Keel Laid for Cunard's Queen Victoria

A ceremony marking the keel laying for Cunard Line's 90,000-ton Queen Victoria was held Friday at the Marghera shipyard of Fincantieri near Venice, Italy. The second largest Cunard ship ever built—after Queen Mary 2—Queen Victoria will enter service on Dec. 11, 2007 and become the third ship in Cunard's fleet. The keel laying involved the placement in the dry dock of one section of the ship's hull. This section was made up of six pre-manufactured blocks, weighs 325 tons and fitted with 50 tons of pipes, cables, insulation and other equipment. In total, eighty sections will be used in the construction of Queen Victoria and she will take to the water for the first time in January 2007 before her delivery to Cunard in December 2007. Queen Victoria will depart on her maiden voyage on Dec. 11, 2007, a voyage that's already sold out. The ship will then depart New York on Jan. 13, 2008 on a 105-day "Pathway to the Explorers" maiden World Cruise that will call at 36 cities in 23 countries. Early booking fares for that Pathway to the Explorers cruise start at $18,827 per person double.

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