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Flotilla to welcome Royal Princess

The Royal Princess will arrive at the Ocean Terminal in Southampton Credit: ITV Meridian

The new cruise ship the Royal Princess will be met by a flotilla of boats as she arrives on her maiden voyage into Southampton.

The ship will be met by a special rendition of God Save the Queen as she sails down the Solent.

The 3,600-passenger Royal Princess is a new-generation ship. Among the special features found on board will be a top-deck glass-bottomed walkway extending 28 feet beyond the edge of the ship.

Royal Princess will arrive at the Ocean Terminal in Southampton on Friday 7th June where she will commence a series of events, including a special naming gala on the evening of Wednesday 12th June. The ship's inaugural celebrations will conclude with her maiden voyage on 16th June.

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  1. Mike Pearse

Newest cruise liner 'Royal Princess' almost complete

Thousands of construction workers, carpenters, decorators and others are in a race against time to complete 'Royal Princess', the massive new cruise ship for Southampton, ahead of her naming ceremony in June.

The cruise liner will be officially named by Kate, Duchess of Cambridge in Southampton in a fortnight. The liner is due to leave the shipyard in Italy on Friday, heading to Hampshire for the launch ceremony. Our correspondent Mike Pearse reports. The interviewee is the ship's Captain, Tony Draper.

Duchess of Cambridge to name Southampton ship

The Duchess of Cambridge Credit: Princess Cruises

The Duchess of Cambridge is to officially name a new cruise liner in Southampton this summer.

Kate, whose baby is due in mid-July, will visit the city on June 13 for the naming ceremony of Princess Cruises' 3,600-passenger Royal Princess.

The ceremony will involve a blessing, the celebratory tradition of smashing a bottle over the hull of the ship and a performance by the Royal Marines Band and the Irish Guards.

The Duchess will also go on board for a brief tour of the new liner which will leave on its maiden voyage on June 16.

Princess Cruises' president and chief executive Alan Buckelew said today: "It is a great honour for Princess Cruises that Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Cambridge has accepted our invitation to become the Godmother to Royal Princess.

"We are delighted that the Duchess will launch our new ship and can think of no better way to celebrate our company's British heritage and our commitment to the country."

The Royal Princess will go on Mediterranean cruises this summer followed by Eastern Caribbean cruises beginning in the autumn.