Page last updated at 19:09 GMT, Wednesday, 30 April 2008 20:09 UK

Woman names largest cruise ship

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One of the world's largest cruise ships, Independence of the Seas, arrives in Southampton ahead of its official naming ceremony.

One of the world's largest cruise ships has been officially named by a member of the public who won a national competition for the honour.

Elizabeth Hill, from Baslow in Derbyshire, won the chance to name and christen the 160,000-tonne Independence of the Seas.

Built in Finland, the 400m vessel will sail to and from Southampton.

Five times Olympic gold medallist Sir Steven Redgrave attended the naming ceremony.

Independence of the Seas
160,000 gross tonnage
4,375 passengers
336m (1,112 ft) long - more than three football pitches
Features include ice skating rink, climbing wall, surf simulator

Standing upright on its bow, the Independence of the Seas would dwarf the UK's tallest building London's One Canada Square at Canary Wharf which is 771ft tall (235m).

The ship, longer than three-and-a-half football pitches, boasts shops, restaurants and bars on a man-made "street" which is longer than the pitch at the new Wembley Stadium.

Independence of the Seas is expected to set sail on its maiden voyage on 2 May for a two-week cruise of the Mediterranean.

Last week, Cunard's three Queens - QE2, Queen Mary 2 and Queen Victoria - met in Southampton for the first and last time.

Independence of the Seas can take nearly 4,400 passengers.

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