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
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 Marl
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.