Sidmouth travel agent ‘beyond delighted’ to christen cruise ship

The MS Emily Bronte

The MS Emily Bronte - Credit: Archant

An honour normally reserved for royalty and celebrities is being bestowed on an independent Sidmouth travel agent - who is to launch a new cruise ship.

Travel agent Christine Astill will be the godmother of the MS Emily Bronte

Travel agent Christine Astill will be the godmother of the MS Emily Bronte - Credit: Archant

Christina Astill has sold a lot of holidays for Riviera Travel and won its competition to become the ‘godmother’ of its luxury, five-star vessel.

She will be flown out to Amsterdam tomorrow (Friday, February 24) to make a speech before she smashes a bottle of champagne on the ship’s hull and officially names it the Emily Brontë.

“I’ve been in travel since 1985, but this is the pinnacle of my career,” said Christina, who runs GoCruise from her Woodbury Salterton home and used to manage Sidmouth’s branch of Bath Travel.

“It’s usually people like the Queen or Joan Collins that launch ships.


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“This is something I wouldn’t even aspire towards, because it never happens.

“I am beyond delighted to be asked to be the godmother to this beautiful ship.”

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This is the first time Riviera Travel has christened any of its ships and bosses said travel agents are such an important part of the business it was only right to honour them.

Christina and Tracey Scales, from Hertfordshire, entered a draw and were chosen at random to become ‘godmothers’ of two new ships that will cruise the waterways of Europe.

Christina, a 56-year-old mum-of-one and shepherdess on her smallholding, plans to board the Emily Brontë later this year for a trip around various Christmas markets with family and friends.

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