For the first time in its long history Cunard Line will operate three luxury liners named for British monarchs. In 2005, the line's fleet will consist of the legendary Queen Elizabeth 2, Queen Mary
2 and Queen Victoria. The 668-passenger Caronia will leave the fleet in November 2004, having been sold to the UK-based Saga Group.
"With our three Queens, Cunard will truly have the most famous ocean liners in the world, offering luxury amenities, our unique Queens Grill and our signature White Star Service," according to Pamela Conover
, Cunard's president. "Caronia will continue to play an important role in the fleet through the fall of 2004. We will ensure that during that time she continues to offer her unrivalled service and we expect strong demand for 2004, her farewell season."
Queen Mary 2, in the final phases of construction in France, is the world's largest, tallest, longest, widest and - at $780-million - the most expensive passenger liner ever; she debuts in January 2004. Queen Victoria, currently being built in Italy, is a 1,968-passenger luxury vessel that is scheduled to join the fleet in March 2005.
The Saga Group presently
operates two cruise ships: Saga Rose and Saga Pearl. Built in 1973, Caronia, the ex-Vistafjord, is the sister to their flagship Saga Rose, which was formerly Sagafjord.