(12:15 p.m. EST) -- With Malta's Baroque city of Valetta as its backdrop, Seabourn's newest cruise ship -- Seabourn Ovation -- was officially christened on Friday by godmother, English actress and singer Elaine Paige OBE.
Highlights of the celebration, which took place during Seabourn Ovation's maiden sailing, included a live performance by Paige and traditional breaking of a Champagne bottle against the side of the ship. The event was broadcast on a large viewing screen onboard, for passengers and other invited attendees to enjoy.
In addition to the godmother's blessing, passengers were treated to a full orchestra ensemble on the pool deck and evening fireworks show. Those onboard also witnessed the debut of Seabourn's new anthem titled, "We Sail to See the Lives of Others," written by author and award-winning lyricist, Tim Rice, with whom the line has an entertainment partnership.
Learn more about Seabourn Ovation in Cruise Critic's report from the ship's first sailing, after leaving the shipyard.
"The launch of Seabourn Ovation brings us to a new era for Seabourn where we further reinforce our position as the newest, most consistent fleet in the ultra-luxury cruise category," Richard Meadows, president of Seabourn, said during the ceremony, according to the line's statement.
"The ship is another major step forward in the growth of Seabourn and an opportunity for us to provide guests with the finest luxury travel experience available at sea today. Like her sisters in our fleet, Seabourn Ovation is such a beautiful ship, and I know that guests and cruise industry observers are going to be very impressed from the moment they step on board."
Seabourn Ovation's maiden voyage, which departed from Venice on May 5, concludes tomorrow in Barcelona. The ship will then spend the summer sailing Northern Europe, before repositioning to Asia for a series of 14-night cruises between Singapore and Hong Kong.
Like its fleetmate Seabourn Encore, Ovation ship carries 600 passengers and is designed by Adam D. Tihany; it features spacious cabins and multiple dining venues, and bars and lounges.
--By Gina Kramer, Editor