Princess Cruises is celebrating the new name of its ship Ocean Princess (formerly Tahitian Princess) by extending an open invitation to anyone wishing to become an honorary godparent for the vessel, with the first-ever virtual christening.

In a new twist on the time-honored tradition, the naming ceremony will occur completely online, at Each new godparent will trigger a $1 donation from Princess to the New England Aquarium, a global leader in ocean exploration and marine conservation, up to $25,000.

One of the small ships of Princess, Ocean Princess – fresh out of a two-week drydock – departed Singapore today on the first voyage with her new name. The virtual christening will run throughout the ship’s 16-day Southeast Asia cruise, ending on Dec. 18.

“At the end of her current cruise, we hope to have a huge group of honorary godparents for Ocean Princess,” said Jan Swartz, Princess executive vice president. “In this digital age, we wanted to design a way that all our fans worldwide could be part of the celebration. But not only do we want to entertain people with this fun approach, we also want people to think about our oceans, and in doing so support the important work of the New England Aquarium.

In addition to virtually christening the ship and becoming an honorary godparent, participants will be able explore the following areas online:

* Honorary Godparents – Real-time collection of the names of Ocean Princess’ honorary godparents
* Ocean Princess Webcam – Live web cam from the ship
* Ocean Princess Itineraries – Link to Ocean Princess’ extensive list of itineraries
* About the New England Aquarium – Information about this renowned non-profit conservation and research organization
* Ocean Princess Drydock Photo Journal – Pictorial of the ship’s drydock in Singapore
* About Ocean Princess – Details about Ocean Princess and her offerings
* The Small Ships of Princess – Information about the small ships of Princess

In addition, people will be able to share their virtual Ocean Princess experience with friends and family, and encourage them to participate through send-to-friend and Facebook functions.

“We are delighted to be honored by Princess Cruises in this innovative and exciting program. Like Princess Cruises, the New England Aquarium strives to inspire and entertain people of all ages to the beauty and wonder of our world’s oceans,” said Bud Ris, president and CEO, New England Aquarium. “We hope this online event will introduce new audiences not only to the spectacular beauty of our oceans but also inspire new ocean stewards.”

During the ship’s recent drydock at the Keppel Shipyard in Singapore, the Ocean Princess name was placed on the bow and throughout the vessel. The ship also received new fuel-efficient silicone paint on its hull, and interior enhancements including new upholstery, carpet and flooring. The ship was renamed Ocean Princess to more accurately represent her global range of itineraries.

Swartz added, “As this ship begins her life with its new moniker, we would also like to congratulate Ocean Princess Captain Stefano Ravera and his crew, as the re-naming celebration is the cornerstone of our contribution to the important work of the New England Aquarium.”

Following its inaugural Treasures of the Southeast Asia cruise from Singapore to Shanghai, Ocean Princess will offer a season of unique Asia, India and Africa sailings, followed by a summer of European voyages.

Ocean Princess is a part of Princess’ fleet of small ships, which also includes Royal Princess and Pacific Princess. Offering a classic and intimate cruise experience, each small ship carries around 680 passengers and travels to more remote destinations around the world.