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Southampton's proud tradition receives queen of the seas

Sunday, December 9th 2007 - 20:00 UTC
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Homecoming: Arriving in style Homecoming: Arriving in style

The new queen of the seas arrived in Southampton Friday to extend a proud tradition. The £300million Queen Victoria berthed for the first time in what will be her home port for years of luxury cruising

The latest addition to Cunard's fleet, built at the Fincantieri shipyard near Venice, will be officially named by the Duchess of Cornwall on Monday. The following day she will set sail on her maiden voyage, a ten-day trip around northern Europe. At 90,000 tons, Queen Victoria is smaller than her sister ship Queen Mary 2, but bigger than her predecessor the QE2. She can carry 2,000 passengers at up to 23.7 knots, and her 18 decks include seven restaurants, three swimming pools, 4,000 sq ft of shops, a casino, theatre and library. Tickets for a world cruise will cost up to £210,000 for the grandest suites and 24-hour butler service. More than 2,000 invited guests will witness the ceremony in a specially-built auditorium next to the City Cruise Terminal where Queen Victoria will be berthed. The vessel will join two other Cunard queens - the QE2 and the Queen Mary 2 (QM2) - as part of the company's fleet, with the three vessels meeting in New York next month. Cunard's president and managing director Carol Marlow said: "The naming of a Cunard queen is a very special occasion. "The naming of Queen Victoria is made even more special by the presence of their Royal Highnesses and we are delighted that both our invited guests and the people of Southampton will be able to witness this exciting event" A firework display will mark the departure of the vessel on her 10-night maiden voyage around northern Europe on Tuesday. Built at the Fincantieri shipyard near Venice in Italy, the Queen Victoria may not be Cunard's biggest ship but the company boasts that it is its most grand. Features include a "floating first" - West-End style boxes in the 830-seat theatre - as well as a 6,000-book library. The meeting of the three queens is part of Queen Victoria's first world cruise - a 106-night trip with fares ranging from £11,000 to £115,000 for a grand suite.(Daily Mail)

Categories: Tourism, International.

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