Since the first time humans took to the seas, choosing a ship’s name has been the most integral part of launching a new vessel. From Christopher Columbus’ Santa Maria, to Captain Cook’s Endeavor, to the legendary Norse longship Skíðblaðnir, a ship’s name establishes its lofty purpose. Last week, an unlikely name crafted by wordsmith James Hand entered the pantheon of legendary ship names –Boaty McBoatface.
The whimsical moniker, submitted as part of the UK’s Natural Environment Research Council’s contest to name its newest $300 million Antarctic survey vessel, has sparked debate on whether the name Boaty McBoatface has the gravitas suitable for its mission.
Regardless of the contest outcome, which ends April 16, Royal Caribbean knows that James Hand has forever altered the business of naming ships, and perhaps could make a career out of it. Therefore, Royal Caribbean is thrilled to extend James Hand an offer to bring his talents on deck, and help Royal Caribbean develop the name for a future ship. With five ships debuting in the next three years, Hand’s clever copywriting skills will surely be put to good use.
“The people of the United Kingdom know the name of a great ship when they see it,” said Michael Bayley, President and CEO, Royal Caribbean International. “Like the rest of the world, we fell in love with the name Boaty McBoatface when we heard it, and we knew immediately that Royal Caribbean could use James Hand’s talent to name our next ship.”
As the first step, Royal Caribbean is inviting James Hand to sail on its newest and biggest ship, Harmony of the Seas, when she launches in Southampton, UK this May. Hand will meet with the cruise line’s very own ship naming experts to discuss potential names for a forthcoming ship.
“If James accepts our offer, who knows, perhaps he could name all our future ships,” added Bayley. “James Hand, Chief Naming Officer, Royal Caribbean International. It has a nice ring to it.”