May 21, 2006

Keel Laying Ceremony Held for New Cunard Ship Queen Victoria

The next Cunard Line ship, Queen Victoria, ceremonially entered the first phase of actual construction on May 19th with a keel laying at the Marghera shipyard of Fincantieri near Venice, Italy.
Queen Victoria, when she enters service in December 2007, will become the third in Cunard’s fleet of Queens and the middle of the three in size, considerably smaller than Queen Mary 2 but a fair bit larger than Queen Elizabeth 2.
The keel laying involved the placement in the dry dock of one section of the ship’s hull made up of six pre-manufactured blocks, which weigh 325 tons and are fitted with 50 tons of pipes, cables, insulation and other equipment. Eighty sections ultimately will be used in the construction of the Queen Victoria.

The 90,000-ton ship will take to the water for the first time at her float out in January 2007 and is scheduled to be delivered to Cunard in December 2007.

“Queen Victoria is a very significant ship for Cunard," Carol Marlow, Cunard’s president and managing director, said prior to the ceremony. "Not only is she the second largest ship we have ever built but she further reinforces Cunard’s commitment to our British heritage."

Queen Victoria will feature a Royal Court Theatre with the first private boxes at sea; a “Cunardia” museum, housing Cunard artifacts and memorabilia; the first two-story library at sea, with 6,000 books and a splendid spiral staircase; and a grand, British colonial-style conservatory,

Queen Victoria will depart on her Maiden Voyage on Tuesday December 11, 2007. The ship will subsequently sail from New York on January 13, 2008 on a 105-day maiden world cruise which will call at 36 cities in 23 countries.

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