FRIDAY, OCTOBER 21: One of the most famous and historic cruise lines has announced it will register its ships in Bermuda.

The move by Cunard Lines was confirmed yesterday. The Bermuda Ship Registry brings in around $3million every year.

It means that couples will now be able to marry on board Cunard ships including the Queen Mary 2, Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth without having to use a religious minister.

The practice of captains marrying couples on board ship while at sea is illegal in Britain.

Terry Lister, Minister of Transport, said the decision by Cunard reflected the cruise line’s confidence in the Bermuda registry.

He said: “I am happy that the work we have put into making our shipping registry world class is bearing fruit, as evidenced by the latest announcement by Cunard. “This is an important source of revenue for the Government with the Bermuda Ship Registry bringing in approximately $3 million annually.”

The government statement added: “The Maritime Marriage Act established in 1999 allows weddings to be performed on our registered ships and has proved increasingly popular with passengers on board another major cruise lines currently on the Bermuda Ship Register.”

The Bermuda Ship Registry was established in 1789 as part of the “British Register of Ships” having Hamilton as its Port of Registry.

At present there are 164 commercial ships and over 250 pleasure yachts registered in Bermuda.

The commercial fleet boasts over 25 Passenger Ships.