Olympic Gold Medallist Shirley Robertson Obe Named Godmother Of Ambassador Cruise Line’s Second Ship: Ambition
Ambassador Cruise Line is delighted to announce that British sailor and double Olympic Gold Medallist Shirley Robertson OBE is set to add another title to her considerable list of honours: Godmother of Ambition, the second ship to sail in the brand colours of the premium-value, no-fly cruise line’s fleet.
A longstanding tradition, the role of the Godmother is to bring good luck and protection to a ship, and in her new role, Shirley will name Ambition at an official ceremony in Newcastle on 11 May 2023. She will then join the new ship’s first cruise, which departs Newcastle on 12 May, for one night before disembarking in her home town of Dundee as Ambition continues on her inaugural 14-night Hidden Gems of France and Spain sailing.
Shirley Robertson is one of the most recognisable faces from the sport of sailing. She was appointed MBE in 2000 and OBE in 2005, making history when becoming the first British woman to win Gold Medals at two consecutive Olympic Games (Sydney 2000 and Athens 2004). Named World Sailor of the Year by the International Sailing Federation in 2000, she has been a trailblazer for women in sailing for many years, having also steered massive superyachts around the race track to being the first ever female skipper in the groundbreaking ‘Extreme 40 Sailing Series’. Shirley features in Scotland’s prestigious Sports Hall of Fame and holds a role as Deputy Lieutenant for the place she now calls home: the Isle of Wight.
Today, Shirley Robertson is considered one of the sport’s most successful broadcasters. An accomplished presenter across multiple channels, she has previously fronted CNN’s dedicated sailing programme, Mainsail, as well as presented the BBC’s Olympic sailing coverage. She is an engaging public speaker and a regular contributor to discussions across a variety of topics within sailing. While her exploits beyond the Olympic arena are considerable, Shirley has recently taken up double-handed offshore sailing, and last year took on the marathon of the Round Britain and Ireland race, saying she ‘still feels most at home when at sea’ and has developed a new-found appreciation for the British coastline.
Shirley will be Godmother to Ambition, the second ship to join the Ambassador fleet following Ambience, which sailed for the first time in April 2022. Ambition is aptly named to emphasise the brand’s commitment to inspire and delight every guest to enjoy an authentic cruise experience effortlessly and sustainably. Like her sister ship, Ambition will be upgraded to operate at IMO Tier III from her inaugural voyage, placing her amongst the top 10%-15% of cruise ships to achieve this level of environmental operation.
Ambition will carry up to 1,200 passengers in 714 cabins, 125 of which have balconies and 113 are suites with up to 62m2 of living space. Dining options will include two main restaurants, speciality dining options, and a more casual bistro style café, plus four bars, lounges and a wine bar. Entertainment offerings include the main theatre, a card room, library and craft studio. Additional guest facilities will include the wellness centre, gym, two swimming pools and a range of retail shops, perfect for days at sea. Following her maiden voyage from Newcastle, Ambition will sail from an additional six regional UK ports in her inaugural year including London Tilbury, Dundee, Liverpool, Belfast, Bristol, and Falmouth.
Christian Verhounig, CEO at Ambassador Cruise Line, said: “As one of the most recognisable faces in sailing, there seemed no better fit for Ambition’s Godmother than Shirley Robertson. As a trailblazer for women in the sport, not only is she passionate about all things nautical, but Shirley’s story is an inspiration to us all. What’s more, with the launch of our second ship we are also announcing cruise departures from seven regional UK ports, including Shirley’s hometown of Dundee.”
Shirley Robertson OBE said: “I was drawn to Ambassador from the very first contact – I love their passion for quality service and their drive to look for sustainable options at every turn. I’m also a big fan of holidays that don’t involve the stress of airports and love the beauty and variety our very own coastline offers. Being at sea, and the excitement of arriving somewhere by sea, is very special. I’m very much looking forward to being a regular on Ambition and partnering with the dynamic team at Ambassador – I can’t wait.”