P&O officials and executives from Fincantieri's shipyard in Monfalcone will participate in ceremonies and then the 115,000-ton, 3,100-passenger ship will set sail for Southampton. That's its "home port".
Ventura will arrive into Southampton on Sunday 6 April, passing fleetmate Aurora in the Solent and arriving into the Mayflower Cruise Terminal at approximately 11 a.m.
Want to catch a glimpse?
Mark your calendar for April 6 and charge that digital camera!
P&O tells us that the best viewing points (so be sure to have your cameras ready!) and times are as follows:
8:55 a.m. -- Ryde and Portsmouth
9:05 a.m. -- Lee on Solent
9:05 a.m. -- Hill Head
9:20 a.m. -- Cowes
9:35 a.m. -- Calshot
9:45 a.m. -- Hamble
9:55 a.m. -- Passing Victoria Country Park
10:05 a.m. -- Hythe/Dock Head
10:15 a.m. -- Mayflower Park
11 a.m. -- Mayflower Cruise Terminal
While the ship is enroute, Ventura's staffers and crew will be hard at work putting on finishing touches so that the ship is ready for its arrival ceremonies -- and ten days of ensuing events -- once it reaches Southampton.
The biggest event of course is the ship's christening, which takes place on Wednesday, April 16. Actress Dame Helen Mirren will do the honours (with the help of SAS Marines to make sure that champagne bottle smashes!) before the ship embarks on its maiden Mediterranean cruise.
Stay tuned -- Cruise Critic will be on hand to report from the festivities.
--by Kelly Ranson, Associate Editor