Valencia, CA, Nov 23 – The Italian Prime Minister, Romano Prodi, and the Under Secretary of State, Department for Transport, Jim Fitzpatrick MP, will be present at a high profile Handover Ceremony in Venice on Saturday, November 24 when Cunard takes delivery of the new ocean liner, Queen Victoria. The ceremony, to take place on board the new 90,000-ton vessel at the Fincantieri Marghera shipyard, marks the completion of a ship noted for striking interiors on a par with the “floating palaces” of the twenties and thirties.
Just after 11:00 am, following speeches by Romano Prodi, the Prime Minister of Italy, and Jim Fitzpatrick, MP, Under Secretary of State, Department for Transport, the Italian flag will be ceremonially lowered and the Red Ensign raised. And so another magnificent Cunard liner will enter the Register of British Shipping. The event, attended by an invited audience, will be given a British emphasis by the presence of the Band of the Scots Guards, flown out specially to perform on board throughout the day.
“This ceremony to mark the completion of the ship, and our acceptance of delivery, is just the first of a number of significant events over the next few weeks – including the ship’s official naming by HRH The Duchess of Cornwall, in the presence of HRH The Prince of Wales, in Southampton on Monday, December 10,” said Carol Marlow, president of Cunard Line. “I’m certain the British will take this truly magnificent ship to their hearts, as they have all the Cunard Queens.”
Queen Victoria is due to leave the shipyard on November 30, and sail to Southampton – where she will berth at the City Cruise Terminal at 9:30 am on Friday December 7. She will depart on her Maiden Voyage, to a splendid firework display, at 5:00 pm on Tuesday December 11.