Bermuda-logged ships offer same-sex marriage
Same-sex weddings will take place on British cruise ships for the first time as a result of this year's landmark ruling in the Bermuda Supreme Court.
P & O Cruises, part of the American-British cruise company Carnival Corporation, will hold its first ceremony next January aboard the Bermuda-registered Azura, according to reports in the British media. Carnival's Cunard cruise line will offer same-sex marriages from November next year, and Carnival's Princess Cruises will do likewise from an unspecified date.
The ceremonies will be carried out by the ship's captain, The Telegraph reports, while the marriage licences will be issued by the Bermuda Government.
Seven P & O ships, three Cunard ships and 13 Princess ships are registered in Bermuda, where Bermudian Winston Godwin and his Canadian fiancé Greg DeRoche won the right to marry this May.
Paul Ludlow, senior vice-president of P & O Cruises, said in Cruise Critic: “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 on board.”
He added in The Telegraph: “Weddings at sea are very romantic and getting married by the captain in the middle of the ocean is an unforgettable experience.”
Simon Palethorpe, senior vice-president of Cunard, 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.”
Princess Cruises said in a statement: “We are 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.”
Some British cruise lines switched their ships' registration to Bermuda in October 2011 to benefit from regulations here allowing couples to wed at sea.
Under British law, couples can marry only while ships are in port.