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Last Updated: Tuesday, 11 December 2007, 20:18 GMT
Cunard's 'queen' liner sets sail
Queen Victoria arriving in Southampton
The Queen Victoria was named by the Duchess of Cornwall
A firework display has marked the departure of Cunard's new 300m luxury liner, the Queen Victoria on her 10-day maiden voyage around northern Europe.

The Duchess of Cornwall officially named her at a ceremony in the vessel's new home port of Southampton on Monday.

The 90,000-tonne ship boasts seven restaurants, three swimming pools, a 6,000-book library and a casino.

There is also a Queen's Room, where the life of Queen Victoria is reflected through a collection of works.

QE2 decommissioned

The duchess, accompanied by the Prince of Wales, was escorted around the ship by Cunard's president, Carol Marlow.

Their tour included a visit to an 830-seat theatre with West End-style theatre boxes, where they met Welsh opera singer Katherine Jenkins and Sir Derek Jacobi.

The Duchess also unveiled a plaque to officially open the Royal Box.

Cunard said that although Queen Victoria was smaller than the 150,000-tonne Queen Mary 2, it was the company's most luxurious liner yet.

Built at Italy's Fincantieri shipyard, the 90,000-tonne Queen Victoria arrived in Southampton, Hampshire, last week and was opened for daily tours.

The previous three Cunard "queens" were named or launched by reigning queens.

Queen Victoria will eventually replace the 40-year-old QE2, which is being decommissioned and turned into a floating hotel in Dubai from 2009.



SEE ALSO
Camilla names new Cunard 'queen'
10 Dec 07 |  Hampshire
New liner arrives in Southampton
07 Dec 07 |  Hampshire
Luxury cruiser takes to the water
15 Jan 07 |  Hampshire
Work begins on 'new QE2' vessel
19 May 06 |  Hampshire
300m liner's luxuries announced
16 Feb 06 |  Hampshire

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