Celebrity Cruises today announced that Nina Barough, CBE (Commander of the British Empire), founder of the UK-based charity, “Walk the Walk,” will serve as Godmother of Celebrity Equinox, the second in Celebrity’s lauded Solstice Class fleet.
Barough will officially name the ship in Southampton, England, during the formal naming ceremony July 29, culminating in a large bottle of champagne custom-made by The Corning Museum of Glass crashing against the hull of the 2,850-guest ship.
Celebrity selected Barough in recognition of her fervent devotion to raising awareness of breast cancer and her tremendous success in raising funds for the cause – $85-million to-date – through Walk the Walk’s “SunWalks” and “MoonWalks.” The four annual marathon walks in London, Edinburgh, Bristol and Newcastle attract thousands of women typically clad in decorated bras – the signature apparel for most participants. A fair number of men also participate in the walks.
“Nina is an outstanding leader, business person, and fundraiser, but what is perhaps most impressive, and certainly most inspiring, is her tireless devotion to breast cancer causes,” said Richard D. Fain, Chairman of Celebrity Cruises and Chairman and CEO of parent company Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.
“We are honored to have as Godmother of Celebrity Equinox someone whose work has benefited so many battling breast cancer, and whose personal triumph over the disease has inspired and encouraged thousands of women, men and families in the UK and beyond,” said Celebrity Cruises President & CEO Dan Hanrahan.
A breast cancer survivor herself, Barough’s numerous other life achievements include receiving a CBE for her contributions to health care through the British “New Year Honours” in December 2006. More recently, she was recognized at the “Pride of Britain Awards” (September 2008), where she was named “Fundraiser of the Year.” And in October 2008, Barough was honored once again; this time, with the “Woman of the Year – Outstanding Achievement Award” in recognition of her willpower, spirit and courage.
“I am extremely excited to serve as this fantastic ship’s Godmother, and look forward to presiding over such a meaningful and celebratory ceremony,” said Barough. “I feel blessed to be given this opportunity to raise the profile of our charity through my association with Celebrity Cruises, and very honored to name a vessel as gorgeous as Celebrity Equinox.”
Celebrity Equinox enters service July 31 from Southampton on an eight-night Norwegian Fjords cruise, then returns to Southampton to embark on the ship’s official maiden voyage departing August 8 for the Mediterranean. The ship will present a series of Mediterranean sailings from Rome (Civitavecchia) through the fall and will offer Caribbean sailings from Fort Lauderdale, Fla., beginning this winter.