P&O Welcome the Azura to their Fleet

P&O cruises held a nightlong celebration to welcome their brand new ship, the Azura to their fleet. Ballerina, Darcey Bussell was there to officially name the ship, performing in the dance-themed ceremony around the pool on the Azura.

Over 1,200 guests attended the launch, including VIP’s, Executives from the industry, and the media. Despite the cold weather, the night was enjoyed by all and many of the guests stuck to the black, white and gold them of the cruise line.

Sir Trevor McDonald made a surprise appearance, and welcomed the new ship into the fleet. The Royal Ballet School also made an appearance, performing a version of the Sailor’s Hornpipe, which the crowds went wild for.

The final act of the night was Bussell herself, wearing a magnificent Jasper Conran dress, Bussell performed with the Captain Keith Dowds to officially name the ship. A bottle of Taittinger was smashed against the ship and Bussell cut the ribbon to officially launch the Azura.

In the Oriental restaurant, Olly Smith, the ship’s wine expert joined the Captain and Darcy Bussell at the top table. Also at the top table, was Michelin-starred chef Atul Kochar who is the brains behind the gourmet Indian Restaurant, Sindhu on the ship.

Azura will be departing on its maiden voyage, bound for the med on Monday. It will then start a summer season of cruises from Southampton.


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Claire has worked in the travel industry since leaving college in 1994. One of this blog's most regular contributors, Claire covers cruise news and industry trends.

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