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Thursday, 27 April, 2000, 17:35 GMT 18:35 UK
Princess christens new superliner
The Scots Gurads play at the christening of the superliner Aurora.
The christening ceremony of the superliner Aurora
The Princess Royal has christened P&O's new 200m superliner at its home port of Southampton.

In an elaborate opening ceremony, the Princess released a magnum of champagne against the bow of the 76,000-tonne Aurora.


About the Aurora
The vessel was built at the Meyer Warft ship yard in Germany.
It has a specially commissioned art collection with 3,600 pieces.
A penthouse suite on its first world cruise will cost 48,445 per person.

The superliner has been built specifically for the UK market and includes 12 bars, a West End-style theatre, a concert hall and three swimming pools.

The opening ceremony was attended by 2,500 invited guests, including Baroness Thatcher and former motor racing legend Sir Stirling Moss.

It featured an Indian elephant and children dressed in the national costumes of the countries the ship's company sails to.

The Princess, accompanied by her husband, Commodore Timothy Laurence, toured the ship, meeting a number of the 850 crew.


Princess Royal and Commodore Timothy Laurence tour the Aurora.
The Royal couple tour the Aurora

She presented the master, Captain Steve Burgoine, with a picture of P&O's Medina, the ship that carried the Princess's great-grandparents George V and Queen Mary to India in 1911.

The Aurora was also blessed at the ceremony by the Rt Rev Alan Smithson, the Bishop of Jarrow, who is chairman of the pastoral committee of the Mission to Seafarers.

The superliner will sail to the Mediterranean, Norwegian fjords, the Baltic, the Atlantic and the Caribbean and leaves on her 14-night maiden voyage on May 1.

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08 Nov 99 | The Company File
Cunard plans world's largest liner - the QM2
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