Celebrity Cruises' newest ship - Celebrity Equinox - was officially named today in Southampton, England before an audience of press, travel agents and other special guests.
Bagpipes, drums and a piano rendition of the Beatles' classic "Here Comes the Sun" started off the ceremonies followed by the ceremony address, delivered by Richard D. Fain, chairman of Celebrity Cruises and chairman and CEO of parent company Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. Fain praised the ship’s Godmother Nina Barough, CBE (Commander of the British Empire), and founder of the breast cancer charity “Walk the Walk.”
“Her story, her outspoken devotion to breast cancer causes, and her day-to-day life is a compelling example of the need to take our health and well-being seriously,” said Fain. “And all this paints a lovely picture of why we are so honored to have her as our Godmother.”
Barough has been devoted to raising awareness and funds - $85 million to-date- for the cause through her organization's "SunWalks" and "MoonWalks." The four annual marathon walks in London, Edinburgh, Bristol and Newcastle attract thousands of people typically clad in decorated bras – the signature apparel for most participants.
A breast cancer survivor herself, Barough has also been honored at the “Pride of Britain Awards”, where she was named “Fundraiser of the Year.” In October 2008, Barough received the “Woman of the Year – Outstanding Achievement Award.”
At today's naming ceremony on Celebrity Equinox, in what is believed to be an industry first, Celebrity invited sister ship Celebrity Solstice’s Godmother Sharon Smith to participate. Smith took the stage by surprise to Barough, and both joined Fain to cut the ribbon – symbolically, pink, in recognition of breast cancer causes. The ribbon released a large bottle of champagne that crashed against the stack atop the ship, signifying the official naming of the vessel.