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Wednesday, March 11, 2015, 12:52

Queen Elizabeth II names new cruise ship 'Britannia'

By Agencies
Queen Elizabeth II names new cruise ship 'Britannia'

Britain's Queen Elizabeth (center)and Prince Philip (left) sit with Captain Paul Brown during the christening ceremony of P&O's new cruise liner "Britannia", in Southampton, southern England March 10, 2015. (Photo / Agencies)

LONDON - The Queen Elizabeth II on Tuesday officially named a new cruise ship Britannia in Southampton.

With a capacity of 3,600 passengers and about 1,500 crew, the giant vessel is the largest cruise ship designed specifically for the British market, according to its operator P&O.

It said the ship cost nearly 500 million pounds($754.37 million), and was built in Italy. It sailed back to its home port in Southampton last week.

The Queen was accompanied by Prince Philip on Tuesday, and the ceremony was launched at about midday. The new ship became the fifth cruise ship that named by the Queen.

With 15 passenger decks, 13 bars and 13 restaurants, four swimming pools and nine entertainment venues, the vessel, which adorned with a version of the Union Jack on its bow, will make her maiden voyage to Spain, Italy and France on March 14.

The new ship bears the same name of a former Royal Yacht, which was decommissioned in 1997 after more than 40 year of service.

Queen Elizabeth II names new cruise ship 'Britannia'

Britain's Queen Elizabeth looks at cakes and sweets on the patisserie counter with chefs Marco Pierre White (left) and James Martin, on board P&O's new cruise liner "Britannia", during the ship's official christening in Southampton, southern England March 10, 2015. (Photo / Agencies)

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