Aquitaine and Ardeche officially named
The naming ceremony of the Aquitaine and the Ardeche was held in Mokpo, South Korea on 10 January 2017 at the Hyunday Samho Heavy Industries shipyard.
I was delighted when Hugo de Stoop, Euronav CFO, suggested back in November that Cathinka Steen and I be the Godmothers of the M/T VLCC S791 TBN Ardeche and M/T VLCC S792 TBN Aquitaine. Needless to say, this has been a tremendous experience for both of us. From start to finish, time flew by with each moment being a fantastic experience packed with sensations, colors, warm welcomes and interesting interactions. A small group was treated the first day with a visit of the yard, which is always impressive due to the sheer magnitude of the industrial equipment (the Goliath cranes!) and the ship’s components, and during the afternoon, with a private tour on the Aquitaine. Duly equipped and briefed on security measures, they went from bow to stern, from port to starboard for a hugely informative visit loaded with technical explanations. Many thanks to Panagiotis Mpikas, Konstantinos Bougiouris, Eleftherios Dedes and Frederik Caris alias Reynders for their time and passion. The pre-naming dinner was hosted by Paddy Rodgers and the Godmothers met officially with Captain Frederick Caris alias Reynders (Master Ardeche) and Captain Jean-Luc André (Master Aquitaine).
The naming ceremony started the following day with a short movie about Hyundai Samho, and the party moved to the naming platform. Hyundai Samho CEO Mr. Yoon and Paddy Rodgers both delivered a speech, reminding everybody of what it takes to successfully carry out such a big project. The Godmothers proceeded to the naming and christening of the ships, and soon we were boarding the Ardeche for a tour which was followed by cutting the ribbon and blowing the horn. The ships looked beautiful and majestic with their vivid colors in the bright weather.
Our host offered a wonderful lunch featuring Korean gastronomy and delicacies. Then it was time to hand over the gifts to the guests and most importantly the ships. In the afternoon, as all were leaving, a small party got the opportunity to participate in a sightseeing tour. Many thanks to Euronav for having organized this wonderful experience. It was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and a fantastic occasion to feel part of a highly symbolic and immemorial tradition, in such high fashion and delightful company. We all enjoyed the experience tremendously.
Click here to watch the video of the naming ceremony of the Aquitaine and Ardeche on our YouTube channel.