MS Queen Victoria

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MS Queen Victoria at Station Pier, Melbourne
Name: MS Queen Victoria
Owner: Cunard Line[1]
Operator: Cunard Line
Port of registry: Southampton,  United Kingdom
Route: Transatlantic, Europe, Asia, or world cruises
Ordered: 3 December 2004
Builder: Fincantieri Marghera shipyard, Italy
Cost: UK£270 million (approx.)[2]
Laid down: 12 May 2006
Launched: 15 January 2007 (float-out)
Christened: 10 December 2007
by HRH The Duchess of Cornwall[3]
Completed: Final Quarter of 2007
Acquired: Final Quarter of 2007
Maiden voyage: 11 December 2007
In service: Final Quarter of 2007
Identification: Callsign GBQV IMO number: 9320556
Status: In service
General characteristics
Tonnage: 90,000 gross tons
Length: 964.5 ft (294 m)
Beam: 106 ft (32.3 m) waterline, 120 ft (36.6 m) extreme (bridge wings)
Height: 205 ft (62.5 m) keel to funnel
Draft: 26.2 ft (8.0 m)
Decks: 16 total, 12 passenger
Installed power: 63.4 MW Sulzer ZA40 diesel plant
Propulsion: Two 16.7 MW Azipods
Speed: 23.7 kn (43.9 km/h; 27.3 mph) maximum,
service at 18 kn (33.3 km/h; 20.7 mph)[2]
Capacity: 2,014 passengers
Crew: 900 officers and crew

MS Queen Victoria (QV) is a cruise ship in the Cunard Line fleet, named after Queen Victoria.

Queen Victoria is the running mate to Queen Mary 2 and, in the future, the new Queen Elizabeth. Until November 2008, she also operated alongside Queen Elizabeth 2. Queen Victoria is of the same basic design as other Vista-class passenger vessels, though slightly longer and more in keeping with Cunard's interior style. At 90,000 gross tons, she is the second-largest Cunard ship ever built, after the RMS Queen Mary 2.

QV's facilities include seven restaurants, thirteen bars, three swimming pools, a ballroom, and a theatre.[4]

Characteristics and Naming

In a departure from other Cunard Queens, Queen Victoria does not carry mail and thus will not receive Royal Mail Ship (RMS) status.

Unlike many previous Cunard Queens, however, Queen Victoria is not an ocean liner as she does not have the heavy plating, high freeboard, and propulsion system of a dedicated transatlantic liner. The recently completed Queen Mary 2 had cost approximately $300,000 US per berth, nearly double that of many contemporary cruise ships, so Cunard made the economical decision to base Queen Victoria on a converted Vista-class cruise ship, and the upcoming Queen Elizabeth will retain the same design with some small modifications. Nonetheless, Ian McNaught, who was Queen Victoria's captain in 2009, has asserted that the ship is a liner based on her classic decor.[5]

Some ship aficionados have criticised Cunard for naming this ship as a Queen; a designation customarily applied to the line's ocean liners and flagships (Queen Mary, Queen Elizabeth, Queen Elizabeth 2, and Queen Mary 2). It has been suggested that the Queen Victoria should have borne the name of one of Cunard's previous smaller ships, such as the Mauretania, or Aquitania, as was done with the last Caronia, which served Cunard between 1999 and 2004.


Concept and construction

Originally destined to be an addition to the Holland America Line fleet, the order for a Vista-class vessel put into Fincantieri was soon transferred by Carnival Corporation & plc (parent company to Holland America, Cunard, and P&O) to Cunard with the intent that the vessel would become the MS Queen Victoria.[6] The keel was laid down at the Fincantieri ship yard in 2003. However, due to restructuring within Carnival Corp., as well as a later decision by Cunard that modifications should be made to the design to bring in certain aspects which had proven successful on the Queen Mary 2 (such as decor, junior suites, dining alternatives, promenades, etc.), the hull was then designated to become the P&O ship MS Arcadia.[7] A new Queen Victoria was subsequently ordered with Fincantieri in 2004, which was 11 metres longer, 5,000 tons larger, and with an increased passenger capacity of 2,000.[8]

Her keel was laid on 12 May 2006. 80 prefabricated steel "blocks", each complete with interior structure, cabling, and ducts, and each weighing 325 tons, were then added. The completed hull with superstructure was floated out on 15 January 2007, after having a bottle of Prosecco smashed against her side by Maureen Ryan, a Cunard employee who has served on all four Cunard Queens.[9] The ceremony also saw the traditional placing of coins on the mast - in this case a Euro and a gold Queen Victoria sovereign were welded beneath the radar mast.[10]

QV left the Port of Venice on 24 August 2007 to commence her sea trials,[11] and, after handover to Cunard, arrived in Southampton to fanfare and media attention on 7 December; much of the coverage being focused on the ship's superlatives, and representing the QV as "Cunard's most luxurious ship."[12] The same day, the ship was officially named by Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, continuing the tradition of Cunard Queens being named by members of the Royal Family.[13] However, the bottle of champagne did not break upon impact with the QV's hull, though a backup bottle was immediately successful.[14]

File:QV in Southampton.JPG
Queen Victoria in her home port with QM2 about to pass her. QE2 can be seen in the dock behind.

Service history

Captain Paul Wright was appointed master of Queen Victoria in October, 2006.[15]

QV undertook her maiden voyage, a 10-day cruise to northern Europe, on 11 December 2007. Following this and a cruise to the Canary Islands, the QV embarked on her first world cruise, circumnavigating the globe in 107 days. (The first ship to have previously done so—also named Victoria—took 1,153 days in 1519 to 1522.) The first leg of this voyage was a tandem crossing of the Atlantic with the Queen Elizabeth 2, to New York City, where the two ships met the Queen Mary 2 near the Statue of Liberty on 13 January 2008, with a celebratory fireworks display, marking the first time three Cunard Queens had been present in the same location. Cunard declared that this would also be the only time the three ships would ever meet,[16] owing to the QE2's impending retirement from service in late 2008,[17] though the ships did meet again in Southampton on 22 April 2008, resulting from a change in the QE2's schedule.[18]

In May 2008, QV hit a pier in Malta after her thrusters malfunctioned. However, the damage was minimal, allowing the ship to continue operating, but repairs meant she would have to miss a port of call in La Goulette.[19]



File:Queen Victoria at Southampton City Cruise Terminal.JPG
Queen Victoria at Southampton's City Cruise Terminal
Queen Victoria at Circular Quay, Sydney
Queen Victoria travelling through a fjord in Norway
Queen Victoria Entering Auckland harbour, New Zealand

Queen Victoria's exterior design closely resembles that of Vista-class ships built for Holland America Line and P&O Cruises, like the MS Oosterdam, with a wrap-around promenade deck, private balconies, and a retractable glass magrodome over the mid-ship pool.

A feature which will distinguish her from her new sister, MS Queen Elizabeth is her more angled sloping stern, as compared to the newer ship's vertical one.


Queen Victoria's public rooms are mainly located on the lower-level public decks of the ship, 2 Deck and 3 Deck. Unlike the Queen Mary 2, however, there is no central circulation access, the main corridors being to the starboard side.

1 Deck, the lowest passenger deck, holds the lowest level of a three-storey stairwell lobby, as well as of the Royal Court Theatre. On 2 Deck can be found the mid-level of the Royal Court Theatre, casino, Golden Lion Pub, Queen's Room, Todd English à la carte restaurant, Chart Room bar, and lower level of both the library and Britannia Restaurant. The topmost level of the theatre, Royal Arcade, Midships Lounge, and upper level of the library and formal dining room are all on 3 Deck, along with a wrap-around exterior promenade. The decks above these contain mostly passenger cabins until 9 Deck, on which is the Cunard Health Club and spa, Winter Garden lounge, Lido Restaurant, and two outdoor pools. On 10 Deck is the Commodore Club, Churchill Lounge (for smokers) and Hemispheres nightclub. The Queen's Grill and Princess Grill, with their attached lounge and an open courtyard between, are on 11 Deck.

Though QV is theoretically a classless ship, it has been argued that the Queen Mary 2 and Queen Elizabeth 2, both of which follow the same practice of separating passengers into different restaurants based on the price of the cabin they booked (the Britannia as standard for regular cabins, the Princess Grill as middle for those in junior suites, and the Queen's Grill as superior for deluxe suite occupants), are actually ships divided into three classes, despite the fact that all other public rooms are used by all passengers equally. Though this situation is similar on the QE2 and QM2, it is further enhanced on the QV by the fact that Grill Passengers (those dining in the Princess Grill or Queen's Grill) also have two private outdoor areas on 10 and 11 Decks with the specific name "Grills Terrace", a feature which also appears on the QM2 at the aft section of 10 Deck.

QV's theatre is the first at sea to have private boxes. She also has a Winter Garden lounge with a retractable glass roof and water fountain, and a two-storey library with a connecting spiral staircase.


Power plant and propulsion system

Queen Victoria can carry 3,000 tons of heavy fuel and 150 tons of marine gas oil, consuming 12 tons per hour for maximum output.[2] Although the ship burns heavy fuel, it uses low-sulphur fuel in certain jurisdictions. In October 2009, Queen Victoria's captain, Ian McNaught, stormed out of a press conference in Halifax, Nova Scotia when asked about the ship's environmental standards.[5]


  1. "Queen Victoria". Seatrade Communications Limited. Retrieved 2008-03-06. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 "Queen Victoria technical information" (PDF). Cunard Line. 2006-03-09. Retrieved 2008-05-14. 
  3. "Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Cornwall to name Cunard's new Queen Victoria". Press releases. Cunard Line. 2007-09-10. Retrieved 2008-05-14. 
  4. "Queen Victoria sets sail for Australia". The West Australian. 2007-12-09. Retrieved 2008-05-14. 
  5. 5.0 5.1 Tom Peters, Halifax Chronicle Herald, Sat. October 3, 2009
  6. "History of Queen Victoria". 
  7. "Queen Victoria". Chris' Cunard Page. Retrieved 2010-02-16. 
  8. "Queen Victoria information". Retrieved 2008-05-14. 
  9. Hamilton, Keith (2007-01-16). "Victoria - new queen of the sea". Southern Daily Echo. Retrieved 2008-05-14. 
  10. "Ceremonies mark the float out of the world's newest queen ocean liner". Press releases. Cunard Line. 2007-01-15. Retrieved 2008-05-14. 
  11. "Queen Victoria: The Story So Far". Cunard Line. 
  12. "New liner arrives in Southampton". BBC News. 2007-12-07. Retrieved 2008-05-14. 
  13. "Her Royal Highness The Duchess Of Cornwall To Name Cunard's New Queen Victoria". Press releases. Cunard Line. 2007-09-10. Retrieved 2008-05-14. 
  14. Sloan, Gene (2007-12-10). "A royal launch for Cunard's Queen Victoria". The Cruise Log. USA Today. Retrieved 2008-05-14. 
  15. "First Master Appointed for Queen Victoria". Press releases. Cunard Line. 2006-10-06. Retrieved 2008-05-14. 
  16. "Royal Rendezvous". Cunard Line. 2008-02-20. Retrieved 2008-05-14. 
  17. "QE2 To Leave Cunard Fleet And Be Sold To Dubai World To Begin A New Life At The Palm". Press releases. Cunard Line. 2007-06-18. Retrieved 2007-06-20. 
  18. "Three 'Queens' in final meeting". BBC News. 2008-04-22. Retrieved 2008-05-14. 
  19. "Cunard's Queen Victoria crashes into dock in Malta". Cruise Log Blog. USA Today. Retrieved 2008-05-14. 

External links

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