Shirley Robertson. Credit: Ambassador Cruise Line

Olympic gold medallist named Godmother of Ambassador Cruise Line's Ambition

Author: Lucy Abbott

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Shirley Robertson OBE, an Olympic gold medallist, has been named Godmother of Ambassador Cruise Line's second ship Ambition.

Ambassador Cruise Line has announced the Godmother of the line's second no-fly ship as Shirley Robertson.

Shirley will name Ambition at an official ceremony in Newcastle on 11 May 2023 before joining the ship for the first night of its inaugural 14 nights 'Hidden Gems of France and Spain' sailing.

As the first British woman to win gold medals at two consecutive Olympic Games, Shirley is a well-known face within the sport of sailing.

She was also named World Sailor of the Year by the International Sailings Federation in 2000 and appointed MBE in the same year and OBE five years later in 2005.

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Ambassador Cruise Line's Ambition

Shirley Robertson OBE said: “I was drawn to Ambassador from the very first contact - I love their passion for quality service and their drive to look for sustainable options at every turn.

"I’m also a big fan of holidays that don’t involve the stress of airports and love the beauty and variety our very own coastline offers. Being at sea, and the excitement of arriving somewhere by sea, is very special.

"I’m very much looking forward to being a regular on Ambition and partnering with the dynamic team at Ambassador – I can’t wait.”

Ambassador Cruise Line's newest ship Ambition is set to carry up to 1,200 passengers across 714 cabins - with 125 of these having balconies and 113 being suites.

There will be two main dining venues onboard alongside speciality dining options, a bistro café, four bars, lounges and a wine bar.

The ship will sail from an additional siz regional ports in the UK during her inaugural year - including London Tilbury, Dundee, Liverpool, Belfast, Bristol and Falmouth.

Shirley was named as Godmother at the Ambassador Cruise Line event. Credit: Ambassador Cruise Line

Ambassador Cruise Line's CEO Christian Verhounig said: “As one of the most recognisable faces in sailing, there seemed no better fit for Ambition’s Godmother than Shirley Robertson.

As a trailblazer for women in the sport, not only is she passionate about all things nautical, but Shirley’s story is an inspiration to us all.

What’s more, with the launch of our second ship we are also announcing cruise departures from seven regional UK ports, including Shirley's hometown of Dundee."

Ambience is the debut cruise ship from Ambassador. Credit: Ambassador Cruise Line

Why do cruise ships have Godmothers?

It is a longstanding tradition within the cruise industry for each new ship to be appointed a Godmother.

The role of the Godmother is to bring good luck and protection to a ship for all future sailings.

The christening ceremony that the Godmother attends ceremony consists of the breaking of a bottle of champagne on the hull of the ship.

Typical Godmothers are female celebrities, royalty and sportswomen.

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About Lucy Abbott

Lucy is a cruise journalist who has sailed on a variety of ships, from expedition to river – with her favourite being expedition cruising.

Lucy is interested in new sustainable ways to cruise as well as how cruising is becoming accessible for all.

She works together with Kaye Holland to keep the World of Cruising website up to date with all the latest cruise news.