Cruise Ships

Queen Elizabeth

And then there are three as new Queen joins the Cunard fleet

The Queen Elizabeth has become the third in Cunard's fleet of Queens, joining Queen Mary 2 and Queen Victoria, and together these three liners define a new golden age of ocean liner travel.

She was named by the Queen at a star-studded celebration in Southampton on October 11, 2010, before setting sail on her maiden voyage the following day.

The Cunard fleet is the most famous in the world and the youngest in the passenger shipping.

The second largest Cunarder ever built, Queen Elizabeth’s keel was the third to be laid for Cunard in the space of seven years. The keel laying, which took place on July 2, 2009 at the Monfalcone shipyard of Fincantieri near Trieste, Italy, involved 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.

Queen Elizabeth
Queen Elizabeth is the second largest Cunard cruise ship ever built

The ceremony followed an intensive period of design and development. 53 sections were used in the construction of Queen Elizabeth and she took to the water for the first time at her float out in December 2009 before her delivery to Cunard.

Carol Marlow, the then Cunard president, said at the ceremony: “We are delighted to be back here among our friends at Fincantieri so soon after we took delivery of Queen Victoria in 2007, the first Cunarder to be built in Italy. I am sure that Queen Elizabeth will be just as popular and successful as her two sisters. We at Cunard are always impressed by the commitment and enthusiasm of everyone at Fincantieri, and we look forward to the next year-and-a half of working closely with them on this ship, which will be nurtured by their skill and vision and built into a vessel equal in stature to the other great Cunard liners.”

Paolo Capobianco, Fincantieri Shipyard Director, added: “Our Company is the heir to the Italian shipbuilding industry and the world leader in cruise ship construction and believes, as Cunard does, in the possibility and the need of actively matching tradition and innovation. Building a new liner for Cunard is a special achievement for Fincantieri and takes us right to our roots, fostering both our determination to build once again a passenger ship of high technological content and unmistakable style, reflecting the best of the industry and tailored to the needs and requirements of the shipowner.”

Named after the first Queen Elizabeth, one of Cunard’s greatest ships, the new Queen Elizabeth references her predecessor in interior grandeur, decor and style, but with a modern twist.

From the outside, her distinctive black and red livery hints at an experience that differentiates a Cunard liner from a modern-day cruise ship. This is most evident in the ship’s adherence to liner traditions, with 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 pay homage to the original Queen Elizabeth, and allows the new ship to reflect a more civilised era of travel.

And in addition to the extensive Cunard entertainment programme on board, Queen Elizabeth offers some unique strands inspired by the era of the first Queen Elizabeth such as country house parties, Ivor Novello style piano evenings, and period dancing, from traditional ballroom to the jitterbug and the jive - all within the setting of this 21st century ship.

As successor to Queen Elizabeth 2, the ship also reflects this great liner through artworks and memorabilia, and its very own ‘Yacht Club’.

Queen Elizabeth also pays homage to the links Cunard and the maritime world have enjoyed with Royalty over the years, with photography, memorabilia and exhibits.

Public areas include:

  • The Queens Room - a new take on the traditional Cunard ballroom, with artwork depicting views from royal palaces, and a photography of our current Queen and Royal family, along with its 1000-square foot dance floor, for grand balls and tea dances at sea.
  • The Garden Lounge, with its magnificent vaulted glass ceiling creating a conservatory feel inspired by the glass houses of Kew Gardens, where Supper Clubs will mix dining with dancing under the stars.
  • The Games Deck offers croquet, paddle tennis and traditional British bowls, celebrating the oldest surviving bowls green in Cunard’s home port of Southampton.
  • The art deco style Britannia Restaurant, with its unique and elegant sweeping staircase, where ladies can create an enviable grand entrance.
  • The Britannia Club for single seating dining for those in the top balcony staterooms
  • The Midships Bar which pays homage to her namesake liner, the first Queen Elizabeth, with memorabilia displayed from that era.
  • The line’s celebrated luxury Grills accommodation and dining, with its al fresco dining option on an exclusive deck terrace, beautiful restaurants, Grills Lounge and sunbathing deck.
  • And, of course, Queen Elizabeth has been constructed with impressive sea keeping qualities that will enable her to travel easily and efficiently through the world’s oceans.

    Vital statistics

    Operator: Cunard Line
    Entering service: October 2010
    Gross Tonnage: 90,400 tons
    Length: 964ft
    Width: 106ft
    Draft: 26ft
    Guest capacity: 2,092
    Guest decks: 12
    85% of staterooms are outside
    71% feature balconies
    12% of the accommodation is Grills Suites

    Cunard Line

    Cunard's fleet of Queens - the new Queen Elizabeth, Queen Mary 2 and Queen Victoria - define a new golden age of ocean liner travel. More...

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