Super-model turned super-mogul Kathy
Ireland named Carnival Cruise Lines' 22d ship, the Carnival
Freedom, in a ceremony in Venice March 4, one day ahead of its
inaugural cruise to the eastern Mediterranean.
The 110,000-ton, 2,974-passenger
vessel will introduce Carnival's first sailings to Greece and
Turkey on 12-day itineraries from its homeport of Civitavecchia
(Rome) on March 14.
The ceremony, held
in the ship's Victoriana theater, also marked a decade of
shipbuilding by Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri for Carnival Cruise
Lines. After an hour-long delay due to problems with the theater's
sound system, Bob Dickinson, Carnival Cruise Lines CEO and
president, noted that 10 years ago Fincantieri delivered the first
Carnival vessel, the Destiny, in Venice. There are now eight
Fincantieri ships in service for Carnival, and three on
It's safe to say,
we like their work," said Dickinson.
Ireland, on hand
with her husband, three children and parents for the inaugural
cruise, is CEO and chief designer of Kathy Ireland Worldwide, a
Los-Angeles based company whose mission is "finding solutions for
families, especially busy moms."
"Cruising is a
magnificent solution for families," she said to the packed theater.
'It brings the world to families."
chairman of Fincantieri, also made remarks, as did the managing
director of the Venice Cruise Terminal, Roberto Perocchio, who said
he hoped Carnival would someday homeport the ship in Venice, where
it was built in Fincantieri's Marghera shipyard. The Carnival
Freedom, the fifth conquest-class vessel, is the largest ship ever
built by Fincantieri.
Ireland is active
in various charities, including the Special Olympics and Feed the
Children. Carnival made a $25,000 donation to a charity of
Ireland's choosing, the Alliance for Christian Education, which
describes itself as a "nonprofit, nondenominational organization
created to serve and glorify God by furthering Christ-based
ceremony, Ireland said that she had cruised before, although not
with Carnival, and found it to be a perfect vacation to do with her
children, ages 12, 5 and 3. Her youngest is to celebrate his fourth
birthday on the cruise.
"She has a persona
that is literally unsullied," said Dickinson on the choice of
Ireland as godmother. "She's been a public persona for well over 20
years, but she's spotless. There's no scandal. She is a woman of
high moral character, a working mom, a career woman. She's
extremely philanthropic. She walks the talk. It's not a facade.
It's the real deal."
reporter Johanna Jainchill, send e-mail to [email protected].