Container vessel Atlantic Sea became the first ship to be christened on the Mersey for more than 50 years since Princess Alexandra launched the HMS Devonshire in 1960. Tony McDonough reports.
Atlantic Container Line (ACL) vessel Atlantic Sea became the first ship to be christened on the Mersey for more than 50 years.
Princess Anne smashed a bottle of champagne against the hull of the 100,000-tonne container ship in a ceremony at Princes Dock.
The christening is the first by a member of the Royal Family on the Mersey for more than half a century, since Princess Alexandra launched the HMS Devonshire in 1960.
Atlantic Sea is one of a number of new vessels introduced by ACL into its global fleet and it will carry all kinds of goods including beer and cars across the Atlantic to the US and Canada.
ACL recently opened its new European headquarters in Duke Street in Liverpool city centre and Ian Higby, UK managing director of ACL, called the event an “unforgettable day” for the firm.
“This is an opportunity to champion Liverpool as a port city of the future and for ACL to thank Merseyside for all its support since the 1960s,” he said.
“We are committed to the Port of Liverpool where we have operated two transatlantic vessel calls per week since 1969.
“We have constructed our brand new office building on Duke Street, which is the first shipping line headquarters built in the city since 1924.
“We have also centralised our back office functions here.
“In addition, ACL is investing in local people and we have doubled our workforce in the last three years to 168, including six apprentices
“Liverpool people and the city know and understand the maritime business. It is in our DNA.”