News: HRH The Princess Royal names state-of-the-art fishing vessel Kirkella

24 April 2019

GREENWICH – Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal named Britain’s newest distant waters fishing vessel on Wednesday in a ceremony attended by officers, crew and shareholders of Kirkella’s owner, UK Fisheries.

The striking new vessel is named after the East Yorkshire village of Kirk Ella, and her home port is in the nearby city of Kingston upon Hull, which has a centuries-old tradition as an important base for the British fishing industry.

Decked out in bunting and naval flags, the 81-metre, 4,000 tonne Kirkella arrived at Greenwich on Tuesday, steaming under a raised Tower Bridge before turning opposite the Tower of London and then returning to moor at Greenwich, close to Cutty Sark Gardens.

Accompanied by Colonel Jane Davis, Vice Lord-Lieutenant of Greater London, Her Royal Highness toured Kirkella on Wednesday morning and met some of her officers and crew. 

Later, Her Royal Highness visited another proud representative of Britain’s maritime heritage – the Cutty Sark, now housed in her own impressive museum close to Greenwich Pier.

Music for the ceremony and festivities was provided by the award-winning City of Hull Brass Band, and Her Royal Highness was introduced to Musical Director Stig Maersk and several of the band members.

Some 350 guests attended the ceremonies, and they and more than 1,000 members of the public were treated to a delicious Kirkella-caught fish & chip lunch, courtesy of UK Fisheries. 

Sir Barney White-Spunner, Chairman of the Advisory Board of UK Fisheries, said the day had marked a fitting start to Kirkella’s career.

“We’re delighted that Her Royal Highness was able to be with us today to name this beautiful ship, which will help secure the future for our distant waters fishing industry and maintain the proud fishing traditions of the North-East of England,” he said. 

Kirkella, the UK’s most advanced fishing vessel, is as high as three London buses above the waterline. With a crew of 30 and trips lasting between four and six weeks each to waters 1,500 miles north of her home port of Hull, she lands around eight per cent of all the cod and haddock we enjoy in fish & chip shops across the country.

For more information on Kirkella, see or follow @ukfisheriesltd @greatbritfish


Kirkella tour
Kirkella in Hull
Kirkella on the Humber
Kirkella Port 2
Kirkella Bow 2
Kirkella Birdseye 2
Kirkella Naming Ceremony and VIP Reception
Kirkella lunch party at Cutty Sark Museum
Kirkella Great British Fish & Chips event at Greenwich
Kirkella speech by HRH The Princess Royal
Kirkella passing through Tower Bridge
Kirkella BBC News
HRH The Princess Royal names Kirkella
Kirkella cutaway animation
Sir Barney White-Spunner, UK Fisheries Ltd, Interview
Kirkella General Tour
Kirkella Factory Tour


Kirkella trawling
Kirkella on Humber
Kirkella drone footage
Kirkella drone footage
Kirkella drone footage
The Kirkella Naming celebration lunch at the Cutty Sark Museum
The Fish Fryers free fish & chip event at Cutty Sark Gardens for 2,500 locals
The City of Hull Brass Band at Cutty Sark Gardens
Sir Barney White-Spunner, Chairman of the Advisory Board, UK Fisheries, at the Kirkella Naming celebration dinner at the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich
Kirkella sailing upstream through Tower Bridge
Kirkella sailing downstream through Tower Bridge
HRH The Princess Royal with Graham Barney, Factory Manager, Kirkella
HRH The Princess Royal with Charlie Waddy, First Mate, on the bridge of Kirkella
HRH The Princess Royal unveiling a model of Kirkella presented by UK Fisheries to the National Maritime Museum
HRH The Princess Royal Naming Kirkella at Greenwich
HRH The Princess Royal meeting Stig Maersk, Musical Director, and players in the City of Hull Brass Band
HRH The Princess Royal making her address at the Kirkella Naming Ceremony in Greenwich
2,500 local people in Greenwich enjoying free Kirkella-caught cod & chips
Sir Barney White-Spunner, Chairman of the Advisory Board, UK Fisheries Ltd
UK Fisheries infographic
Kirkella poster
Cutaway illustration of Kirkella
UK Fisheries Ltd logo