Cruise News Daily Newsfile
June 26, 2009

Another P&O Ship Hits the Water

Fincantieri floated out the final vessel P&O currently has on order, Azura, at their Monfalcone (Italy) yard this morning. The wife of P&O Captain Keith Dowds, Amanda Dowds, acted as the madrina or godmother for the ceremony. She is shown here welding a newly-minted two pound coin and a new euro coin into the ship's mast, a traditional sign of good luck. 

As part of the traditional ceremony, a priest blessed the ship as a bottle of Italian Prosecco smashed against the hull. The ship will be officially named in Southampton in April before setting out on her maiden voyage on April 12, 2010. 

Once the 115,000-ton vessel had been blessed, the valves were opened and the water rushed into the giant building dock, marking the first time water has touched the hull. It will take about 24 hours to fill the dock, and then Azura will be towed to the completion dock where it will remain during the rest of the outfitting process. Azura is a sister to Ventura which was delivered last year. 

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