Cunard Line’s Queen Victoria celebrates her fifth anniversary today, as five years ago she departed on her Maiden Voyage from her homeport of Southampton – a day after being named by HRH The Duchess of Cornwall with HRH The Prince of Wales in attendance. Since then she has sailed over half a million nautical miles, called at 196 ports in 63 countries and carried almost 250,000 guests, many of whom enjoyed the experience so much that they have travelled many times with the ship already. In all, 20,300 bottles of champagne – enough to fill six Olympic-size swimming pools – have been drunk and 9,125,000 cups of tea and 1,460,000 scones have been served since 11 December 2007!
To mark this special birthday, HRH The Duchess of Cornwall will make a return visit (her third in five years) to her ship on 13 December in Southampton and spend time meeting crew before unveiling a specially-commissioned portrait of herself and cutting a special birthday cake.
“We are very proud of Queen Victoria, her crew and her achievements since she entered service. To have a visit from Her Royal Highness will be a very special moment for the ship’s company. Queen Victoria is known as a happy ship and is certainly extremely popular with Cunard’s discerning guests.”
Queen Victoria is one of the most celebrated ships to be introduced in recent years and she quickly established herself as a popular member of the Cunard fleet continuing in style the line’s traditions established 172 years ago.
Now the third largest Cunard ship ever built (she was the second largest when she entered service but her sister Queen Elizabeth assumed that position when she joined the fleet in 2010) Queen Victoria has never been about size superlatives – she is about style. When the designers of Queen Victoria began to consider the ship’s interior public spaces, they drew on the well-recorded and rich history of previous Cunard ocean liners to set the tone.
From the ship’s double and triple-height spaces – a design feature of grand liners of the past – to rooms imbued with an elegant yet understated British charm, the overall effect is both contemporary and classically historic with some exciting innovations. These include the first traditional West End-style private viewing boxes at sea in the Royal Court Theatre, the first Cunardia exhibit display at sea, housing Cunard artefacts and memorabilia and the first two-storey library at sea featuring an elegant spiral staircase.
Queen Victoria made Cunard history when in December 2010 the company’s first-ever female Captain, Inger Olsen, took command.
Photos and article courtesy of Cunard.