QV Cruises -
The Next Queen of Cunard
Cunard Queen Victoria
will enter service in the company’s 165th anniversary and will operate cruises
to and from Southampton to the Mediterranean, the Canaries, Northern Europe, the
Caribbean, and South America. The 1,968-passenger vessel will feature a covered
wraparound promenade deck, a forward-facing observation lounge, a large Lido
pool with a retractable magrodome, and 10 of the12 passenger decks will be
served by exterior glass-walled lifts. Like QE2 and QM2, the liner will have a
Queens Grill, offering single-seating gourmet dining. There will also be a
unique Colonial Restaurant on Deck 11 with spectacular panoramic views.
Cunard Queen Victoria will offer a wide range of accommodations, large standard
outside cabins (170 square feet) and a high percentage of balcony cabins (67%),
thereby bringing new levels of luxury and choice to passengers preferring to
depart from a European port. The on-board menus, entertainment and lecture
program will be geared to British tastes and the currency will be sterling.
Cunard Queen Victoria will fly the red ensign; she will have the name of her
home port, Southampton, on her stern, and she will have a British Captain and
Officers. In design terms she will have an undeniably British feel with two
British design teams being responsible for her interiors.
This is the second Queen Victoria ordered by Cunard, both of which are being
built at Italy’s Fincantieri shipyard in Marghera, near Venice. One of the most
technically advanced shipbuilders in the world, Fincantieri has built more than
7,000 vessels, including many fine cruise ships for Princess and Holland America
Cruises.. The keel was laid for the first Queen Victoria in 2003. But that
ship had been originally ordered as the fifth in a series of five 'Vista' class
ships for sister company Holland America, and the contact was signed over to
Cunard with Holland America then ordering a further ship for delivery in 2006.
(The lead ship in the series, Zuiderdam, entered service in December 2002.)
However, the first Queen Victoria did not prove to have sufficient public area
space for Cunard to provide all the extra restaurant options and special
features that made the Queen Mary 2 so extravagant and special to cruisers, so
this first Queen Victoria, originally destined for Holland America, then for
Cunard, was signed over to Princess Cruises to become a mid-size Princess ship.
Cunard then ordered a totally new Queen Victoria, designed from the sea up, to
include all these special extra features and additional restaurants, and to be
much more like the Queen Mary 2 -- but in a smaller version. No cruise
schedules have yet been announced. Her float out is scheduled for 2006, prior to
her delivery in 2007 when she will begin service.
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