Port of Barcelona was truly brighter than the sun on Monday, April 23 as the new Sun Princess was officially christened in a stunning ceremony befitting the first Sphere-class vessel.

Local officials, cruise line executives, VIPs, and more were in attendance to bring the new ship into the fleet with all the glamour of her heritage at a naming ceremony that also included time-honored maritime traditions.

While she has already been welcoming guests for several weeks since her maiden voyage began on February 28, 2024, it wasn’t until Monday, April 23, that Sun Princess was officially christened at a lavish ceremony in Barcelona, Spain.

The ceremony included remarks from executives and traditional elements, including blessings for the vessel and good wishes for all who sail on her during what will hopefully be a long and distinguished service life.

The event was held onboard the ship while visiting Barcelona, with actor and magician Michael Carbonaro as master of ceremonies. Also in attendance were various celebrities and notable personalities, including Tyra Banks, Romero Britto, Randy Fenoli, Jeff Corwin, Rob Floyd, and beloved original “Love Boat” cast members Jill Whelan (Vicki Stubing), Ted Lange (Isaac), and Bernie Kopell (Doc).

Sun Princess Cruise Ship

English singer Natasha Bedingfield also held a performance onboard for the occasion, performing several hits for enthusiastic audiences.

Sun Princess‘s godmother, award-winning actress and performer Hannah Waddingham, had the honor of officially proclaiming the ship’s name and releasing the celebratory bottle of champagne to smash against the vessel for good fortune.

“I name this ship Sun Princess. May God bless her and all who sail on her,” Waddingham said at the moment of the christening.

Waddingham herself has deep connections to nautical traditions, as her grandfather served in the Royal Navy during World War II and she grew up with weekends spent boating in Dunkirk.

“As much as theatre has always rippled through my bloodstream so too has a strong, historic familial connection with the Royal Navy and all things nautical,” said Waddingham. “It is therefore such a great privilege to have been asked to act as Godmother to the Sun Princess, first of her class. I can’t quite believe it.”

Sun Princess naming Ceremony (Photo Courtesy: Princess Cruises)

Waddingham is best known for her role as Rebecca Welton in “Ted Lasso” as well as appearances in “Game of Thrones” and “Benidorm” among other television shows and movies. She has received many notable awards for her work, including a Primetime Emmy, Critics Choice Television Award, and Screen Actors Guild Award, plus Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild nominations.

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“Hannah is globally admired and adored for her immense talent and determination. Those qualities coupled with her family’s deep connection and love for the sea make her the perfect godmother for our sensational new Sun Princess,” said John Padgett, Princess Cruises president.

“We are honored that she has joined us for this pinnacle moment, and that she will remain a treasured part of the ship’s legacy forever.”

The long-awaited Sun Princess is bringing forth a new era for Princess Cruises with the innovative Sphere class. Among the new features onboard are unprecedented culinary opportunities such as Makoto Ocean, Spellbound by Magic Castle, The Butcher’s Block by Dario, and The Catch by Rudi.

The Princess Arena – where the naming ceremony was held – is the most technologically advanced theater at sea, offering a variety of performances on every sailing, including mesmerizing Cirque Éloize acrobatic productions.

The ship is also home to the largest casino in the Princess Cruises’ fleet, a two-story Lotus Spa, an expanded high-end retail area, and so much more.

The 175,000-gross-ton vessel can welcome 4,300 guests onboard, and is the largest vessel ever constructed for Princess Cruises. The first Princess ship to be powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG), she is currently offering a diverse selection of Mediterranean itineraries through the summer, and will make her first transatlantic crossing to homeport at Fort Lauderdale from mid-October 2024.

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