significance of ship names

Dr Clare Weeden
9th March 2010, 02:01
I am interested in knowing any historical requirements/ references to how cruise ships are named - is it linked to historical figures like Poseidon and Neptune or is it more to do with modern-day marketing? I'd be really grateful if someone could point me in the right direction to find out more about the names companies choose for their cruise ships.

many thanks
Clare
(Thumb)

Satanic Mechanic
9th March 2010, 02:05
Never heard of any rules as such but most companies have certain 'naming' traditions. Shell for instance name all their ships (and lube Oils) after the Shells (in Latin) - there is a good thread on this somewhere.

makko
9th March 2010, 06:00
Clare,

As an example, my old company, Alfred Holt & Co. "Blue Funnel" vessels were named after characters in Homer's Iliad and Odyssey. In my mind, the naming of vessels was a whim of the owners. My father once, at an educational seminar, challenged a literary scholar as to who could name more characters - The Old Fella won!
Regards,
Dave

stein
9th March 2010, 08:13
I would hazard the guess that modern cruise ships are named by ad-men, the names chosen as supposed to evoke the expectations of an enjoyable cruise by the consumers, in which the words "romance of the seas" would play a big part. Modern advertising depends a good deal on market research, which would include statistical analysis, but also testing of the potential customer in regard to such things as product names.

Historystudent07
9th March 2010, 09:11
I think the cruise shi pnames are very unimaginative like legend of the seas enchantment of the seas.
I'm glad Cunard kept the queen names. I also like the Fred olsen names.

Billieboy
9th March 2010, 10:22
Specifically, cruise ship names are PR driven, at least during the last decade, it's basically designed to keep the brand foremost. Thus:- Marketing/Sales psyco-babble!

stein
9th March 2010, 10:41
Regarding the naming of ships, it is said that William H. Webb of New York was just as accomplished as a clipper builder as Donald McKay of East Boston, but that his fame never shone with anything near the same brightness due in some degree degree to the more extrovert McKay’s ability to find stirring names for his ships (some of which names are at times repeated in the modern cruise business).

Some of McKay's more famous ships were: Stag Hound, Flying Cloud, Sovereign of the Seas, Westward Ho!, Empress of the Seas, Star of Empire, Chariot of Fame, Great Republic, Romance of the Sea, Lightning, and Champion of the Seas.

To the Americans the most beautifully named clipper was the William H. Webb clipper Young America though.

makko
9th March 2010, 13:23
Having read through the other posts, I too think that modern cruise vessels names are the result of market research.
The old 'passenger liners' took traditional company names (Queen..., -ic, -ra or some nationalistic name (Deutchsland, France, United States.
As previously said, modern cruise vessels being named something like 'Romance of the Seas gets peoples imagination for the 'nautical experience', maybe even imagining a Cape Horn passage before the mast (with all mod cons of course and an outside balcony!).
However, what were MSC thinking with my personal favourite "Costa Fortuna"! (It appeals to the scouse sense of humour!)
Rgds.
Dave

Fairfield
9th March 2010, 14:40
Indeed, the old tongue was definitely well in the cheek for that one!!

fred henderson
9th March 2010, 16:09
Passenger shipping companies have always adopted naming policies that enable the public to identify the company’s ownership of its vessels. Cruise ships continue to follow the traditional policy. In the past however, each passenger line operated a limited number of routes, with a limited number of competitors on each route, so the name distinction only needed to apply to that route. Today the cruise market is world-wide and there are more cruise ships in service than there were traditional liners. To preserve the ship/company distinction, many cruise lines are now adding the company name as part of the ship’s name. The current naming policies of the major companies are:

Carnival Corporation & plc:

Aida Cruises (German) – A combination word using the company name (in upper case letters) with a German word (in lower case) expressing a quality. Example – AIDAbella

Carnival Cruise Lines (American) – A word expressing a human quality, or achievement, preceded by Carnival. Example – Carnival Valour

Costa Crociere (Italian) – An Italian word for a pleasurable experience, or a holiday destination, preceded by Costa. Example – Costa Deliziosa

Cunard Line (UK) – Names of British female monarchs. Example – Queen Victoria

Holland America Line (American, but retaining strong Dutch influence) – Dutch place names ending in “dam”. Example – Amsterdam

Ibero Cruceros (Spanish) – A new Carnival acquisition operating ships transferred from other Carnival companies and retaining the ship’s former name, but with the addition of the prefix Grand. Example – Carnival's Celebration became Grand Celebration

Ocean Village (UK) – One ship only, with a repetition of the company name. Example – Ocean Village

P&O Cruises (UK) – Traditional company names, usually ending with the letter “a”. Example – Arcadia

P&O Cruises Australia (Australian) – A word associated with holidays, preceded by Pacific. Example – Pacific Sun

Princess Cruises (American, but retaining strong UK influence) – A name appropriately ending in Princess. Example – Grand Princess

Seabourn Cruise Line (American) – A word expressing a human quality, or a journey, preceded by Seabourn. Example – Seabourn Odyssey

Royal Caribbean Cruise Ltd

Azmara Club Cruises (American) – A word indicating travel, preceded by Azmara. Example – Azmara Quest

Celebrity Cruises (American, with a very faint residual Greek influence) – A word associated with astral events (with some exceptions) preceded by Celebrity. Example – Celebrity Solstice

Croisieres de France (French) – A new company with only one ship – Bleu de France – so it is too soon to identify a naming policy

Pullmantur (Spanish) – A new RCCL acquisition operating ships transferred from other RCCL companies and retaining part of the ship’s former name. Example – Empress of the Seas became Empress. No distinctive naming pattern.

Royal Caribbean International (American, with a faint residual Norwegian influence) – There is a common association for the first word in the names used for each class of ship and all are followed by the words “of the Seas”. Example – Vision of the Seas

Genting Hong Kong/Norwegian Cruise Line

NCL America (American) – Now down to one operational ship – Pride of America

Norwegian Cruise Line (American) – Each class of ship uses associated words, but all are preceded by Norwegian. Example – Norwegian Gem

Genting Hong Kong (Malaysian) – The new name for Star Cruises. All ships are named after stars, with a prefix related to the size of the ships. Example – Superstar Aquarius is the company’s largest ship

MSC Crociere

MSC Cruises (Italian, owned by the Swiss, privately owned container transport line, Mediterranean Shipping Co) – Italian musical terms, preceded by the letters MSC. Example – MSC Sinfonia

Although I have given the countries where the companies are based, the ships are usually registered elsewhere. The only American company to register a ship in America is NCL America. A ship’s name cannot be duplicated on any register, although it could be used again on the register of another country, I am not aware of any cruise ship name duplication.

To add possible future confusion, some companies are inviting their passengers to suggest names for new ships.

fred henderson
9th March 2010, 16:38
However, what were MSC thinking with my personal favourite "Costa Fortuna"! (It appeals to the scouse sense of humour!)
Rgds.
Dave

I agree that Costa Fortuna always produces a smile, but from your avatar Dave I am sure that you are aware that the word fortuna, means good luck in Italian.[=P]

If you intend to remain in Italy however, then for the good of your health do not confuse Costa with MSC. Costa is owned by Carnival. It is Italy’s and Europe’s largest cruise line, based on guests carried and ship capacity and boasts over 61 years of cruising history. Costa claims to be one of the most recognized cruise brands marketed in Europe. MSC is a new, much smaller, but growing venture launched by the MSC container operators. I have a strong feeling that there is not much love lost between the two Italian companies.(Gleam)

makko
9th March 2010, 16:53
Hi Fred,
(OOps! Check my Avatar again - The Makko is based in Mexico City!)
I must say that was a very comprehensive answer from you!
However, I think that it is important to emphasize the difference between pre (what do you think?) mid-sixties with the transatlantic liners and passenger liners in general with traditional names and, with the advent of affordable air travel, the change to cruises and then to the wholly dedicated cruise liner.
Whilst the traditional liner was a means to get somewhere (e.g. Cunard Queen to New York), the modern cruise vessel goes nowhere in particular and drops its passengers back where they started. The emphasis is on fun and activities onboard and the names as you say suggest this.
Rgds.
Dave

Andrew Craig-Bennett
9th March 2010, 17:52
China Navigation (CNCo) ships were traditionally named after the provinces of Imperial China in the Wade-Giles trasnsliteration eg the ship "Kwangtung" was named for what is now called Guangzhou, but ships in the Chief Container Service (Australia/Papua New Guinea) were named "xxxx Chief". Swire Pacific Offshore vessels are "Pacific xxxx". The odd one out was the small cruise ship "Coral Princess", which was simply so named for marketing reasons long before Princess Cruises was thought of - Princess Cruises were not slow in "bagging" the name when it became available on Swires' exit from the business.

Now for one that "not everybody knows" - COSCO's naming policy:

Tweendeckers were "xxx Cheng" ("xxx Castle") rather in the Japanese manner.
Bulk carriers are "xxx Hai") ("xxx Sea")
Container ships are "xxx He" ("xxx River")
Tankers are "xxx Lake"
Heavy lift ships are "xxx Kou" ("xxx Estuary")
Asphalt tankers are "xxx Wan" ("xxx Bay")
Passenger ships are "xxx Jing" ("xxx Capital City")

makko
9th March 2010, 20:39
Andrew,
A very interesting post indeed!
Rgds.
Dave

KIWI
9th March 2010, 21:18
Always assumed that being P&O Maloja was named after some place out East but have since read,probably on SN, that it is a village in Switzerland.Made the same assumption with Paringa & Palana but there is a river here in NZ named Paringa so that too is doubtful.KIWI

fred henderson
9th March 2010, 21:27
Hi Fred,
(OOps! Check my Avatar again - The Makko is based in Mexico City!)
Dave

Sorry Dave - I must clean my glasses.(egg)

sparkie2182
9th March 2010, 21:35
For imaginative naming of cruise ships, Renaissance Cruises took some beating.........


R One - Entered service for Renaissance Cruises in 1998. After the bankruptcy of the company she was sold to Cruiseinvest but laid up until 2003, when she was chartered to Oceania Cruises and renamed Insignia.[2][3] In 2006 Oceania Cruises purchased the vessel

R Two - Entered service for Renaissance Cruises in 1998. After the bankruptcy of the company she was sold to Cruiseinvest but laid up until 2002, when she was chartered to the newly-established Oceania Cruises and renamed Insignia. She was renamed Regatta the following year. In 2006 Oceania Cruises purchased the vessel.


R Three - Entered service for Renaissance Cruises in 1999. After the bankruptcy of the company she was laid up until late 2002, when she was sold to Princess Cruises and renamed Pacific Princess.


R Four - Entered service for Renaissance Cruises in 1999. After the bankruptcy of the company she was laid up until late 2002, when she was sold to Princess Cruises and renamed Tahitian Princess.[6] The ship was renamed again to Ocean Princess in November 2009.


R Five - Entered service for Renaissance Cruises in 2000. After the bankruptcy of the company she was sold to Cruiseinvest but laid up until 2002, when she was chartered to Pullmantur Cruises under the marketing name Blue Dream. In 2005 the vessel was boughtby Oceania Cruises and renamed Nautica

R Six - Entered service for Renaissance Cruises in 2000. After the bankruptcy of the company she was sold to Cruiseinvest but laid up until 2003, when she was chartered to Pullmantur Cruises under the marketing name Blue Star. In 2005 she was renamed Blue Dream, and was sold to Pullmatur the following year. In 2007 she was transferred to the fleet of Azamara Cruises and renamed Azamara Journey.

R Seven - Entered service for Renaissance Cruises in 2000. After the bankruptcy of the company she was sold to Cruiseinvest but laid up until 2003, when she was chartered to Delphin Seereisen under the name Delphin Renaissance. In 2006 she was sold to Pullmantur Cruises and was renamed Blue Moon. In 2007 she was transferred to the fleet of Azamara Cruises and renamed Azamara Quest.


R Eight - Entered service for Renaissance Cruises in 2000. After the bankruptcy of the company she was sold to Cruiseinvest but laid up until 2003, when she was chartered to Swan Hellenic Cruises and renamed Minerva II. In 2006 she was sold to Princess Cruises but remained in Swan Hellenic service until April 2007, when she was tranferred to Princess and renamed Royal Princess

fred henderson
9th March 2010, 22:10
I have belatedly noticed that this Thread is Clare's first post to SN and must welcome her to our community. As she will see, her first effort has raised a great deal of interest from some of our membership.

If we go back to Clare's post gentlemen, we will see that she was specifically asking about the naming of cruise ships. I think that the answer to her question is that the only the old companies are continuing to use their traditional liner names today:

Holland America (727,536 passengers in 2008)
P&O Cruises (280,972 passengers in 2008)
Cunard (197,020 passengers in 2008)
Fred Olsen (95,971 passengers in 2008)

The big new operators - Carnival Cruise Lines 3,664,568 passengers and Royal Caribbean International 3,160,000 passengers - use marketing names.

As for the names Clare mentions; there is not a cruise ship named Poseidon, but there is a Neptune. It is a former Soviet ferry, built in 1975 as Leonid Brezhnev and now operating as a gambling ship out of Hong Kong.

http://www.neptune.com.hk/en/index.html

bobs
10th March 2010, 01:56
In the merchant shipping industry, most companies have adopted a theme for the naming of their ships.
In the olden days, companies adopted names that, for instance, all ended in 'ic' (White Star Line/Shaw Savill) 'City of' (Ellerman) or 'ia' (Cunard) and many other examples.
In Latter years, in the cruise industry, as well as other branches of the merchant marine business, the trend has been towards a multi-word name, the first often being that of the company: eg: Costa XXXXX; MSC XXXX. Norwegian XXXX'; etc or, as a nother example, "XXXX of the Seas", as adopted by another of the major cruise lines. In the cargo-carrying sector, Maersk, MSC, Hapag-Loyd, Evergreen, CSAV, etc, predominate among first-names of ships

R58484956
10th March 2010, 13:44
Greetings Clare and welcome to SN. You ask a question and in no time at all you get all these first class answers. You must be very pleased. Bon voyage.

john g
11th March 2010, 15:09
Don't forget T&J Brockebank......registered in Liverpool with all Indian names... Mahout Markor ..Manipur..Maidan..Mangla ...Makrana and so on . I don't know if anyone has ever listed the names with translations. Maybe this should be for the Brocklebank forum. Very interesting information on the cruise ships Fred.

silverfox
25th March 2010, 22:05
Always assumed that being P&O Maloja was named after some place out East but have since read,probably on SN, that it is a village in Switzerland.Made the same assumption with Paringa & Palana but there is a river here in NZ named Paringa so that too is doubtful.KIWI

P&O/British India name most of their fleet after places in the world, majority ending in A. Maloja, Paringa & Palana are such ships.

Pre Queen Mary Cunard named their ships ending IA, Aquitania, Carpathia etc. They asked King George V if they could name their new ship after the Queen (Victoria). He misunderstood them and said it was OK to name the ship Queen Mary!! Not wanting to offend royalty, 'Queen Mary' was named as such. From then on all Cunard passenger ships were named after Queens.

Cunard did have a ship named after an English Queen prior to Queen Mary. She was the Berengaria named after King Richard's (the Lionheart) Queen.

fred henderson
26th March 2010, 14:36
The story of King George V misunderstanding Cunard’s intention to use the name Victoria is believed to be pure fantasy. Sir John Brocklebank, the then Chairman of Cunard, is on record as stating that the request was always and only to name the ship Queen Mary. The newly formed Cunard-White Star Ltd was the owner of the super-liner; leading to a break with both Cunard’s and White Star’s traditional naming policies. Subsequent smaller liners continued to use the old Cunard Latin names ending in “ia”.

Andrew Craig-Bennett
26th March 2010, 16:18
The story of King George V misunderstanding Cunard’s intention to use the name Victoria is believed to be pure fantasy. Sir John Brocklebank, the then Chairman of Cunard, is on record as stating that the request was always and only to name the ship Queen Mary. The newly formed Cunard-White Star Ltd was the owner of the super-liner; leading to a break with both Cunard’s and White Star’s traditional naming policies. Subsequent smaller liners continued to use the old Cunard Latin names ending in “ia”.

Alas, that must surely be right, because there are no other recorded examples of King George V thinking quickly and wittily. The choice of a name ending neither in "-ia" nor in "ic" for the first ship of the merged Line, a ship, moreover, built partly with Government money, for the loan of which the merger was a requirement, makes perfect sense.

It is, however, quite true that the Government had to provide insurance capacity on the hull slip as the value exceeded the capacity of the Lloyds and companies market at the time when the ship was first insured.

silverfox
26th March 2010, 21:09
The story of King George V misunderstanding Cunard’s intention to use the name Victoria is believed to be pure fantasy. Sir John Brocklebank, the then Chairman of Cunard, is on record as stating that the request was always and only to name the ship Queen Mary. The newly formed Cunard-White Star Ltd was the owner of the super-liner; leading to a break with both Cunard’s and White Star’s traditional naming policies. Subsequent smaller liners continued to use the old Cunard Latin names ending in “ia”.

As a Cunarder I guess we shall have to differ. I understood that Sir John Brocklebank was being 'diplomatic'.(@)

Pat Kennedy
27th March 2010, 17:21
Hi Fred,
(OOps! Check my Avatar again - The Makko is based in Mexico City!)

Rgds.
Dave

Dave,
My wife, who knows about such things, tells me that Makko is the bark of an evergreen tree from South East Asia, which is powdered and used in the manufacture of incense.
Bet you didnt know that!
Regards,
Pat(Smoke)

makko
28th March 2010, 16:14
Well, I did not Pat! I will now tell you the true story...........
Makko is short for Makeeko, a small blond doll with blue eyes, I believe from Spain. When we were BF/GF, my wife coined the name and gave me a doll, which I lost many years ago! My father in law, who was a bit deaf, thought it was Macaco or "Gibbon" due to my (at that time) muscular physique! So I became Makeeko then Makko and makakko to my father in law! I call my wife Makkys even though her name is Elizabeth! When she calls me Dave, I know I am in trouble!
Regards,
Dave Makkeeko!

Pat Kennedy
28th March 2010, 18:13
Dave,
I will henceforth always get a picture in my mind, of a muscular monkey, when I see the Makko on my screen.
It gets embarrassing, these pet names. My wife addresses me always as 'Honey'.
If ever she calls me Pat, then, just like you, I know that some bad sh1t is coming down.
Regards,
Pat(?HUH)

polsteam
6th April 2010, 09:50
This post has NO ambition to be complete review of Polish owners' ship naming policies. Will be grateful, especially to Polish SN members, for updates and amendments.


J. Stepniewski & Co.

tugs: varied names, like Irbis, Leopard, etc.

coasters / river-sea: first names of wifes, children or grandchildren of partners in the shipowning company, like Joanna, Janina, Max



Unity Line operated ferries - Polsteam owned

regional names (from area of Poland (mostly) and Sweden, where the owner is based or where the ships call)

- Polonia (Poland in latin)
- Skania (geographical name - region / land in the Southern Sweden)
- Gryf (griffin) - mythic creature often found on coats of arms or as a symbol of Pomeranian region of Poland and many Polish (mainly Pomeranian) towns, like Szczecin
- Wolin - island in the North-Western Poland

Unity Line operated ferries - Euroafrica owned

- Galileusz (Galileus)
- Kopernik (Copernicus)
- Sniadecki



Polish Steamship Company / Polsteam (Polska Żegluga Morska), Szczecin

Polsteam - CURRENT

largest ships - kamsarmaxes entering service from early 2010
- Polish mountains peaks, like Giewont

largest ships in fleet for many years until 2010 - B&W built panamaxes
- combat / history related names and names connected with Polish freedom (independence) movement, like:
- Solidarnosc (Solidarity - Polish trade unions and national movement leading to throwing the USSR occupants out of Poland, democratic changes from 1989, and - consequently - to gaining freedom by other (neighboring) countries, dissolving of the USSR and breaking down the Berlin wall)
- Polska Walcząca ("fighting Poland") - general name and banner of independence movement (Polish underground state) and Warsaw insurgents under German occupation
- etc.

Japanese built series of geared lakers
- seems like female first names: Isa, Isadora, Isolda, etc.

new series of geared lakers built in China from 2010
- Polish lakes, like Resko

handy size geared bulkcarries delivered over a couple of years until 2010 by Chinese yard
- geographical names (usually regions / lands of Poland), like Kujawy, Kociewie, etc.

Polsteam - PAST

large oil tankers
- Polish mountains peaks, like Zawrat, Sokolica, Czantoria, Kasprowy Wierch...
handy-size oil and product tankers
- mountain massives, like Karkonosze, Pieniny, etc.

mini-bulkers 4400 dwt built in the UK
- Polish towns names, some very hard to pronounce to non-Polish-speaking persons, like Chorzów, Sieradz, Mielec, Lipsk nad Biebrzą (town Lipsk upon river Biebrza), there is a report (don't know if it is not an urban legend) that pilots and tug skippers in UK ports, even in radio communication, were referring to this ship as to "that Polish ship with long and funny name"

around 30 000 dwt bulkcarriers from Szczecin Shipyard, several distinctive series, in general called "combatant series"
- names of Polish combat heroes or famous persons murdered during II WW, eg. Kusocinski (Polish olympics medalist in running, killed in German prison)
- names of combat formations (batalions, divisions, etc.), like Czwartacy AL
- names of places of famous combat events (battles), eg. Cedynia, Siekierki from a wide range of Polish history
with some exceptions and interruptions in series naming policy, like "Walka Młodych" ("Fight" or "Battle of the Youth") - kind of ideological banner... the ship was under patronage of Polish Socialist Youth Union (the ship entered service late 70-ties or early 80-ties)

(geared) bulkcarriers from Szczecin Shipyard (sixties)
- names of trades and crafts, professional groups, like, Metalowiec (metal industry worker), Kolejarz (railway worker), Włókniarz (Wlokniarz) (textile industry worker)

Schlichting Werft built bulkcarriers
- names of steelworks, like Huta Zgoda
- names of mines, like Kopalnia Wałbrzych (Kopalnia Walbrzych)
- names of trades / crafts, like Rolnik ("farmer")...

not finished - post development to be continued / amended

john strange
1st May 2010, 07:59
Something to do with the compnay name maybe. Union Castle line had all the ships named after castles or similar. Modern cruise ships definitely advertising promotions. Oasis of the Seas conjours up the concept of being on a desert island and judging by the lay out of her not far from the truth.

Dr Clare Weeden
10th June 2010, 18:22
Hi everyone
To all of you who have contributed to this post - many thanks. As soon as I have some research on names I will post the info here.
Thanks again
Clare (Thumb)

funnelstays
11th June 2010, 11:52
The Lakers have usually been named with a combination of company names, abbreviations etc Place names in Canada and company directors.no specific rules here.
Canada Steampship lines CSL Niagra,Halifax,D W McGiffin.
Algoma Central Marine. Algocen,Agawa Canyon,John B Aird.
Upper Lakes.Canadian Mariner,Goderich,James Norris.
CCP ships followed the same format.
CP Ambassador,Port Hawkesbury,I D Sinclair.
Shell in Canada strangely enough never adopted the Latin shell guide.
The strangest names were the Two Irving Oil vessels that were to be named
The John Boland and the Louis S Robicheau but this failed due to political falling out and they reverted to the Hull numbers H1060 and H1070
and being built in Japan they were nicknamed the Hiozo and the Hiogo.