Over a 26-year career, two memorable moments stick out for Cunard veteran Captain Paul Wright: meeting Neil Armstrong onboard in the 1990's, and seeing half a million greeters rush to the shore for Queen Mary 2's maiden call into Hamburg.
Now, he's got a third to add -- becoming Master of the now-under-construction Queen Victoria, which will feature the first two-story library at sea. No stranger to Cunard's ships, Wright has served as Captain of Queen Elizabeth 2, Master of Queen Mary 2 (rotating with retired Commodore Ronald Warwick), Cunard Countess, as well as serving onboard Cunard Princess, Sagafjord and Cunard Dynasty.
Cunard's newest addition will be ready to sail the open waters in December 2007. The 90,000-ton, 2,000-passenger Queen Victoria will feature private boxes in its Royal Court Theater -- another first in the cruise industry -- as well as a lounge that serves post-dinner drinks and desserts, and a Todd English alternative restaurant. Among the traditional Cunard amenities that won't be debuting onboard? Atrium-view cabins and pet kennels/service. Queen Victoria's first sailing will be a 10-night Christmas markets tour of Europe from Southampton.