Cunard Line has announced that its new
85,000-ton cruise ship, which is scheduled to enter service in 2007, will be
named Queen Victoria. Based in Southampton, England, the Queen Victoria will be
the second largest Cunarder ever built. Together with the current flagship,
Queen Elizabeth 2, and Queen Mary 2, the biggest passenger liner ever, the
Cunard fleet will include three Queens for the first time – truly the most
famous ocean liners in the world.
Queen Victoria will enter service in the company’s 165th anniversary and will
operate cruises to and from Southampton to the Mediterranean, the Canaries,
Northern Europe, the Caribbean, and South America. The 1,968-passenger vessel
will feature a covered wraparound promenade deck, a forward-facing observation
lounge, a large Lido pool with a retractable magrodome, and 10 of the12
passenger decks will be served by exterior glass-walled lifts. Like QE2 and QM2,
the liner will have a Queens Grill, offering single-seating gourmet dining.
There will also be a unique Colonial Restaurant on Deck 11 with spectacular
Cunard Queen Victoria will offer a wide range of
accommodations, large standard outside cabins (170 square feet) and a high
percentage of balcony cabins (67%), thereby bringing new levels of luxury and
choice to passengers preferring to depart from a European port.
The on-board menus, entertainment and lecture program will be geared to British
tastes and the currency will be sterling. Cunard Queen Victoria will fly the red
ensign; she will have the name of her home port, Southampton, on her stern, and
she will have a British Captain and Officers.
In design terms she will have an undeniably British feel with two British design
teams being responsible for her interiors.
This is the second
Queen Victoria ordered by Cunard, both of which are being built at Italy’s Fincantieri shipyard in Marghera, near
Venice. One of the most technically advanced shipbuilders in the world,
Fincantieri has built more than 7,000 vessels, including many fine cruise ships
for Princess and Holland America Cruises.. The keel was laid for the first
Queen Victoria in 2003. But that ship had been originally
ordered as the fifth in a series of five 'Vista' class ships for sister company
Holland America, and the contact was signed over to Cunard with Holland America then ordering a further ship for delivery in 2006.
lead ship in the series, Zuiderdam, entered service in December 2002.)
However, the first Queen Victoria did not prove to have sufficient public area
space for Cunard to provide all the extra restaurant options and special
features that made the Queen Mary 2 so extravagant and special to cruisers, so
this first Queen Victoria, originally destined for Holland America, then for
Cunard, was signed over to Princess Cruises to become a mid-size Princess ship.
Cunard then ordered a totally new Queen Victoria, designed from the sea up, to
include all these special extra features and additional restaurants, and to be
much more like the Queen Mary 2 -- but in a smaller version. No cruise schedules have yet been
announced. Her float out is scheduled for 2006, prior to
her delivery in 2007 when she will begin service.