MS Queen Victoria

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Queen Victoria-1.jpg
Queen Victoria departing Southampton 30 June 2013
Career
Name: Queen Victoria
Owner: Carnival Corporation & plc[1][citation needed]
Operator: Cunard Line
Port of registry: 2007–2011: Southampton,  United Kingdom
2011–present: Hamilton,  Bermuda
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
Completed: Final Quarter of 2007
Acquired: Final Quarter of 2007
Maiden voyage: 11 December 2007
In service: Final Quarter of 2007
Identification: Callsign ZCEF3
IMO number: 9320556
MMSI number: 310624000
Status: In service
General characteristics
Class & type: Vista-class cruise ship
Tonnage: 90,000 GT
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: Sulzer ZA40 diesel engines
63,400 kW (combined)
Propulsion: Two ABB Azipods (2 × 16.7 MW)
Speed: 23.7 knots (43.9 km/h; 27.3 mph) maximum,
service at 18 knots (33 km/h; 21 mph)[2]
Capacity: 2,014 passengers
Crew: 900

MS Queen Victoria (QV) is a cruise ship operated by the Cunard Line, and is named after the late British monarch, Queen Victoria.

Queen Victoria is the running mate to Queen Mary 2 and Queen Elizabeth. Until November 2008, she also operated alongside Queen Elizabeth 2. Queen Victoria is of the same basic design as other Carnival Spirit-class passenger vessels, though slightly longer and more in keeping with Cunard's interior style. At 90,000 GT, she is the smallest of Cunard's ships in operation.

QV's facilities include seven restaurants, thirteen bars, three swimming pools, a ballroom, and a theatre.[3]

Characteristics and naming[edit]

In a departure from other Cunard Queens, Queen Victoria does not carry mail and thus will not carry the Royal Mail Ship (RMS) status. Also unlike many previous Cunard Queens, Queen Victoria is not a true ocean liner as she does not have the heavy plating throughout the hull nor the propulsion system of a dedicated transatlantic liner. However the bow was constructed with heavier plating to cope with the transatlantic run, and the ship has a high freeboard. 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 Queen Elizabeth retains 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.[4]

History[edit]

Concept and construction[edit]

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.[5] 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.[6] A new Queen Victoria was subsequently ordered with Fincantieri in 2004, which was 11 meters longer, 5,000 tons larger, and with an increased passenger capacity of 2,000.[7]

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.[8] 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.[9]

QV left the Port of Venice on 24 August 2007 to commence her sea trials,[10] 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."[11] The same day, the ship was officially named by Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, continuing the tradition of Cunard Queens being named by royalty.[12] The bottle of champagne did not break upon impact with the QV's hull, which according to nautical superstition is a bad omen.[13] However, a backup bottle was immediately successful.[14]

Queen Victoria in her home port with QM2 about to pass her. QE2 can be seen in the dock behind.

At the end of October 2011 Queen Victoria and her fleet mates changed their registries to Hamilton, Bermuda to host weddings on board. Also the word "Southampton" across the stern was replaced by Hamilton.[15]

Service history[edit]

Captain Paul Wright was appointed master of Queen Victoria in October 2006.[16] Captain Christopher Rynd became secondary master. Captain Ian McNaught[17] (of QE2 fame) briefly commanded Queen Victoria before transferring to Seabourn.[18]

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,[19] owing to the QE2's impending retirement from service in late 2008,[20] though the ships did meet again in Southampton on 22 April 2008, resulting from a change in the QE2's schedule.[21]

In May 2008, QV struck a pier in Malta after her thrusters malfunctioned. However the damage was minimal, allowing the ship to continue operating, but repairs resulted in her missing a port of call in La Goulette.[22]

Queen Victoria completed her third World Cruise in 2010 where she was joined by Captain Chris Wells who was aboard to familiarise himself with the Vista-class ship before taking command of Queen Elizabeth in late 2010. During a call at Sydney, QV was illuminated in pink in support of Breast Cancer Research.[23]

On 9 December 2010 Cunard announced its first female captain, Faroese born Inger Klein Olsen,[24] who would take command of Queen Victoria beginning on 15 December.[25] In July 2014, The Queen Victoria was named named "Most Popular Cruise Ships - Luxury Cruises category" on the CruiseCompete CruiseTrends™ report.[26]

Cunard Royal Rendezvous[edit]

January 2011: Two years after the first Cunard Royal Rendezvous, on the same date, the Queen Mary 2 met up with both the Queen Victoria and the Queen Elizabeth for another Royal Rendezvous in New York City on 13 January 2011. Both the Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth made a tandem crossing of the Atlantic for the event. All three ships met in front of the statue of Liberty at 6:45 pm for a Grucci fireworks display. The Empire State Building was lit up in red to mark the event.

March 2011: Queen Victoria passed Queen Mary (a former Cunard ship, now permanently docked in Long Beach, California as a hotel) for the first time, along with a fireworks display in Long Beach.[27]

5 June 2012: All three Queens met again but this time in Southampton to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II.[28]

6 May 2014: All three Queens met up for the first time in Lisbon, Portugal in preparation for the Queen Mary 2s 10th birthday. All three on departure sailed in a one-line formation to Southampton.

9 May 2014: Both Queen Elizabeth and Queen Victoria led in single file, the Queen Mary 2 up the Southampton channel, with both sisters docking in a bow to bow formation performing a birthday salute to the Queen Mary 2.

Later on, all three sisters gather for a fireworks display in which the Queen Mary 2 led both sisters back down the channel.

Design[edit]

Exterior[edit]

John McKenna's relief sculpture panel on the grand lobby staircase
Queen Victoria passing Calshot Spit light buoy outward bound from Southampton.
Queen Victoria at Circular Quay, Sydney
Queen Victoria travelling through a fjord in Norway
Queen Victoria Entering Auckland harbour, New Zealand
Queen Victoria at Manzanillo, Mexico.
MS Queen Victoria anchored in Stavanger Norway

Queen Victoria's exterior design closely resembles that of Vista-class ships built for various cruise companies.

A feature which will distinguish her from her new fleet mate, MS Queen Elizabeth, is her more angled sloping stern, as compared to the newer ship's vertical one. In addition to this she lacks the covered games deck above the bridge, a feature which is present on the newer ship.

Interior[edit]

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 port side. The ship does have the similar grand lobby staircase with an artwork feature as on the Queen Mary ships, a relief portrait of the ship situated on the staircase sculpted by British sculptor John McKenna.

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, Verandah 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 are 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 a two-storey library with a connecting spiral staircase.

Technical[edit]

Power plant and propulsion system[edit]

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.[4]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Queen Victoria Vessel Details. Lloyd's Register - Unverifiable reference due to restricted access.
  2. ^ a b c "Queen Victoria technical information" (PDF). Cunard Line. 9 March 2006. Retrieved 14 May 2008. 
  3. ^ "Queen Victoria sets sail for Australia". The West Australian. 9 December 2007. Retrieved 14 May 2008. 
  4. ^ a b Tom Peters, Halifax Chronicle Herald, Sat. 3 October 2009
  5. ^ "History of Queen Victoria". 
  6. ^ "Queen Victoria". Chris' Cunard Page. Retrieved 16 February 2010. 
  7. ^ "Queen Victoria information". Retrieved 14 May 2008. 
  8. ^ Hamilton, Keith (16 January 2007). "Victoria – new queen of the sea". Southern Daily Echo. Archived from the original on 5 December 2007. Retrieved 14 May 2008. 
  9. ^ "Ceremonies mark the float out of the world's newest queen ocean liner". Press releases. Cunard Line. 15 January 2007. Retrieved 14 May 2008. 
  10. ^ "Queen Victoria: The Story So Far". Cunard Line. 
  11. ^ "New liner arrives in Southampton". BBC News. 7 December 2007. Retrieved 14 May 2008. 
  12. ^ "Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cornwall To Name Cunard's New Queen Victoria". Press releases. Cunard Line. 10 September 2007. Retrieved 14 May 2008. 
  13. ^ Eyers, Jonathan (2011). Don't Shoot the Albatross!: Nautical Myths and Superstitions. A&C Black, London, UK. ISBN 978-1-4081-3131-2.
  14. ^ Sloan, Gene (10 December 2007). "A royal launch for Cunard's Queen Victoria". The Cruise Log (USA Today). Retrieved 14 May 2008. 
  15. ^ http://www.cruisecritic.com/news/news.cfm?ID=4634
  16. ^ "First Master Appointed for Queen Victoria". Press releases. Cunard Line. 6 October 2006. Retrieved 14 May 2008. 
  17. ^ "We Are Cunard: Interview with Captain Ian McNaught". Retrieved 12 July 2010. 
  18. ^ "Captain Greybeard : QE2 Captain Moves to Seabourn". 
  19. ^ "Royal Rendezvous". Cunard Line. 20 February 2008. Retrieved 14 May 2008. 
  20. ^ "QE2 To Leave Cunard Fleet And Be Sold To Dubai World To Begin A New Life at the Palm". Press releases. Cunard Line. 18 June 2007. Retrieved 20 June 2007. 
  21. ^ "Three 'Queens' in final meeting". BBC News. 22 April 2008. Retrieved 14 May 2008. 
  22. ^ Sloan, Gene. "Cunard's Queen Victoria crashes into dock in Malta". Cruise Log Blog (USA Today). Retrieved 14 May 2008. 
  23. ^ "Cruise Ship Turns Pink For Charity". The Sydney Morning Herald. 18 February 2010. Retrieved 18 February 2010. 
  24. ^ "Inger er blivin skipari á Queen Victoriu" (in Faroese). Retrieved 12 December 2010. 
  25. ^ "Women gaining (a little) ground as cruise ship captains". Gadling. 9 December 2010. Retrieved 12 December 2010. 
  26. ^ CruiseCompete.com, "CruiseCompete CruiseTrends™", July 2014
  27. ^ Cunard ships rendezvous
  28. ^ http://www.cruiseindustrynews.com/cruise-news/5207-3711-cunard-line-announces-2012-2013-deployment.html

External links[edit]