Nina Barough CBE, founder of the UK-based charity, "Walk the Walk," and godmother of the Celebrity Equinox, officially named the cruise ship in Southampton, England, during a formal naming ceremony which culminated in a large bottle of champagne custom-made by The Corning Museum of Glass crashing against the hull of the 2,850-guest ship.
Celebrity Cruises selected Barough in recognition of her fervent devotion to raising awareness of breast cancer and her tremendous success in raising funds for the cause - GBP52-million to-date - through Walk the Walk's "SunWalks" and "MoonWalks." The four annual marathon and half marathon walks in London, Edinburgh, Bristol and Newcastle attract thousands of women typically clad in decorated bras - the signature apparel for most participants. Men also participate in the walks.
"Nina is an outstanding leader, business person, and fundraiser, but what is perhaps most impressive, and certainly most inspiring, is her tireless devotion to breast cancer causes," said Richard D. Fain, chairman of Celebrity Cruises and chairman and CEO of parent company Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.
A breast cancer survivor herself, Barough's numerous other life achievements include receiving a CBE for her contributions to health care in December 2006. More recently, she was recognised at the "Pride of Britain Awards" (September 2008), where she was named "Fundraiser of the Year." And in October 2008, Barough was honoured once again; this time, with the "Woman of the Year - Outstanding Achievement Award" in recognition of her willpower, spirit and courage.
Celebrity Equinox entered service from Southampton on an eight-night Norwegian Fjords cruise then returned to Southampton to embark on the ship's official maiden voyage for the Mediterranean. The ship will present a series of Mediterranean sailings from Rome (Civitavecchia) through the fall and will offer Caribbean sailings from Fort Lauderdale beginning this winter.