P&O Cruises said Wednesday that it would move ahead with plans to hold a public naming contest for an upcoming 5,200-passenger newbuild.
The firm told the Guardian that it had wanted to hold the contest long before the UK Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) famously abandoned its own call for nominations. In that poll, the internet-voting public overwhelmingly concluded that NERC should call its new polar research vessel the "RRS Boaty McBoatface," an option which won more votes than all of the other top ten choices combined. Despite the name's online prominence, UK science minister Jo Johnson opted for the more conventional RRS Sir David Attenborough instead.
Naturally, "Boaty McBoatface" was swiftly revived on Twitter as a leading option for P&O's new cruise ship. Social media consensus also favored a number of variants on the theme, notably:
- Floaty McFloatface
- Shippy McShipface
- Cruisy McCruiseface
- Brexit McBrexitface
- and Harambe McGorillaface, after a beloved zoo animal.
Some of the suggestions were less flattering, including recommendations for:
- Jumpy McBandwagon
- HMS Social Media Gimmick (proposed by the Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust)
- Floaty McNorovirus
- and Mistakey Mistakeface.
While P&O may find that the most popular names online are not commercially viable offline, traditional media quickly suggested that the cruise operator may benefit from publicity thanks to the notoriety of the earlier NERC naming contest.
The official search for the vessel's name will begin next year, and delivery is expected in 2020.
The opinions expressed herein are the author's and not necessarily those of The Maritime Executive.