Princess of Wales’ Royal Regiment greeted Britannia by parachute when it first arrived in Southampton


A First Look Inside Britannia and Preparations for the Inaugural Celebrations

The day before the naming ceremony, Britannia was abuzz with last minute preparations for the naming ceremony and the Gala dinner. It was very exciting to be one of the first people to stay on board the new ship before its maiden voyage. Following their guide, we spent all afternoon exploring every nook and cranny of the ship, stopping for some of Eric Lanlard’s cakes at the Market Deli cafe along the way. Olympians, TV stars, celebrity chefs and other beautiful people gathered in the Atrium for the black tie gala dinner.

Love this Yuzu Lemon Tart @eric_lanlard at the Market cafe #britannialaunch

A photo posted by May London (@londonmay) on

Britannia Gala Dinner
The Black Tie Gala Dinner – Night before the launch event

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Britannia Inaugural Cekebrations Gala Dinner
All dressed up with a glass of Wiston Estate Bubbly

This was the menu for the gala dinner with contributions from the Food Heroes.

Atul Kochhar’s Chicken Tikka Makhan Masala

James Martin’s Bourbon whisky and vanilla cured salmon

Marco Pierre White’s romney Salt marsh Lamb Loin Dijonnaise

Eric Lanlard’s Trip of Desserts

Charlie Tunrbull’s Artisan British Cheese

Olly Smith’s choice of Pomona Cider Brandy

Britannia Fireworks over Southampton Harbour
Post dinner fireworks over Southampton Harbour
Britannia Basil the Sniffer Dog
This is Basil the sniffer dog and his handler, one of the team of 5 K9s keeping us safe prior to the big event
Men at Work Britannia
Men at Work Fixing the flags on the top deck of Brittania


A pictorial tour of Cruise Ship Britannia


This ship is enormous. There are 17 decks,  13 restaurants, 13 bars, 936 seat theatre, four pools, sports arena, a medispa, kids club, a gym, library, shops and cabins that can accommodate up to 3647 passengers. It is easy to forget that you are not in a hotel on land but in a massive cruise ship.

Britannia Cruise Ship Top Deck
Britannia Cruise Ship Top Deck

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Celebrating Iconic British Design

Richmond International were tasked with designing every aspect of the ship. The stunning Atrium at the centre of the ship on Deck 5 is like a hotel lobby and is flanked by 3 levels of shop, cafes and bars, reachable by the spiral staircase. The space is dominated by this 8m tall Starbust sculpture chandelier (designed by Jona Hoad Design). The stylish sitting area acts like a hub for passengers.

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Britannia Cruise Ship Crystal Room night club
The Crystal Room night club complete with disco ball

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Britannia Elegant dining rooms
Elegant dining rooms
Britannia Pool Deck dining
Fast food on the pool deck. Freshly made pizzas, burgers and hot dogs
Britannia Glasshouse Bar
The well stocked Glasshouse Bar

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Britannia The Blue Bar
The Blue Bar

Over £1m of Original Art by British Artists

Over 600 pieces of art throughout the ship and mostly by British Artists.

Britannia Original Art
These look like the same guys in the waterfall in Dubai Mall

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A very nice lunch followed the naming ceremony at the Oriental Restaurant with a very good bottle of P&O’s own label white wine.

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 A look inside the cabins on Britannia

The accommodation is very comfortable with nice firm beds, fluffy pillows and White Company toiletries. The balconies have a table and 2 chairs to enjoy the sea air. Since we were docked (at the very dock where the Titanic set sail from) and with our cabin overlooking the stands for the ceremony, we didn’t get to try this out. We did however get an early peek at the show as all the entertainers decided to rehearse right below our balcony at 6am.

Got woken up by the marching band practising under our window. #britannialaunch #instavideo

A video posted by May London (@londonmay) on

Britannia Cabin Suites
The Suites have a sitting area and balconies
Britannia Cruise Ship bespoke furniture in cabins
Bespoke furniture in cabins
Britannia Bathrooms
Much bigger bathrooms in the suites than standard cabins. All equipped with White Company toiletries
Britannia cabin balconies
Wrap around balconies
Britannia A standard cabin
Our standard cabin with a balcony

  Lots of Entertainment Choices on Board the Britannia

Britannia Hot Tub
Chill out in the hot tub on the top deck

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The main attraction for a lot of the cruises this year are the ones where one of the Food Heroes will be on board teaching at the Cookery Club. . It’s a stunning space for a cookery school on Deck 17. It has a capacity for 24 students and every work station is equipped with a Kitchen Aid. The Food Heroes are Atul Kochhar, Marco Pierre White, Eric Lanlard, Charlie Turnbull and Olly Smith. Mary Berry is due to be teaching on one of the cruises this year too.

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Britannia Cookery Club

Their pristine new gym is right next door to the Cookery Club. There is a well equipped gym and exercise room and it all smelt brand new. All the running machines face outwards and have fantastic views. The machines were brand new and not a drop of sweat has been spilled on those pristine running machines. I didn’t bring my workout gear but it would have fun to have a workout in a brand new gym.

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They have a kids’ club caters to children of all ages, from babies to teens. The teenagers have a cosy lounge with sofas, computer games, pool tables and even a dance floor. They even have their own terrace to hide away from the grown ups.

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Britannia Kids club
The cosy teen sitting room with a wide screen TV.
Britannia Kids club
Cute interactive dance floor in the teen’s room
Britannia Games tables Kids Club
Games galore

For more grown up fun, there is a casino, slot machines, a live theatre, night clubs and bars.

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The lavish and extensive spa area is on Deck 5. This is run by Medispa and besides the standard spa treatments like massages, facials, they also offer hydrotherapy and teeth whitening.

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The Britannia left Southampton on its maiden voyage on 15 March and will be continuously at sea for the next 5 years. Hopefully my next stay on a cruise ship will be around the Mediterranean. For more information on all of Britannia’s destination, have a look on their website.

EatCookExplore was a guest of P&O at the Inaugural Celebrations for the Britannia Cruise Ship. 


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