Page last updated at 20:25 GMT, Wednesday, 14 May 2008 21:25 UK

Hole torn in 330m Cunard liner

The whole ripped into the stern of the Queen Victoria
Repairs are due to be carried out during the night

A hole has been ripped into the stern of a 300m luxury British cruise liner as it crashed while docking in Malta.

Cunard's Queen Victoria, which was named by the Duchess of Cornwall in Southampton in December, hit the quay at Valletta.

None of the 1,887 passengers onboard was injured in the crash.

"The ship touched the quay as she was berthing and sustained some damage which is now being assessed," said Cunard president Carol Marlow.

The 90,000-ton ship, which Cunard says is its most luxurious, boasts seven restaurants, three swimming pools, a 6,000-book library and a casino.

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

The three Cunard "queens" in Southampton
Queen Victoria was recently joined by the QE2 and QM2 in Southampton
But the champagne bottle used in Queen Victoria's naming ceremony failed to break against the ship, regarded in maritime circles as bad luck.

Cunard said the damage was being assessed and that repairs were under way and should be completed during the night.

"This will necessitate the cancellation of the call at La Goulette in Tunisia which the ship was due to visit tomorrow but its expected call to Gibraltar on the 17 May will go ahead as planned.

"Cunard will be compensating guests for the disruption to their voyage," a spokesman said.

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

Three 'Queens' in final meeting
22 Apr 08 |  Hampshire
Royal gathering of sea 'Queens'
22 Apr 08 |  Hampshire
Cunard's 'queen' liner sets sail
11 Dec 07 |  Hampshire
Camilla names new Cunard 'queen'
10 Dec 07 |  Hampshire
New liner arrives in Southampton
07 Dec 07 |  Hampshire
Royal liners in Sydney rendezvous
20 Feb 07 |  Asia-Pacific


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific