Page last updated at 16:12 GMT, Saturday, 24 April 2010 17:12 UK

Naming ceremony for rescue liner Celebrity Eclipse

ity Eclipse arriving in Southampton on Tuesday
The ship will be named by yachtswoman Emma Pontin

A £500m cruise ship which postponed its inaugural celebrations to rescue people stranded by the volcanic ash cloud has been named at a rescheduled ceremony.

The Celebrity Eclipse returned from Spain on Friday carrying 2,200 tourists whose flights had been cancelled because of the Icelandic eruption.

The naming ceremony took place in Southampton on Saturday.

The event was led by ocean-racing yachtswoman Emma Pontin, who has been appointed the ship's godmother.

Southampton City Council held a free fun day to mark the occasion in Mayflower Park.

Overnight journeys

The cruise liner arrived back in Southampton just before 1700 BST on Friday, having left Bilbao on Thursday afternoon.

The tourists - many of whom had been stranded for up to seven days - had endured overnight coach journeys of up to 16 hours to get to the northern Spanish port.

The Thomson cruise ship Island Escape came from Madeira with 1,400 passengers and docked in Falmouth.

Flights into and out of the UK and several other European countries were suspended on 15 April after the volcanic eruption in Iceland.

Air traffic control service Nats introduced the restrictions due to volcanic ash in the atmosphere which it said was "simply too dangerous for jet engines to risk commercial flights encountering it".



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Cruise ship tourists arrive home
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On board Eclipse's rescue cruise
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