February 17, 2006

New Queen to rule the waves

New Queen to rule the waves

IN all her regal splendour, this is a ship designed to rule the waves.

The $705 million Queen Victoria is expected to become the shiniest jewel in Cunard's crown.
Her arrival in December, 2007 will give the company three Queen vessels in service at once for the first time in its 167-year history.
But the magnificent interior of the Queen Victoria could outshine the luxury of the Queen Elizabeth 2 and the Queen Mary 2. The 90,000-ton liner, being built in Italy, will be able to carry more than 2000 passengers and about 900 crew. She will boast a three-storey grand lobby, a conservatory, museum and 6000-book library.
The museum is to house Cunard artefacts and memorabilia, while the conservatory will have a central fountain and a retractable glass roof.
The library is designed to be a haven of studious tranquillity, with stained glass, leather sofas and a spiral staircase.
Passengers will be accommodated in 1000 cabins, with more than 70 per cent featuring balconies. There are four grand suites, two master suites and 25 penthouses.
The ship is scheduled to set off on her maiden voyage - a ten-night North European tour - on December 11 next year, with fares ranging from $2350 to $20,300 per person.
A spokesman for Cunard in Australia said yesterday the Queen Victoria could well visit Adelaide on some of its world cruises in the future.
However, the ship had no world cruise scheduled yet.
The Queen Victoria will be the same length - 294m - as the Queen Elizabeth 2 which will visit Adelaide on Tuesday.
Cunard president and managing director Carol Marlow said: "Queen Victoria will be a classically-styled Cunard Queen, offering the very best of our heritage, along with the luxury and modern-day comforts our guests have come to expect."
* The 293m-long ship can reach speeds of more than 23 knots, using up to nine tonnes of fuel an hour.
* There will be 12 passenger decks, each with three stair towers with lifts that can carry 18 people.
* In a year, guests will use one million tea bags, drink 26,762kg of coffee and eat 1.5 million fresh eggs, nearly 5897kg of smoked salmon and 200 tonnes of potatoes.
* They will use more than 141,000 toothpicks and drain 352,000 bottles of champagne and wine.

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