Queen Elizabeth arrives in Southampton“This is a great occasion for Cunard Line and a great occasion for Britain,” said Peter Shanks, president and managing director of Cunard Line, a day ahead of the christening of the new 90,900-ton, 2,068-passenger Queen Elizabeth by Her Majesty The Queen.

Highlighted by an art-deco feel, the newbuild for Cunard is slightly bigger than the Queen Victoria, featuring more aft cabins and the Game Deck, said Shanks. Staterooms are numbered at 1,034, according to a statement from the line.

The third ship in the fleet will allow Cunard more itinerary options, according to Shanks.

Meanwhile, “as the rest of the world gets more informal, people will appreciate our formality,” he said, noting that alternative dining in the Lido offers three options with a casual feel while the ship still has the traditional main restaurant and an upscale alternative option.

The ship’s alternate restaurant, The Verandah, has a menu crafted by the line’s celebrity chef, Jean-Marie Zimmermann. A Cunard statement described the venue as “an emotional link to those that dined on the original Queen Elizabeth whilst enjoying the very best in French Cuisine.”

The Royal Court Theater features performances by The Queen Elizabeth Theater Company, comprising of 21 dancers and actors.

Cunard history is everywhere.The Golden Lion Pub and the Queen’s Room back up the theater and casino on Deck 2. The Pub becomes a hopping place as the evening develops and the Queen’s Room opens up to a second level with a large dance floor and live music at night.

The Game Deck shows off Croquet and English Garden Bowling, which will be an opportunity for passengers to participate in unique activities.

The ship’s maiden voyage, scheduled to depart this Tuesday – October 12 – sold out in 29 minutes and 14 seconds while future bookings are doing “very well”.

“This is a new age of ocean liner travel with a remarkable history and modern ships,” continued Shanks.

The Yacht Club remembers the popular QE2Cunard has included much sea-faring tradition on the Queen Elizabeth, including newspaper clippings, posters and old advertisements from the line’s rich history, which are packaged in displays all over the ship.

This was clearly a big hit with the large contingent of British travelers have been visiting the ship this weekend, many of which had stories of Atlantic crossings with Cunard dating back to the 1940s.

David Linley's piece in the main atriumThe forward staircase features photographs and original artwork from Cunard’s history, including some pieces from the QE2. That vessel, now moored in Dubai, isn’t forgotten as the Yacht Club on Deck 10 pays homage via ship models and more artwork.

As highlighted by the Fall 2010 edition of the Cruise Industry News Quarterly Magazine, David Linley’s piece takes over the Grand Lobby, featuring a painting of the original Queen Elizabeth liner, spanning some two levels.

Shanks was careful not to define the brand as luxury or premium, but instead simply described it as “unique”.

Stay tuned to CruiseIndustryNews.com for more Queen Elizabeth coverage and be sure to subscribe to the Cruise Industry News Quarterly Magazine to read the full-length feature article on Cunard’s latest ship.