Dame Helen Mirren christens Scenic Eclipse in New York

Oscar-winning actress Dame Helen Mirren officially named Scenic Eclipse in New York yesterday (Tuesday), hailing the “discovery yacht” the “first ship of its kind”.

Mirren said it meant a “huge amount” to be chosen as godmother and was “excited” her first ever cruise would be on Eclipse.

Mirren smashed the ceremonial bottle of champagne over the ship’s stern at the ceremony in front of staff, trade partners and press at Manhatten Terminal before setting sail on a five-day christening cruise to Canada.

“I’ve played lots of roles in my career, but I don’t have to play a role here as I get to become a real-life godmother of the world’s first discovery yacht,” she said.

She added: “I have no doubt this will change how we travel to the polar regions…it’s the first ship of its kind equipped with truly state of the art technology and luxury usually found on a billionaire’s yacht.”

Mirren also praised the ship’s green credentials and the crew on board.

The launch of the 228-passenger ship was delayed three times following issues with the shipyard in Croatia where it was being built, including strikes and later going bankrupt.

The line was forced to step in and take the lead in completing the build at one point using 500 subcontractors.

Scenic founder and chairman Glen Moroney thanked agents for their patience.

“Our trade partners who have stuck with us – they have taken a bit of abuse from customers but they knew we would get there in the end, so thank you,” he said.

The ship, Scenic’s first foray into ocean cruising, has been dubbed the “world’s most luxurious cruise ship” and features two helicopters and a submarine.

The ship will offer cruises in the Americas, Antarctica, the Arctic and Europe.

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