with Cunard President Carol Marlow

(Developed from Ms. Marlow's remarks to The Ocean Liner Council 24 July 2007)
(Photos and images on this page are  courtesy of Cunard) (Click on the images for  a
larger view).

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ABOUT THE SHIP   QUEEN VICTORIA has been long in the coming for
Cunard.  “Queen Victoria” was first mooted as a name for a Cunard ship back in
1907 when the MAURETANIA joined us.  She was on the list and it could have
been one of the names they chose but they didn’t.
A little bit later on, there was a story, which is a lovely story, some like to believe it
- - I don’t - - but it is one of those things.  When QUEEN MARY was going to be
named, the Cunard director at the time went to the palace to ask for permission to
use the name “Queen Victoria.”  In the way that we Brits do, he fussed around and
was not coming directly to the point and he ended up saying: “Your majesty could
we please call our next Cunard vessel after the most illustrious queen of England.”  
King George V turned around and said “My wife will be delighted” and so the ship
was named QUEEN MARY.
Much more recently, Cunard announced that there was going to be a new ship, it
was going to be called “Queen Victoria.”  Then, various corporate activities
happened.  The company had been bought back in 1998 by Carnival Corporation.  
It ordered the QUEEN VICTORIA to be a big competitor to P&O cruise ships in
the UK.  Then, of course, Carnival bought P&O.   The two competitors came
together so they didn’t think this particular ship was going to be right for a Cunard
vessel and so it went to P&O as ARCADIA.  
Now, I can assure you that we will have a ship in December of this year that will be
called QUEEN VICTORIA.  It will be exactly 100 years after the first time we
were going to have a ship called "Queen Victoria."
Let’s have a look at this good ship called QUEEN VICTORIA.  What is she going
to be like?
First of all, let’s start off with her vital statistics.  She is going to be a British
registered ship, with her homeport in Southampton as with the other Cunard
vessels.  Her shipyard number is 6127.  She will carry just under 2,000 guests and
have just over 1,000 officers and crew.  
She is actually going to be quite a large ship for Cunard.  She is going to be 90,000
tons, which puts her just about in the middle between QE2 at 70,000 tons and
QUEEN MARY 2 at 151,000 tons.  She is going to be the second largest Cunard
vessel ever built.  Being the second largest isn’t what she is all about.  She is all
about style.  She is all about the style of a Cunard liner, a Cunard ocean vessel - -
something very, very different from a cruise ship.
The third Queen Victoria that I mentioned earlier on was based very much on a
Vista class ship which is a class that Carnival Corporation has used in its various
brands.  For this QUEEN VICTORIA , we started off with the plans for the hull of
the Vista ship, which is very successful, and made a lot of changes.  If you saw
ARCADIA or one of the Holland America ships, there is quite a difference in their
construction.    QUEEN VICTORIA is longer, she has been strengthened in her
bow, she doesn’t have typical glass elevators,  What we have done is change her to
a liner.
She is going to be 964 feet long, which is actually very similar to QE2.  She is going
to be 106 feet wide at her beam and 120 feet at the bridge wing.  She is going to
be 205 feet high.  Actually, her dimensions will be very similar to QE2 but because
of her volume at 90,000 tons, her size will be greater than QE2.
The ship is being built at Fincantieri, the shipyard just north of Venice in Italy.  She
is costing some ₤300 million, at current exchange rates that is something like $600
QUEEN VICTORIA has six diesel engines: four six-cylinder engines and two 12-
cylinder engines.  She has two pods, two azipods from Finland.  They have fix-
blade propeller propulsion and can turn 360 degrees, each of those, to make sure
that we have the maneuverability that we need.  She has three bow thrusters.  She
has a pair of fin stabilizers so she is going to be still in the water.  And she will have
all the modern and up-to-date ways of disposing of grey and black water.  She will
more than take care of any of the regulations.  We have very strict regulations for
seagoing vessels and she will more than perform .
Her bunkers - - fuel capacity there is 3,000 tons for marine oil and gas oil is 150
tons.  Her fuel consumption when she is going at full speed is 10 tons per hour.
The sea trials will be at the end of August.  So, the last of week of August, she will
be going off and comes back in the yard fully tested.
That is really the technical side of the ship, now, for the really exciting part.  

Compared with QUEEN MARY 2, QUEEN VICTORIA, in term of style, is maybe
a little more traditional.  More traditional and more British in style.
THE GRAND LOBBY    When you enter
the vessel, you enter into a three-deck high
Grand Lobby as it was in the olden days in the
Cunard liners of the past.  It is going to be a
spectacular entrance to the ship.  There is going
to be wooden archways and cool marbles all
around the room.  This is a wonderful area.    
British understated elegance.  It is not going to
be glitzy and glamorous, it is British
understatement throughout the vessel.  We will
have functions in this area as well as greeting
people onto the ship.
ROYAL COURT THEATER  If we walk down toward the bow, we come to a three-deck
area: the Royal Court Theater.  We are particularly excited about the Royal Court Theater because
it will be the first time that anyone will have seen a theater at sea that has private boxes as we have
in the West End in London.  We are going to have a couple of Royal boxes, more on that later.  
This will be a wonderful way to see a show.
We will have our Cunard Insights program here, which is our expanded Oxford University
program.  We worked with Oxford for a good period of time.  It worked extremely well but we
felt we needed to broaden that so now we are going to be running a program where we are going
to have guest speakers from different universities around the world - - Oxford, Cambridge,
Harvard and Yale.  In addition to that, we are going to have talks by explorers, social
commentators, luminaries, actors and actresses, authors - - all sorts of different backgrounds. This
is going to happen in the theater and in a couple of other rooms that we will come to a little later.
This will be a spectacular way to see a show.  Let me describe what is going on in the boxes.  They
have an experience for you whereby we will have two of our bellboys escort you from your
restaurant after dinner.  They will come and guide you down to the lounge on the deck with the
boxes.  There you can enjoy after dinner coffee, chocolates and champagne before you go into
your box to watch the show.  For those boxes that are not taken up by people enjoying that
experience, they will be open for anyone who wants to go straight into the box and watch the
show.  We think people will enjoy that experience.
LIBRARY.  It was a Cunard vessel that had the first library at sea
and that was on the BOSNIA in 1874.   We have been carrying on that
tradition of having libraries ever since.  We wanted to try something
different with our library, something unusual.  The library will have a
spiral staircase joining spaces on two decks.  There will be 6,000
books - - audio books, multi-language volumes.  On the upper level, we
will have our book shop, where you can buy nautical books, cards, all
of that. It will be a quiet area where you can sit and enjoy reading your
Ms. Marlow speaking at a ceremony at the
Fincantieri ship yard where QUEEN
VICTORIA is being built..
An artist's impression of QUEEN
VICTORIA leaving Venice, Italy where she
is now under construction.