August 1, 2017
(12:01 a.m. BST) -- Following a recent Supreme Court ruling allowing same-sex marriages in Bermuda, three Carnival Corp. cruise lines -- Princess Cruises, P&O Cruises and Cunard Line -- have revealed they are now taking bookings for same-sex marriages at sea.
The ruling permits any Bermuda-registered cruise ship offering weddings at sea packages the opportunity to offer same-sex ceremonies.
Ceremonies will be performed by the ship's captain or deputy captain, with marriage licenses issued by Bermuda.
P&O Cruises' Weddings at Sea packages start from £1,200 and the first same-sex ceremony is set to take place in the Caribbean onboard the 3,096-passenger Azura in January 2018.
P&O Cruises' senior vice president, Paul Ludlow, said: "I am delighted that following this much anticipated change in the legalities we are now the first British cruise line to be able to arrange same sex weddings onboard.
"Weddings at sea are very romantic and getting married by the Captain (or deputy captain) in the middle of the ocean is an unforgettable experience."
Cunard has offered Weddings at Sea packages for the past five years -- starting from $3,400 on Queen Mary 2 and $2,800 on Queen Elizabeth and Queen Victoria -- revealing it has already taken its first booking for a same-sex wedding at sea.
Cunard's senior vice president, Simon Palethorpe, said: "This is very welcome news for us and I am delighted that we have become one of the first British cruise lines to take a booking for a same-sex wedding. We look forward to welcoming this couple and many other couples too."
While Princess Cruises -- also part of Carnival Corp. -- has revealed it intends to offer same-sex marriages on its 13 Bermuda-registered ships.
In a statement, the line said: "We are currently working on developing a range of services and amenities to meet the needs of same sex couple ceremonies and will release full information on these shortly."
-- By Kerry Spencer, Editor, U.K.