Town mouse on the christening of a new cruise ship

We grabbed our passports and hurried to Canary Wharf. The last tender left at 5pm, and we had to run from the Tube station to catch it. Despite the passports, we weren’t travelling far: only to Greenwich, where the luxury cruise ship Seabourn Sojurn, latest in the Yachts of Seabourn fleet, was being christened.

It was, however, a world away from everyday life. In our state room, I scrambled into a white dinner jacket, realising I’d forgotten to get it cleaned after its last outing (who was it that spilt a glass of white wine over me?).

The deck was given over to a cocktail party. Caviar-the last, I suspect, that we’ll see for some time-was served with Champagne. A bottle of bubbly was smashed; fireworks painted the dusk with coloured lights, as quick to disappear as the caviar had been, before, like the caviar, being replaced with more.

After a convivial dinner and music, we glided homewards, sorry that we hadn’t been able to stay overnight. The ship wasn’t moored opposite the Baroque magnificence of Wren’s Royal Naval Hospital, so much as Deptford Creek. Viewed from the invincibility of a brand-spanking-new liner, even that took on an air of romance. I dare say the caviar helped.

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