Page last updated at 15:35 GMT, Thursday, 10 July 2008 16:35 UK

Sparkling launch for cruise liner

Myleen Klaas and diver Christian Rumming
Diva and diver Myleene and Christian did the honours

In what is claimed to be the first break in modern times from a traditional ship naming, champagne has been ousted by a local product.

Instead of a bottle of bubbly being swung at the bow, a diver emerged from the depths with sparkling wine.

TV star Myleene Klass named the 250m Carnival Splendor at Dover on Thursday while diver Christian Rumming smashed the bottle.

The wine chosen was Nyetimber English Sparkling Wine 1994, made in Sussex.

At 113,000 tonnes and carrying up to 4,914 passengers, the Carnival Splendor has become the largest passenger ship to sail from the Kent port, chosen by the Miami-based Carnival Line for this summer's UK inaugural voyage departures.

Splendor set sail later on Thursday for a three-day mini preview cruise to Amsterdam, returning to Dover on 13 July.

It will depart on same day for its official inaugural 12-day cruise to the Baltic countries, visiting Copenhagen, Warnemunde, Helsinki, St Petersburg, Tallinn and Amsterdam.

Nyetimber owner Eric Heerema said: "We are honoured that Carnival should choose Nyetimber 1994 Blanc de Blancs in preference to champagne for such a traditional occasion."


An interview with Myleene Klass

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