P&O’s latest cruiseliner, Azura, launches in Southampton

An elaborate ceremony will be held in Southampton tomorrow to officially name P&O's latest 115,000-tonne cruiseliner

Fireworks will explode over Southampton tomorrow to mark the christening of P&O’s newest cruiseliner.

Former Royal Ballet principal dancer and ballerina Darcey Bussell will formally name the 115,000-tonne Azura in a ceremony attended by more than 1200 guests.

Azura, which can carry nearly 3100 passengers and 1200 crew, was built by Fincantieri’s shipyard at Monfalcone in Italy.  She is 290m long with a beam of 36m, and her six diesel engines give her a cruising speed of 22 knots.

Azura’s 16-night maiden voyage departs Southampton at 4.30pm on Monday, calling at Malaga, Katakolon, Corfu, Dubrovnik, Venice, Korcula and Gibraltar.