Cunard Line will name its new 85,000-ton cruise ship Queen Victoria, in dedication to the British cruise market. The new ship, which is scheduled to enter service in 2005, will be the second largest Cunard ship carrying 1,968 passengers. Together with the current flagship, Queen Elizabeth
2, and Queen Mary
2, the Cunard fleet will include three Queens for the first time.
Currently being built at Italy’s Fincantieri shipyard, Queen Victoria will enter service in the company’s 165th anniversary and will operate round-trip Southampton cruises to the Mediterranean, Canaries, Northern Europe as well as cruises to the Caribbean. The vessel will feature a covered wrap-around promenade deck, a forward-facing observation lounge, and a large Lido pool with a retractable magrodome. Innovative “exterior elevators” with glass walls will uniquely tower 10 decks high on both sides of the vessel. Like QE2 and QM2, the liner will have a Queens Grill offering single-seating gourmet dining.
“Cunard Line was founded just after Queen Victoria came to the throne, and her reign saw the company develop hugely in every sense,” said Pamela Conover, president and COO of Cunard Line. “Today, with more capacity than we have had for 40 years, Cunard is entering a new phase of expansion commensurate with that experienced under Queen Victoria, so it seems entirely appropriate for the new ship to bear the name.”
The new liner’s inaugural voyage will be in early 2005, approximately one year after the launch of Queen Mary 2.