John F. Kennedy (CVN 79) Christening Ceremony

December 7, 2019

Days, Hours, Minutes, Seconds to Christening Ceremony

Kennedy Christening Ceremony

Newport News Shipbuilding will christen aircraft carrier John F. Kennedy (CVN 79) on Saturday, Dec. 7. During the ceremony, Ship’s Sponsor Caroline Kennedy will break a bottle of American sparkling wine on the carrier’s hull, officially naming the ship as part of the time-honored ship christening tradition.

NNS employees are invited to attend the event and can request up to four tickets from their division point of contact. Tickets are required for all guests. Employees interested in volunteering should complete the interest form.

Guests should reference their ticket for additional information regarding directions, parking and other event-specific details. Seating will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. Attendees should be prepared for long lines and airport-like security.

Accommodations are available at the following hotels in the Hampton Roads area: Element Hotel Hampton, Hilton Garden Inn Hampton Coliseum Central, Hyatt Place Hampton Convention Center. If a reservation is made via phone, let the hotel know you will be attending the Kennedy christening.

The Tradition of Christening

The ceremony involved in naming and launching a naval vessel is based in traditions thousands of years old. Ancient Mediterranean shipbuilders accompanied the launching of their ships with religious ceremonies invoking favor over the ship and her sailors. Today, the tradition has evolved into a ceremony that honors the individuality of the ship and the life ahead of her. The Ship's Sponsor proclaims, "In the name of the United States I christen thee..." and shatters a ceremonial bottle of American sparkling wine against the bow of the new ship.

Powering the Future

  • More than 5,000 American shipbuilders and 2,000 suppliers from across the country are supporting John F. Kennedy’s (CVN 79) construction.
  • CVN 79 is being built with digital technology and modular construction. One hundred and fifty-five superlifts makeup the carrier’s hull; lifts are heavier, require fewer man hours, and are less frequent compared to USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78), minimizing safety risks and costs.
  • Kennedy is the most efficient aircraft carrier ever designed, enabling the U.S. Navy to operate the ship with less manpower – saving the Navy more than $4 billion over the ship’s 50-year life.
  • At completion, Kennedy will weigh nearly 100,000 tons – as much as 400 Statues of Liberty.
  • When delivered, Kennedy will be a “floating city,” capable of accommodating 4,660 personnel and 75 aircraft.
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    Congratulate NNS shipbuilders, the Kennedys and the Navy using hashtag #CVN79. Follow the conversation on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.