The wait is nearly over for one of the most anticipated new-builds of 2007. Cunard's Queen Victoria will arrive at its home in Southampton for the first time on Friday, December 7, berthing at the City Cruise Terminal at 9:30 a.m. GMT.
Cruise aficionados and other gawkers in the area will be able to watch the ship as it hugs the coast on a two-hour sail-by. For all parties interested, the schedule will be as follows:
Ryde and Gosport, 7:25 a.m.
Lee on Solent, 7:35 a.m.
Cowes, 7:50 a.m.
Calshot, 8:05 a.m.
Hamble, 8:15 a.m.
Royal Victoria Country Park & Weston Shore, 8:25 a.m.
Hythe, 8:35 a.m.
Mayflower Park, 9:15 a.m.
City Cruise Terminal, 9:30 a.m.
The ship will be docked in Southampton through Monday, December 10. Monday's actually the big day; Queen Victoria will be christened at a ceremony beginning at 3:30 p.m.
Godmother is The Duchess of Cornwall; she'll be joined by the Prince of Wales.
The ceremony will be covered live -- on large screens -- in Southampton's Mayflower Park.
Cruise Critic will be on hand both for the christening and the ship's inaugural sailing, a 10-night Christmas markets cruise departing on December 11 -- so stay tuned for our extensive coverage between now and the end of the year.