Sophia Loren, Dame Helen Mirren, Christie Brinkley, the Duchess of Cornwall… Godparents of cruise ships have always been notoriously glamorous.

And now, Tui River Cruises is giving anyone, not just the rich and famous, the chance to become a godparent of one of its beautiful ships with its latest competition.

For the first time ever, the river cruise line has opened up applications outside of the organisation for these special honorary positions. Successful candidates will become godparents to ships Tui Isla and Tui Maya ahead of their inaugural sailings in March.

There is a long-standing ancient maritime custom of appointing godparents to bring good luck and protection to new ships and they are often chosen for qualities that mirror the spirit of the ships they represent.

Tui River Cruises is seeking applicants with an insatiable desire to explore and discover new things, from reading about destinations to discovering new sights. The line will be accepting applications from anyone over the age of 18 with an explorer’s mindset.

To be in with a chance to win, all successful candidates need to do is explain in less than 400 words what exploring means to them. (Small tip: any appreciation of waterways is an advantage, but not essential).

Godparent duties will include providing expert opinion on the exploration credentials of a Tui River Cruises, with a particular focus on the excursion programme and they will be asked to make personal recommendations for customers.

They will also need to be available to attend the exclusive launch ceremony and officially christen their ships in March 2020.

Finally, they will also need to carry out ‘river testing’, whereby they and a travel companion will try out a further two selected itineraries later this year to feedback their views and make their ‘godparent recommendations’.

Managing director of cruise, Chris Hackney, said:

“Tui River Cruises has given us an opportunity to start new traditions and having our godparent’s role live beyond the launch event with them, ‘river testing’ some of our itineraries and making ‘Godparent Recommendations’, will be invaluable.

It’s also really exciting for us to be opening up the search far and wide. Traditionally a ship’s godparent is a godmother, but this role is open to anybody over 18 – they just need an explorer’s mindset.

“Exploration means something different to each and every one of us. It may mean discovering an unknown beach in an exotic location to some, whereas for others it’s as simple as finding new paths to walk in the woods, visiting new destinations on their doorstep or the thrill of taking a selfie at a world-famous landmark.

“We’re not looking for extreme mountain trekkers or arctic explorers, but ordinary people who are curious, open-minded and like to travel.”

Applicants must upload a cover letter and enter their details at tui.co.uk/river-cruises/godparents. Shortlisted applicants will partake in a Skype interview with the selected candidates informed by 26 February 2020.

Duties will kick off in Amsterdam on 23 March at the launch party.

Tui River Cruises will be launching three adult-only ships in March, with applications also open for colleagues within the business to be the godparent of Tui Skyla.