McLean, Va. – In an unprecedented move, USA TODAY and Royal Caribbean International announced a contest today that will provide the everyday traveller the opportunity to name the world’s two largest cruise ships, presently code-named “Genesis I” and “Genesis II.” The winner of the naming contest will attend the gala naming ceremony as well as embark on a week-long, first-class, expense-paid cruise vacation on the ship he or she named.
The six-week-long contest breaks maritime tradition where heads of state, corporations and governments selected the name of a ship. It is believed this is the first time that a member of the general public, not associated with the cruise industry, will have the chance to name a major cruise ship.
The contest kicks off today in USA TODAY and on USATODAY.com. To launch the contest, Gene Sloan, USA TODAY travel reporter, will look at how ships are traditionally named and how repetitive cruise ship names historically have been. Readers will then be invited to submit their names for the new ships at namethatship.usatoday.com between now and February 29.
The to-be-named Genesis I and II, weighing in at 220,000 tons and accommodating 5,400 guests each, debut in 2009 and 2010. Known for introducing cruise-industry firsts such as the Royal Promenade – an entertainment boulevard of restaurants, bars and shops – rock walls, and surf simulators, Royal Caribbean seeks entries that best encapsulate the universe of experiences a Royal Caribbean cruise provides its guests, rather than ones that focus solely on the sheer size of the ships.
Full contest and prize description and official rules can be found at namethatship.usatoday.com. The Name That Ship contest coincides with the launch of USA TODAY’s new cruise community. Readers can log on to cruises.usatoday.com for an active community of cruise enthusiasts and get an extensive resource of useful information for all their cruise travelling needs. Readers also can check out Gene Sloan’s cruising blog and join the discussion at USATODAY’s new cruise forum all at cruises.usatoday.com.
Royal Caribbean International is a global cruise brand with 21 ships currently in service and three under construction. The line also offers unique land-tour vacations in Alaska, Asia, Australia, Canada, Europe, South America and New Zealand through its cruisetour division.
USA TODAY is the nation’s top-selling newspaper. It is published via satellite at 34 locations in the USA and at four sites abroad. With a total average daily circulation of 2.3 million, USA TODAY is available worldwide. USA TODAY is published by Gannett Co., Inc. (NYSE: GCI). The USA TODAY brand also includes: USATODAY.com, an award-winning news and information Web site that is updated 24 hours per day; USA TODAY Sports Weekly, a magazine for enthusiasts of college and professional football and baseball; USA TODAY Mobile, offering up-to-the minute news and information on a variety of mobile platforms and devices; and USA TODAY LIVE, the television arm of the USA TODAY brand that brings the spirit and quality of the newspaper to television.