Hays Travel chair, Dame Irene Hays, will name P&O Cruises new ship Iona in Southampton next month, and has also been named the ship’s godmother.
Hays will name Iona at a ceremony on 16 May, which will also feature a short performance by Gary Barlow – music director of the ship’s 710 Club.
Paul Ludlow, P&O Cruises president, said: "We are absolutely delighted Dame Irene Hays will be Iona’s godmother in a landmark naming ceremony which will be the first stepping stone on the path to the return of the UK cruise industry."
Ludlow said since Hays Travel was founded by Dame Irene’s late husband John in 1980, there had been no greater ambassador for cruise and the wider travel industry than her.
"As such, there is no one more appropriate to take centre stage on 16 May as we celebrate her achievements and pay tribute to her husband John," said Ludlow.