Luxury cruise ship line Cunard switches to Bermuda registry
Happy couples on board Cunard Line ships will be able to tie the knot out on the open sea, after the UK-registered cruise company officially made the switch to Bermudas shipping registry.
The Island has won out over Malta as the port of choice in Cunards bid to net the lucrative market in weddings at sea.
Under UK law, couples can marry only while ships are in port, and with a minister or notary public performing the honours but Bermudas regulations allow a captain to officiate out at sea.
This also means that Hamilton will shortly replace Southampton on the sterns of the companys vessels.
Cunard is wasting no time, with the Queen Elizabeth to sign on Bermudas books on October 24, followed by the Queen Victoria on October 27 and the Queen Mary 2 on December 1.
The move was hailed by Transport Minister Terry Lister as a vote of confidence in the Bermuda registry.
It will bring hundreds of thousands extra in annual fees, to a registry that already takes in about $3 million a year.
Not everyone is pleased with the move, however, with an online chorus of disapproval following the announcement in the UK.
Cunard has been UK-registered for the last 171 years, but has said it will continue to use Southampton as its home port.