Tuesday, January 27, 2015

A Refreshed Queen Victoria Sets Out To Conquer The World

When Queen Victoria set out on her 2015 World Voyage last week she revealed a stunning new look as she sailed past a fusillade of fireworks. The ship left Southampton in top drawer form having just returned from an intensive 20 day refurbishment at the Blohm & Voss shipyard in Hamburg.

Nine brand new single staterooms were installed as part of the refurbishment. In addition to refreshing existing furnishings, enhancements were made to the outdoor spaces, beverage provision in the ship’s informal Lido restaurant, and eight brand new internet stations have been installed on the upper floor of the library.

“The results of Queen Victoria’s refit are a true testament to Cunard’s ability to respond to passenger input. We are delighted to incorporate their wish for more outdoor space with enhancements to the Upper Grill Terrace and additional areas for sunbathing. We also provided more single staterooms for our single travelers. It’s this commitment to our passengers that keeps Cunard’s 175 year heritage going strong,” commented Rick Meadows, President of Cunard, North America.

For such a large undertaking, 2,000 contractors representing thirty different nationalities worked a total of 600,000 man hours around the clock to replace all 215,278 square feet of carpet in the passenger areas. They also renewed all 3,167 mattresses on board and replaced over 19,685 square feet—3.75 miles—of pipe work insulation. 2,695 gallons of paint were used inside and out, enough to paint 54 Boeing 737's.

Such a successful refit depended on a great working partnership between the ship and the shipyard and throughout the refit, Cunard’s shipboard White Star service standards were observed. To sustain the workforce over its tea-breaks for example, over 317 gallons of soup—served in true Cunard style, with croutons—and 2,000 cookies were consumed daily. 80,000 teas and coffees were consumed over the 20 days.

In honor of the company’s anniversary, Queen Victoria welcomed her World Voyage passengers aboard with a commemorative flag-raising ceremony which took place at the ship’s mast. This was to hoist the signature flag for the first time on board and as is traditional, was performed by the youngest crew member, 20 year-old deck cadet Fraser Browne. The flag will be flown at iconic landmarks across the world during all three of the fleet’s World Voyages and will be auctioned at their conclusion with all proceeds going to The Prince’s Trust, Cunard’s official charity.

Queen Victoria’s first call was Ponta Delgada in the Azores and she is now sailing to the Caribbean, will transit the Panama Canal, and then make her way to Hawaii and Australia.

Images Courtesy Cunard Line

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