A glitzy ceremony at Southampton Docks on Tuesday saw one of the biggest passenger ships in the world christened. The Anthem of the Seas was named by 27-year-old Emma Wilby who pressed the button which smashed a bottle of Perrier-Jouet champagne on the upper deck of the 16-storey vessel.
The 168,667-ton Anthem is a member of the Royal Caribbean cruise liner fleet and sister vessel to Quantum of the Seas. The Quantum took her maiden voyage six months ago. The new vessel has most of the high-tech features of the Quantum including a North Star capsule, an iFLY RipCord air-machine, a roller-skating rink and robot bartenders.
Stuart Leven is the UK and Ireland regional director for Royal Caribbean and he confirmed the Anthem of the Seas would be sailing for New York after the end of the summer season at Southampton. He noted that the Anthem’s sister vessel, Independence of the Seas, would replace her for the summer of 2016.
Anthem has a cruise schedule through to October which will see her take passengers on odysseys to ports in the Canary Islands and the Mediterranean Sea. Her permanent base in the US will be Cape Liberty Cruise Port in New Jersey. From there she is scheduled to embark on cruises to New England, Canada and the Caribbean.
Ms Wilby was the winner of a nationwide contest to select a singer to launch the Royal Caribbean cruise ship. After the ceremony, the Sunderland travel agent gave her interpretation of hit tune Fireworks by Katy Perry.
Music during the ceremony was also provided by the Reading Scottish Pipe Band and Only Boys Aloud, a boy’s choir from Wales. The band gave stellar renditions of God Save the Queen and the Star Spangled Banner and was accompanied by the vessel’s crew.