Cunard Line has announced that the Queen Victoria will enter the Blohm & Voss shipyard in Hamburg in January 2015 for a multi-million dollar refit.

Following the Queen Elizabeth’s recent refit at the same yard, the Victoria’s makeover will create nine single staterooms for the first time on the ship, re-modelled from part of the casino. In addition, carpets will be renewed throughout; large flat-screen TVs – mostly 32” or above – will be installed in all passenger staterooms; and in the ship’s informal Lido restaurant, waiters will in the future serve hot drinks at all meals.

“Queen Victoria’s multi-million dollar refit will ensure this much-loved ship remains in tip-top condition for her world cruise in 2015 and beyond,” said David Dingle, CEO for Cunard.

Sun awnings will be erected on the open area near the stern Lido pool and on both sides of the Grills Upper Terrace area near the top of the ship to offer more shade on deck.

In the shopping area on board, the footprint will increase significantly. New fine jewellery and watch shops are opening and the layout, lighting and overall shopping experience for passengers is being enhanced.

On the technical front, scrubber technology is being installed aboard the Victoria to match that now aboard Queen Elizabeth, in line with the company’s commitment to minimizing its environmental impact. The process involves the installation of a filtration system for the exhaust gas from the ship’s engines.

The timing of the Victoria’s dry dock is being brought forward, as a bearing on one of the ship’s propulsion units will need replacing prior to her previously scheduled dry dock in December 2015. This has no impact on the safety of the ship, but it is timely for the bearing to be replaced prior to the ship's world cruise beginning 20 January 2015.

As a result, two Victoria sailings have needed to be cancelled: a 12-day cruise to the Canaries on 3 January 2015, and a short five-day trip to Amsterdam and Cherbourg on 15 January 2015. Passengers (and their travel agents) have been informed. A Future Cruise Credit of $175.00 per person is being offered to all affected passengers, which can be used in conjunction with any alternative Cunard booking made for cruises departing within the next two years (before 3 January 2017). Full refunds of any monies paid will also be available should affected passengers not be in a position to rebook an alternative Cunard cruise.

Dingle stated, “While we are sorry to be cancelling the two cruises, we are looking forward to welcoming all those affected back aboard a Cunard ship in the near future, perhaps on the Queen Victoria or the Queen Elizabeth, both of which will be sailing in 2015 fresh from their make overs.”