Ireland will follow in the footsteps of godmothers of Carnival ships such as Dr. Sally Ride, the astronaut (Carnival Glory), legendary British thespian Dame Judi Dench (Carnival Legend), and actress Mira Corvine (Carnival Liberty).
Ireland's role as godmother for Carnival Freedom will involve the traditional Champagne bottle-smash across the ship's bow. The naming ceremony will take place in Venice on March 4.
Ireland was chosen for her varied successes in the fields of modeling, business and philanthropy. As a model, Ireland's mug appeared on the covers of numerous magazines, ranging from Harper's Bazaar to Sports Illustrated (swimsuit issue, natch).
In business, Ireland is chief designer and CEO of Kathy Ireland Worldwide; the Los Angeles-based company produces products that are aimed at families and range from window coverings and bedding to office furniture and hand-painted porcelains. And in good causes? Ireland's active in the Special Olympics, Feed the Children's annual food and toy drive for underprivileged kids, and is the Entertainment Industry Foundation's Ambassador for Women's Health Issues.
In her spare time she's married to an emergency room physician and is the mother of three kids.
Carnival Freedom debuts on March 5 from Venice. The ship, which will homeport in Rome for the rest of the European season, will offer a series of Mediterranean and Greek Isles cruises, before heading to the Caribbean in mid-November 2007.
--by Carolyn Spencer Brown, Editor