Thursday, July 2, 2009
Construction of Queen Elizabeth Begins
Queen Elizabeth's Keel Laid
A ceremony was held today, at the Monfalcone shipyard of Fincantieri near Trieste, Italy, to mark the keel laying of Cunard Line’s new Queen Elizabeth. The second largest Cunarder ever built, Queen Elizabeth’s keel is the third Cunard has lain in the space of seven years. When she enters service in October 2010, she will join Queen Mary 2 and Queen Victoria as not only the most famous ocean liners in the world but also the youngest fleet in passenger travel.
The keel laying involves the placement in the dry dock of the first section of the ship’s hull. This section is made up of six pre-manufactured blocks, weighs 364 tons and is fitted with 104 tons of pipes, cables, insulation and other equipment. Fifty-three sections will be used in the construction of Queen Elizabeth and she will take to the water for the first time at her float out in December.
The new ship is named after the first Queen Elizabeth, one of Cunard’s greatest ships. The exterior design will be like her sister ships with the distinctive black and red design. The interior of the ship will consist of elegant double and triple height public rooms on a grand scale, luxuriously endowed with rich wood panelling, intricate mosaics, gleaming chandeliers and cool marbles. Art Deco features will pay homage to the original Queen Elizabeth and will allow the new ship to reflect a more civilized era of travel.
Queen Elizabeth's maiden voyage will be October 12, 2010. That voyage sold out in just over 29 minutes back in April this year. Her Maiden Season will run from October 2010 to January 2011 and include voyages to the Western and Central Mediterranean and the Caribbean. Fares start from just $1,195 per person for the five-night 26 November 2010 Gallic Debut voyage with ports of call at Amsterdam, Zeebrugge and Le Havre; while the 13-night Iberian Discovery voyage departing 1 December 2010 features fares from $2,395 per person, with ports of call at Vigo, Lisbon, Seville, Gran Canaria, Tenerife, La Palma and Madeira.
The world’s newest ocean liner will depart Southampton on January 5, 2011, on her 103-night epic Maiden World Voyage, which has just been released for sale. This will see her make 35 maiden calls, including Cunard’s first call ever at Port Denarau (Fiji). In total, Queen Elizabeth will call at 38 ports in 24 countries as she makes her way west around the globe, with maiden transits of both the Panama and Suez Canals and calls at Los Angeles, Auckland, Sydney, Hong Kong, Singapore, Dubai and Lisbon.