August 2, 2017

Some Cruise Liners Will Now Marry Gay Couples At Sea

P&O Cruises, part of the American-British cruise company Carnival is the first cruise line in the UK to be able to conduct same sex weddings at sea, with the first ceremony to be held in the Caribbean next January, followed by Carnival’s Cunard cruise line, which will offer same sex marriages from November 2018.  The new offering follows a landmark ruling earlier this year that legalised same sex marriages in Bermuda, where seven of P&O’s eight ships (apart from the Britannia, which is registered in Southampton), and all three of Cunard's ships are registered.
The first same sex wedding at sea will take place on board P&O’s Azura ship, which is registered in Hamilton, Bermuda. Wedding packages for P&O cruise ships are available from £1,200, while packages for Cunard’s Queen Mary 2 are offered from around £2,570 and from £2,117 for weddings on board Queen Elizabeth and Queen Victoria, which earlier this year received a £34million refurbishment.
The ceremonies will be carried out by the ship’s captain, while the marriage licenses will be issued by the government of Bermuda. 
Princess Cruises, which also operates under Carnival, is also reportedly planning to offer same sex marriages across its 13 ships registered in Bermuda, according to Cruise Critic, but has yet to reveal when. 
"We are currently 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," the company said in a statement. It has been more than three years since Britain legalised same sex marriages in 2014
“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,” Simon Palethorpe, senior vice president of Cunard, stated.
“Weddings at sea are very romantic and getting married by the captain in the middle of the ocean is an unforgettable experience,” Paul Ludlow, senior vice president of P&O Cruises, said.
It has been more than three years since Britain legalised same sex marriages in 2014, when gay couples from Brighton, Halifax and London tied the knot for the very first time on March 29 that year. They were closely followed by hundreds more couples in England; later the same year, Scotland followed suit by introducing new legislature.

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