It’s a job normally reserved for movie stars, entertainers or royalty. But on Tuesday, the role of christening the year’s most notable new cruise ship will be filled by a celebrity of a different sort: the youngest-ever winner of the Nobel Peace Prize.
Twenty-one-year-old Pakistani activist Malala Yousafzai, who was awarded the prize in 2014 when she was just 17, will serve as godmother Tuesday afternoon when the first new Celebrity Cruises ship in six years, Celebrity Edge, is christened in Florida.
She’s the first Nobel Prize winner to christen a cruise ship.
Yousafzai will preside over a christening ceremony at Fort Lauderdale’s Port Everglades hosted by interior designer, author and television personality Nate Berkus, who is a Celebrity brand ambassador. The event also will include a performance by Grammy Award-nominated singer/songwriter Andra Day.
The much-awaited, 2,918-passenger vessel then will depart Port Everglades on a two-night, non-revenue preview voyage for invited guests.
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Celebrity is in the midst of a two-year partnership with Yousafzai’s Malala Fund, which has as its mission securing safe and free quality education for girls.
Yousafzai began her life as an activist in Pakistan at the age of 11, when she started a secret blog about life under the Taliban, which did not permit girls to go to school. She was targeted for her advocacy and, at 15, was shot on a school bus. Surviving the attack, she continued to campaign for girls’ education.
Unveiled to travel agents and media last week, Edge is the prototype for an innovative new series of ships at Celebrity called the Edge Class. Designed to be oriented to the ocean in a way that is unusual for big vessels, it boasts several features that are groundbreaking not just for the line but the industry.
Among them: Outward-facing cabins that are fronted with wall-to-wall, floor-to-ceiling glass – a new concept for ocean cruising made possible by redesigning the internal architecture of the ship.
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