Cunard Line celebrates a milestone tomorrow when a prefabricated section of the keel will be lowered into the building dock of Queen Victoria
at the Fincantieri shipyard in Marghera, Italy
. The second largest ship ever built by the line is scheduled to enter service in April 2005, 15 months after Queen Mary 2.
Both Queen Victoria and Queen Mary 2 will join the most famous ship in the world - Queen Elizabeth 2 - as part of the Cunard fleet.
The first ship for Cunard built in Italy, Queen Victoria is being constructed at Fincantieri's Marghera yard near Venice.
To date, the company has built more than 7,000 vessels, including many for Cunard's parent Carnival Corp.
Queen Victoria will enter service in Cunard's 165th anniversary year and will operate cruises to the Mediterranean, Caribbean and South America. The vessel will feature a covered wrap-around promenade deck, a forward-facing observation lounge, and a large Lido pool with a retractable roof. Innovative "exterior elevators" with glass walls will uniquely tower 10 decks high on both sides of the vessel.
In design terms Queen Victoria will have a contemporary British feel with two British design teams being responsible for interiors. The vessel will offer a wide range of accommodations including large standard outside cabins (170 sq ft) and a high percentage of balcony cabins (67 percent).