Your Ultimate Cruise Guide

Cunard Announces No New Queen Victoria After All ... Sort Of

April 5, 2004
Cunard will not be debuting Queen Victoria in 2005 after all. According to a statement released today, the company will transfer the 85,000-ton, 1,968-passenger ship, now under construction at Fincantieri's Marghera shipyard, to sister cruise line P&O. That would mark the third "new" owner for this as-yet-uncompleted vessel, which was originally intended to be part of Holland America's Vista Class before its reassignment to Cunard, where it was slated for a spring 2005 launch.

Under the P&O banner, the ship will be known as Arcadia -- and will be launched as scheduled next April.

This move -- part of a series of realignments by Carnival Corporation & plc, parent company of many of today's major cruise lines -- by no means represents a loss for Cunard. The hallowed Cunard will instead get a new-and-improved version of Queen Victoria that's obviously based on the success of Queen Mary 2's design. The "new" 85,000-ton, 1,850-passenger Queen Victoria will be built by Fincantieri Cantieri Navali Italiani S.p.A and is slated to enter service in January 2007. Its design will feature some Queen Mary 2 ocean liner-style accouterments -- more luxury suites and mini-suites, the Queens and Princess Grills, and the Todd English alternative restaurant -- as well as a ballroom and the line's now-signature library.

Cunard and P&O are among the 12 different cruise lines owned by Carnival Corporation & plc. Others include: Carnival Cruise Lines, Holland America Line, Princess Cruises, Seabourn Cruise Line, Windstar Cruises, AIDA, Costa Cruises, Ocean Village, Swan Hellenic, and P&O Cruises Australia.

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