PORTSMOUTH has made waves on the international cruise ship scene as a new cruise liner was officially renamed in the city’s port.
The MV Voyager’s naming ceremony followed an extensive refit and refurbishment.
She was tied up at Portsmouth International Port until yesterday afternoon and in that time just under 2,000 travel agents, cruise industry reps and other professionals visited her.
She was officially named by TV presenter Miranda Krestovnikoff, who is the ship’s new godmother.
Speaking on board yesterday she said: ‘I am absolutely delighted to be here.
‘Being a ship’s godmother is normally a role for royalty, but being here I have been made to feel like a queen.’
Alan Murray, managing director of Voyages of Discovery, which operates Voyager, said the decision to choose Portsmouth for the ceremony was a simple one.
He said: ‘Portsmouth is her home port.
‘We get great service from the guys here in Portsmouth, and the new passenger terminal is fantastic – it’s absolutely superb for our customers.
‘Portsmouth is fantastic – when we have passengers on back-to-back cruises, on our turnaround days they can visit the city, where there’s loads to do.’
Voyager, which used to be called Alexander von Humboldt, spent a month getting her refit, which includes refurbished cabins, bar areas, restaurants and other communal areas.
Back in May she was in dry dock having new engines fitted and new navigational equipment installed.
She is now putting them to the test on her way to a 140-day cruise around South America and the Caribbean.
He added: ‘We’re looking forward to being back in Portsmouth in April.’
Phil Gadd, ferry port manager, said he was delighted that the naming ceremony was held in Portsmouth.
He added: ‘It’s a great honour to have this ship here and to have the renaming ceremony here. It’s fantastic – not just for the port, but for the city as well.’
The ship was blessed by the port’s chaplain, Rev Philip Hiscock.
Lord Mayor of Portsmouth Frank Jonas also arrived on board yesterday for a tour of the ship. He said: ‘Congratulations to the owners of Voyager. We’re very proud to have you here.’