One of the world’s best loved ballerinas, Darcey Bussell, will be Godmother to the latest and most sophisticated addition to the P&O Cruises fleet, the 115,000 ton ship, Azura.

Former Royal Ballet principal dancer Darcey, now resident in Sydney, Australia, will fly back to Britain next Spring with her family for Azura’s glittering naming ceremony, but exact details of the occasion are being kept a closely guarded secret until the day.

“I am so excited, honoured and, at the same time, somewhat filled with trepidation to be Godmother to Azura, as I know how significant the ceremony is viewed by the ship’s captain and crew”, said Darcey Bussell.

“Darcey Bussell epitomises glamour, sophistication and elegance, all qualities we have strived to achieve in Azura” said P&O Cruises managing director, Carol Marlow. “Azura will offer the service, quality and entertainment associated with cruising at its very best and as dance will play a key part in this, it is entirely fitting for Darcey to give Azura the best possible start in life.”

Over 1,200 invited guests will witness the naming ceremony on Azura’s top deck in Southampton Docks on Saturday, April 10, prior to the vessel’s maiden voyage, a 16 night cruise to the Central Mediterranean, which includes calls to Malaga, Corfu, Dubrovnik and Venice.

The stylish superliner will carry up to 3,100 passengers and 1226 crew, and boasts a dance floor in the centre of the spectacular atrium, 10 restaurants, including Sindhu, created by the first Indian chef to be awarded a coveted Michelin star, Atul Kochhar. A state of the art health and beauty spa with an open-air spa terrace; a giant cinema SeaScreen showing British film classics; a 750 seat live show theatre and separate nightclubs, plus a full range of daytime activities including sports courts, whirlpool spas and fully equipped gym, dance and art classes all offer non-stop entertainment.

The naming ceremony will benefit three international charities personally chosen by Darcey Bussell - The Royal Ballet School; The Sydney Opera Trust; and The Prince’s Rainforests Project.