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Cruise liners offering the first same-sex marriages at sea
Posted on 02/08/2017

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P&O will become the first cruise company to hold same-sex marriages aboard their ships, with the first ceremony scheduled to take place in January 2018.

First marriage will take place off the coast of Bermuda

First marriage will take place off the coast of Bermuda
govicinity/123RF

It's been three years since same sex was legalized in the UK and now the cruise industry is taking further steps towards equality.

All except one of P&O's cruise ships are registered in Bermuda where after a landmark court case this year, same sex marriage was legalized after the court ruled that the ban violated human rights. The first wedding will take place on the Azura ship in the Caribbean Sea next year. Marriage licenses will be obtained from the government of Bermuda, while the ceremony itself will be conducted by the ship's captain or deputy-captain.

Cruise companies who want to hold marriages often register their ships in other countries because under UK law marriages at sea remain banned.

Paul Ludlow, senior vice president of P&O Cruises, said "Weddings at sea are very romantic and getting married by the captain in the middle of the ocean is an unforgettable experience."

P&O aren't the only cruise companies looking to capitalise on the market opportunity.

The cruise company Carnival will offer same-sex marriages from November next year on Canurd Cruises. Princess Cruises, which is also owned by Carnival, is also expected to announce their marriage package deals very soon.

In a statement, Simon Palethorpe, senior vice president of Cunard, said "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."

He also revealed that Cunard had already taken its first reservations saying "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."

For P&O, looking at the wedding package deals, prices start from 1,200, while Cunard's offers are pricier starting at around 2,570.

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