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.