Cunard's newest ship, Queen Victoria, certainly made an entrance as it arrived for its maiden call in Malta -- by hitting a quay.
The 90,000-ton, 2,014-passenger ship arrived in the dock around 11:30 a.m. GMT. Queen Victoria was being manoeuvred to berth alongside the waterfront in Grand Harbour when the incident occurred, damaging the stern.
An eyewitness told local website TimesofMalta.com, that "It was a loud and scraping noise, I would not be surprised if the quay also suffered some damage."
Cunard has confimed to Cruise Critic that the ship, which left Southampton on a Mediterranean cruise on May 6 with 1,887 passengers onboard, will now remain in Malta until tomorrow for repairs. It had been due to call in La Goulette in Tunisia but unfortunately this has been cancelled.
Queen Victoria will now call in Gibraltar on May 17 before returning to Southampton on May 20. A spokesman said passengers would be compensated for the disruption but could not say exactly what was being offered.
Queen Victoria, which was launched last year by Her Royal Highness, the Duchess of Cornwall, hasn't had a huge amount of luck in its first six months of service. First, the Champagne bottle failed to smash at the glittering naming ceremony. A month later in January about 80 passengers were struck with Norovirus. And now this event in Malta.
Let's hope the second half of the year is better for Queen Victoria!
--by Kelly Ranson, Associate Editor
Queen Victoria Makes a Crashing Entrance in Malta
May 14, 2008