Jul 14, 2003
Author: P&S

The keel of Cunardís latest ship Queen Victoria was laid on Saturday (12 July) in ceremonial fashion at the Fincantieri shipyards outside Venice, Italy.

The ship is due to enter service with Cunard in April 2005, a little more than one year after Queen Mary 2, the largest and most expensive passenger ship ever, and both ships will join perhaps the most famous of them all, Queen Elizabeth 2 in service as part of the Cunard fleet.

The keel laying involved the placement in the dry dock of central section AC. This painted section is made up of six blocks, weighs 480 tons and is fitted with 80 tons of pipes, cables, insulation and other equipment.

The ceremony follows an intensive period of design and development and the cutting of the first steel in February this year. Approximately 68 sections will be used in the construction of Queen Victoria and her float out is scheduled for May 2004 prior to her delivery in March 2005.

For the construction of Queen Victoria, some 5,000 tons of steel have already been cut, welded and assembled in specialised workshops. Her final hull weight will be 16,500 tons.

"Today is another historic day for Cunard as its rejuvenation continues at a rapid pace. The keel of Queen Victoria is being laid just a little over a year after the keel was laid for Queen Mary 2. These two great ships will join QE2 in forming the new Cunard fleet - the greatest and most famous ocean
liners in the world", said Pamela Conover, Cunard's President and Chief Operating Officer.

Giuseppe Bono, Chief Executive Officer of Fincantieri, added:

"This is an extremely important occasion for Fincantieri as we officially celebrate the keel laying of our first Cunarder. We are delighted to be working with Cunard Line, a well-established and prestigious name in the world of international shipowners and this is a further testament of our close co-operation with the Carnival Group".

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