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Case Study

P&O Ferries 2023

Our Client

P&O Ferries


Port of Dover





The WHY 

An event of this type does not come around often - we at Sparq were so honoured to be involved in the christening of a ship for the very first time! In the case of ferry boats, this ritual carries additional importance as it symbolises the vessel's readiness to embark on its mission of safely transporting passengers across bodies of water. 

Recognising the importance of this meaningful maritime tradition, we at Sparq discussed "the Why" behind the event, with P&O to understand the experience they wanted to curate for attendees and how they wanted to honour traditions within their event specification. 

At Sparq, we felt that P&O's commitment to sustainability aligned with our pledge to keep our events as environmentally friendly as possible. The Pioneer vessel is now the worlds largest double ended ferry and the first diesel-electric hybrid, it will consume up to 40% less fuel that previous Dover Strait ferries, with the option to go fully electric in operation once charging facilities become available. 


Our Challenge


With full event management and project support, meetings were set up in the months prior to the event to support our client with a range of ideas and solutions to support the production of the launch.

Launch day arrived and we delivered a fully branded stage set using our extensive array of sound systems suitable for outdoor events and staging rigs. The team from Sparq totalled 7 onsite riggers and audio techs. With 180 seats facing the stage, the event was set with the impressive Pioneer vessel as the backdrop, flower arrangements adorning the stage set with a glamorous red ribbon ready for the ships newly appointed godmother to cut.

The final touches came into play as we provided guests with some VIP entertainment including, a classical pianist to welcome attendees on arrival and a professional vocalists to sing as the sun sets across the horizon after they walked across the glamorous red carpet on to the Pioneer. 

For such a momentous occasion P&O representatives wanted to be able to fully focus on the launch so with our full project management we put them at ease by taking care of the following; technical running orders, health and safety RAMS documentation, liaison and co-ordination of suppliers, on-stage rehearsals, on-site surveys, on-site photographers and post event feedback.



On arrival guests were led into the Terminal 1 port, a picturesque converted Victorian railway station with large glass windows overlooking the stunning architecture. The room was adorned with branded decorations and overlooked the harbour, before the ceremony attendees had the opportunity to enjoy some delicious entrees and drinks alongside the live pianist.

With the impressive P&O Pioneer as their backdrop guests were escorted to the seating area on the quayside, facing the fully branded stage set and the ceremony was underway. Following introductory remarks from the CEO of P&O Ferries, the baptising officially began. Reverend Andrew Write, provided guests with a touching insight into the meaning behind the the baptising of a ship, shared a beautifully written poem for the occasion and closed the proceedings with a hymn. 

The moment was finally here...

Pioneers appointed Godmother, declared its new name and cut the ribbon, signalling a five second blast of the horn from the Captain. Champagne smashed against the side of the ship and 3 confetti canons blasted through the air as the ship was officially christened.

Guests then gathered in front of the ship for a group picture and the red carpet was rolled out. With a VIP style entrance onto the boat, guests boarded the Pioneer and were welcomed by canapés, drinks and live music to set the scene. To round off the amazing ceremony the Godmother cut the cake with a ceremonial sword. 

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