Are You Having a Mari-Time? – Part 3 – Visuals

I know this looks like a lot of fun and games (though I doubt that most people going through it would call it that) and I know that it is sold as just being a way to “test the medal”  of the newbies, and ease tensions out at see.  But, don’t kid yourself there is a very sinister purpose behind this practice.  It has dire consequences for you and me.   This entire page is just visual confirmation that this stuff really does exist.  It is practiced worldwide, and now not just by military ships but merchants ships and cruise ships as well.  

Notice the two creatures on either side of the document above.  You will recognize them later in this series.  Also, notice the wording on the document.

Hazing during the line-crossing tradition is a staple of U.S. Navy history. Here, a sailor dresses in drag for a beauty contest. (Smithsonian Channel screenshot)

Neptune’s Court (1934)

CRUISE SHIP: KING NEPTUNES CEREMONY – A quick, rough video of the initiation “ceremony” for crew members crossing the equator for the first time.

HMS Active Crossing the Line Ceremony Pt 2 (FIGS/WIGS 92)

Navy – Crossing the line ceremony USS Callaghan DD

Shellback Ceremony Equator Crossing



Pollywog Initiation and Australia 1957

The ritual has taken up other homes, albeit with distinctly less oppressive undertones. Most prominently, ocean scientists are known to perform similar ceremonies. Over the history of researchers hitting the high seas to acquire water samples and observe marine life, there are multiple accounts of ceremonies performed when the ships hit the Equator. There are other similar ceremonies for different locales including the Arctic and Antarctic Circle, the International Date Line, and others.

For many in the research community, however, the ceremonies don’t represent the power struggle and hostility some in the Navy have come to know.  For the scientific community, “It’s kind of a nice tradition,” said one US-based ocean researcher when I asked her about her experience. She recalled the innovative costumes and how almost everyone on the ship was involved.

“I wouldn’t call it hazing per se,” the researcher said. In her experience, people were given the chance to opt out if they didn’t want to participate in the ritual. One person, in fact, did. As this scientist put it, everyone on the ship was fine with someone not participating; “No one egged her in her sleep.”     Source: Behind the Strange and Controversial Ritual When You Cross the Equator At Sea

Celebrate Tradition with our King Neptune Ceremony in Galapagos!

Ecoventura’s King Neptune Ceremony


During your Galapagos cruise vacation, celebrate with us one of the most jovial traditions in the equatorial islands – crossing the equator with a King Neptune party!  The ceremony is offered on our Itinerary B route only when we cross the Equator to the Western Islands.  Cruise ships have since adopted the ritual, and as you can see, our crew loves putting on a show for our guests!

Kick up your heels on your Galapagos vacation with our crew as we celebrate this time-honored tradition. You can learn more about the specifics on each itinerary on our website, as well as the different activities we offer. On behalf of King Neptune, we can’t wait for you to join us on board!

Royal Diamond Shellback

So yesterday we crossed both the Prime Meridian and the Equator at exactly 0,0. This is a huge accomplishment for Maritimers and in one voyage I went from a polliwog to a Royal Diamond Shellback (the award that you get for crossing at that point). I truly was at the center of the world and even though it just looks like the sea, it was cool to know that I was in at the center of the world. On Neptune day which I believe will be Tuesday, I will get a certificate to say that I have received Royal Diamond Shellback status! 🙂 Source

Posted by CHLOE246 on SEPTEMBER 27, 2010


Please Click to Continue: Part 4 of 6