(3:25 p.m. EDT) -- Cunard is spending $40 million on refurbishing Queen Victoria, adding 30 cabins, refurbishing 24 suites, adding a new dining room and a new sundeck and a specialty café.
The month-long refurbishment starts on May 5, 2017 and involves slicing off part of the back of the 1,988-passenger ship to add the new Britannia Club cabins and a Britannia Club Restaurant. This will increase passenger numbers to 2,081 when Queen Victoria relaunches on June 4.
Queen Victoria is the second ship in the three-ship fleet to undergo a refit -- last year Queen Mary 2 emerged from a $90 million "remastering." With Queen Victoria, the line hopes to make updates while still keeping the ship's original Art Deco design.
"This investment in Queen Victoria just goes to demonstrate Cunard's passion for delivering an experience that exceeds guests' expectations in luxury travel by sea," said Simon Palethorpe, Senior Vice President, Cunard.
"For the first time on Queen Victoria, guests can enjoy an elevated experience with large, well-appointed balcony staterooms in prime locations and the new Britannia Club Restaurant will be the perfect setting for those who prefer a more intimate dining experience in one of the finest restaurants at sea."
Details of the refit include:
- 43 Britannia Club cabins, including the new ones, on Decks 7 and 8, will have newly-designed carpets, soft furnishings, new flat screen TVs and tea and coffee facilities.
- A new Britannia Club restaurant for Britannia Club passengers, allowing them to dine whenever they choose.
- The Cunard Grand Suites will be redesigned and reconfigured. The Aquitania, Berengaria, Mauretania and Laconia Suites will have similar square footage to those on Queen Elizabeth at approximately 1,436 sq. ft. The new designs will include a new color scheme that takes its inspiration from the line's history with Cunard purple.
- Five new Penthouse Suites on Deck 8 aft which will feature floor-to-ceiling windows, defined living and sleeping spaces and bathrooms with natural light. These will also feature new color schemes.
- The ship will have a new Chart Room on Deck 2 off the Grand Lobby, where Café Carinthia is currently located. The Chart Room will have illy coffee, Godiva chocolate and light bites by day and cocktails by night.
- Cunard will also introduce a "gin and fizz" themed menu to the Midships Lounge, including a variety of wines, Proseccos, Cavas and Champagne alongside premium gins and spirits.
--By Adam Coulter, Managing Editor, U.K.