Page last updated at 16:55 GMT, Tuesday, 17 March 2009

New QE liner to set sail in 2010

The new Queen Elizabeth's  interior courtesy of Cunard
The new Queen Elizabeth liner boasts 1930s art deco features

The new 365m Queen Elizabeth liner will enter service in October 2010.

The vessel, whose home port will be Southampton, departs on its maiden voyage to the Canary Islands on 12 October, shipping company Cunard said.

It will retrace the route taken by the QE2, which was removed from service last year, on its first voyage in 1969.

The 92,000-tonne liner, being built at the Fincantieri shipyard in Italy, is capable of housing 2,000 passengers and measures 964ft (294 metres) long.

With art deco features similar to those in the original 1930s Queen Elizabeth liner, the new vessel boasts a ballroom with artwork depicting views from royal palaces and photography of the Queen, as well as a garden lounge with a vaulted glass ceiling.

'Proud tradition'

The liner also features a games deck, an Art Deco-style restaurant and a bar displaying 1930s memorabilia.

Fares for the 13 night maiden voyage - including stops at Lisbon, Tenerife and Madeira - will range from 1,489 up to almost 16,000 per person for one of the grand suites.

Travellers on the vessel are expected to drink about 352,000 bottles of wine and champagne a year and consume 1.5 million eggs, along with nearly 13,000lb of smoked salmon, a Cunard spokesman said.

The Queen Elizabeth will effectively be a sister ship to Cunard's Queen Mary 2 and Queen Victoria.

Cunard president Carol Marlow said: "For over 70 years there has been an Elizabeth in the fleet and this beautiful modern day celebration of our past Elizabeths will ensure this proud tradition will continue far into this century.

"We are quite confident that this ship will be a success."

The vessel will feature the Royal Standard first presented to the first Queen Elizabeth by the late Queen Mother when she launched the ship in 1938.

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