With the new monarch, King Charles III, set to be coronated in a dazzling ceremony on Saturday, May 6 at Westminster Abbey, spectacular celebrations are being planned up and down the land … and at sea.
Princess Cruises was the first line to announce its plans for the celebratory weekend, with other lines following with street party-style festivities, royal-themed talks and trivia among the programming.
Find out what the cruise lines are doing to mark King Charles III’s coronation below. We will update this article as cruise lines reveal their coronation weekend plans.
Ship: Ambience What’s happening: Ambassador Cruise Line will celebrate the King's coronation a few weeks after the event with a special 12-night "Round Britain Royal Cruise" departing June 1 from London Tilbury. The sailing will feature a guest speaker programme designed to offer an insight into the Royal family, including Gary Conniff MSM is a former Royal Navy Warrant Officer First Class and royal photographer Ken Lennox. Onboard programming will also include a Rule Britannia street party, special Royal-theme gala nights, a Great British sailaway party, a Royal Afternoon tea and themed crafting workshops with Sandie Izatt.
Ships: Celebrity Silhouette
What's happening? Celebrity Cruises' Southampton-based Celebrity Silhouette will celebration the King's coronation during a 10-night Spain, Portugal & France cruise that departs May 3. Passengers can expect high tea accompanied by music from the String Duo, and a Pimms Coronation cocktail party on the lawn with live music. Silhouette will also host a Proms featuring an orchestra in the Grand Foyer, as well as broadcasting live coverage of the coronation, a Coronation Street Party and a coronation parade across the ship. At the kids' clubs, children can join in royal-themed activities, including a scavenger hunt, crown making and royal trivia.
This sailing marks the beginning of Celebrity Silhouette’s fifth and final season homeporting from the UK.
Ship: Queen Mary 2 What’s happening: Cunard Line has assembled a special last-minute cruise aboard Queen Mary 2 that will take place from 2-7 May 2023. The special Coronation Voyage will go on sale on 27 April and will offer a special Coronation Dinner, cocktails inspired by King Charles' favorite ingredients, special musical performances that celebrate the best of Britain, and a live broadcast of the Coronation on 6 May played onboard. The 5-night sailing departs Southampton and calls on Cunard's historic homeport of Liverpool.
In addition, fleetwide celebrations will include coronation-themed street parties in Grand lobbies, British bands-themed karaoke, complimentary glasses of Champagne to guests in the main dining venues for a toast to the King, as well as keepsake coronation menu cards.
Ships: Bolette and Balmoral What’s happening? Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines has celebrations planned on Bolette and Balmoral based in Northern Europe during the coronation weekend. Bolette, sailing a 10-night Historical Old Towns of Northern Europe cruise, departing Newcastle on May 3, and Balmoral, on a nine-night Scenic Isles of Scotland cruise, departing Southampton on May 3, will feature a British Night including special menu and production show, a street fayre/deck party, special commemorative cakes and cocktails, pub-style buffets and snacks, plus guest speakers to talk about the Royal event.
Ships: Fleetwide, including Britannia, which was christened by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in 2015
What's happening? Arguably the most popular cruise line for Brits and the one with most ships homeporting in the U.K., P&O Cruises will be celebrating the King's coronation with various events, activities and themed menus. The ceremony will be streamed in various venues around the ships with details advertised in each ship's respective daily newspaper. The line's evening entertainment will have a red, white and blue theme and there will be a selection of speciality British cocktails and drinks available across all bars with a Coronation theme. There'll also be a Coronation Big Lunch, with games, live music and royal-inspired light bites, plus The Big Help Out, with passengers asked to celebrate P&O Cruises charity partner, Teenage Cancer Trust, by signing up to a 5km Trek the Deck challenge.
P&O Cruises is also offering cruise deals, including up to £100 off per person based on a balcony cabin, £70 off per person on sea view cabins and £50 off per person on inside cabins on select seven-night voyages departing between October 2023 and November 2024 when booked by May 9, 2023.
Ships: Sky Princess and Regal Princess What’s Happening? Princess Cruises' U.K.-based ships will celebrate the crowning of King Charles III next month with live coverage of "The Coronation Service at Westminster" and “The Coronation Concert at Windsor Castle” shown on the 300-square-foot 'Movies Under the Stars' screen. Each ship's top deck will see The Biggest Street Party replicated, while a Royal Afternoon Tea will be served onboard with Victoria sponge cake. Pimms and strawberries will be served on the top deck and favourite British fare such as fish and chips, sausage rolls, and trifle will be available in World Fresh Marketplace.
Between May 3-5 onboard Regal Princess and between 6-13 May on Sky Princess, Grant Harrold, former butler of the King, will appear as a guest speaker. Harrold is a former British Royal Household member and a leading etiquette expert, royal commentator and broadcaster. In addition, the Piazza on both ships will be adorned with banners and buntings in the Royal colours and passengers will be encouraged to wear the Royal red, white and blue for a special dress up night. On Sky Princess an array of Coronation-themed entertainment will also take place, including a special Royal Variety Show featuring a tribute to Elton John performed in the Princess Theatre, as well as Royal Trivia in Princess Live!
Ships: Fleetwide What's happening? Across the Marella fleet, there will be cakes, fizz and a celebratory feel. The King's coronation will be broadcasted on May 6 in the Broadway Show Lounge for passengers to watch. Pool decks will decorated with a British theme, there will be afternoon tea-style nibbles and snacks and a band playing. Some British-themed arts and craft sessions. including union Jack decorating and create a crown, will also be on the programme.
Ships: UK-based MSC Virtuosa
What's happening? Festivities onboard Southampton-based MSC Virtuosa include a Coronation Gala Dinner with a host of special one-off British dishes served onboard. Passengers can sample the King’s Summer Pudding, a clotted ice-cream dessert served with a wild berry compote, plus pasties, bangers and mash, fish and chips, plus high tea at the buffet restaurant. A giant 'crown cake' will be on display in the onboard Infinity Atrium, the ship will be adorned with bunting, Union Jacks and various other themed decorations and the coronation will be broadcast live for guests to watch across the ship.
Ship: Spirit of Discovery
What's happening? In honour of the coronation of His Majesty King Charles and also Queen Camilla, the Godmother of Spirit of Discovery, Saga Cruises plans a series of special events on the 999-passenger. Departing from Portsmouth on, Coronation Day (May 6) on a 15-night cruise of Spain and the Balearics, the ship will offer coverage of the event, screened in the Playhouse Theatre. Sparkling wine from Kent's Balfour Estate will be served all day, a specially created cocktail, the English Garden Martini, will also be served to celebrate the special occasion in a nod to Kent, Saga's home, along with other Pimm's and lemonade and Buck's Fizz.
The Orpheus Male Voice Choir will perform before the ship departs at 5 p.m. at which time guests will be invited to the ship’s decks for the singing of the National Anthem and to toast Their Majesties King Charles and Queen Camilla, with Union Jack flags adorning the ship. Coronation quiche will be on the menu and the entertainment team will put on a special Coronation Celebration Show followed by a party in the ship’s Britannia Lounge.