Renewal Vows at sea

Travel Talk

Celebrating a special anniversary or just want to add a big chunk of romance to your holiday? A renewal of vows really hits the spot.

Captain Bent Ivar Gangdal and renewal of vows guests on Fred. Olsen Whilst weddings at sea have been around for many years, asking guests to fork out for a cruise, or treating them to one, makes it prohibitively expensive for most people. However, the renewal of vows, a far more intimate ceremony, is ideally suited to cruise ships and something that they do well.

The number of ceremonies that can be performed on a cruise is limited, so you are advised to book in advance. Ships have dedicated staff to keep in contact and ensure that everything goes smoothly with your special event. Here are a few examples.

Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines offers a romantic ceremony conducted by the ship’s Master in an attractive venue on board. The package includes a bouquet and buttonhole, a professional photographer to capture the ceremony, a special celebration cake and bottle of Champagne. The ship’s master also provides a signed commemorative certificate. The package for the event, which is performed on sea days, costs £250. Visit website or call 0800 0355 242.

Celebrity breakfast balcony Celebrity Cruises offers two packages. The True Love Knot Renewal package includes a ceremony carried out by the ship’s captain in an intimate location onboard the ship; commemorative vow renewal certificate signed by the captain, recorded ceremony music, floral bouquet and matching boutonniere, photography service, a signed photo of you both with the captain, a photo of the ship, champagne, engraved champagne flutes, a cake for two and a gourmet breakfast delivered to your stateroom. Prices from $650.

The Aisle to Isle Renewal ceremony is led by a shipboard official and includes recorded music; champagne, cake for two, a commemorative certificate, a rose and matching boutonniere and photography service.  Prices from $450. To make the day even more special, you can add such things live music and spa appointments. For more information visit

Celebrity Princess Cruises also offers two options. The standard package includes a bouquet and buttonhole, a certificate signed by the Captain, a bottle of champagne, chocolate dipped strawberries, two engraved champagne glasses, a framed portrait and a heart-shaped box of chocolates. The price of the package is $225.00.

The deluxe package, at $499, adds a champagne breakfast in your cabin, two bath robes to take home, a 25-minute spa treatment each, canapes or petit fours in your stateroom and a personalised invitation from the Captain to visit the bridge. For more information visit

P&O Cruises provides a choice of three ceremonies on cruises of seven nights or more. These cover a religious ceremony, a civil ceremony and a civil partnership and need to be booked at least two weeks in advance. The package includes a bouquet and matching buttonhole (or two of either on request), a professional photographer to capture the ceremony, a single tier iced celebration cake, a bottle of champagne, your chosen portrait photograph, a silver-plated photo frame, a certificate signed by the Captain and a pair of contemporary champagne flutes. The basic package price is £450.

Renewal of Vows - QM2 Cunard offers a Renewal of Vows package on all three of its ships. The thirty-minute ceremony is performed by the Captain and is witnessed by two officers, one of whom is the Renewal of Vows co-ordinator.  You can also invite your own witnesses and guests. The package includes a bouquet and matching buttonhole (or two of either on request), a bottle of champagne, a single tier iced cake, your chosen event portrait, a silver-plated photo frame, a commemorative certificate signed by the Captain and a pair of contemporary champagne flutes.

Once you have renewed your vows, the Captain and your two witnesses will sign the certificate and this will be presented to you. You are then invited to cut the cake, which is served with a champagne toast. The cost is $800 on Queen Mary 2 and $600 on Queen Elizabeth and Queen Victoria. To book the event, call the celebrations department on 0843 373 0305.

Add some personal touches with a champagne breakfast in bed and relaxing massage in the Oasis Spa, buttonholes for your guests and a video of the ceremony. For more information visit website or call 0843 373 0353. 

Well, with all those to choose from, you really have no excuse. Now, where did I leave those chocolate covered strawberries?


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Mike Pickup

Award-winning travel writer & photographer

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