The guy behind the hilarious idea to name the UK’s new $300 million Antarctic research RRS Boaty McBoatface may have just landed himself a job with one of the world’s largest cruise companies.
Cruise giant Royal Caribbean said Friday that they have located the wordsmith and invited him to help develop the future name for one of the company’s upcoming ships.
The man is British communications manager James Hand, who believe it or not had no prior experience naming ships before submitting RRS Boaty McBoatface to an online contest to name the UK’s Natural Environment Research Council’s state-of-the-art research vessel to be delivered in 2019. But experience didn’t matter, RRS Boaty McBoatface shot straight to the top of the polls, easily beating out the thousands of other entries with more than 100,000 up votes to date.
“Since the first time humans took to the seas, choosing a ship’s name has been the most integral part of launching a new vessel. From Christopher Columbus’ Santa Maria, to Captain Cook’s Endeavor, to the legendary Norse longship Skíðblaðnir, a ship’s name establishes its lofty purpose,” Royal Caribbean said in statement announcing their invite.
“The people of the United Kingdom know the name of a great ship when they see it,” said Michael Bayley, President and CEO, Royal Caribbean International. “Like the rest of the world, we fell in love with the name Boaty McBoatface when we heard it, and we knew immediately that Royal Caribbean could use James Hand’s talent to name our next ship.”
With five ships debuting in the next three years for Royal Caribbean, Hand may have just found himself a new career.
“If James accepts our offer, who knows, perhaps he could name all our future ships,” added Bayley. “James Hand, Chief Naming Officer, Royal Caribbean International. It has a nice ring to it.”
Bizarrely, this actually isn’t an April Fool. https://t.co/XSTgGkBxnV
— James Hand (@JamesHand) April 1, 2016
As the first step in the naming process, Royal Caribbean is inviting James Hand to sail on its newest and biggest ship, Harmony of the Seas, when it launches in Southampton, UK this May, where Hand will meet with the cruise line’s real ship naming experts to discuss potential names.
The contest to name the research vessel closes April 16. So fingers crossed for #boatymcboatface.