Cunard's Queen Victoria Keel Laying Ceremony Takes Place in Italy

Friday, May 19, 2006
A ceremony marking the keel laying for Cunard Line's Queen Victoria was held today at the Marghera shipyard of Fincantieri near Venice, Italy. The second largest Cunarder ever built, Queen Victoria will enter service on December 11, 2007 and become the third in Cunard's fleet of Queens when she joins Queen Mary 2, the largest liner in the world, and QE2, the most famous ship in the world. The keel laying involved the placement in the dry dock of one section of the ship's hull. This section is made up of six pre-manufactured blocks, weighs 325 tons and is fitted with 50 tons of pipes, cables, insulation and other equipment. The ceremony follows an intensive period of design and development. 80 sections will be used in the construction of Queen Victoria and she will take to the water for the first time at her float out in January 2007 before her delivery to Cunard in December 2007. In a speech prior to the laying of the keel, Carol Marlow, Cunard's president and managing director, said:

With the addition of this new 90,000-ton vessel, the Cunard liner legacy will be upheld, as Queen Victoria will offer all the classic characteristics that have become associated with the company's unique heritage. The public spaces will be the setting for a host of diversions that also define Cunard's liner heritage, as guests enjoy stylish entertainment and informative talks that suggest a more civilized era of travel. Queen Victoria will depart on its Maiden Voyage on Tuesday, December 11, 2007 -- a voyage that was full within days of being announced.

The world's newest ocean liner will depart New York on January 13, 2008 on her 105-day Pathway to the Explorers maiden world cruise which will call at 36 cities in 23 countries. Every call, with the exception of Lisbon, will be a maiden call for Cunard's new Queen. Queen Victoria will circumnavigate the globe in a westbound direction and, after calling at New York, will transit the Panama Canal before making maiden calls at some of the world's most famous cities including Los Angeles, Auckland, Sydney, Bangkok, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Mumbai, Dubai, Athens and Barcelona.

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