Cunard Line announces that it has ordered a new 92,000-ton liner, to be named "Queen Elizabeth," scheduled to enter service in the autumn of 2010. Cunard, a unit of Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE/LSE: CCL; NYSE CUK) signed an agreement with Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri for the construction of the new 2092-passenger ocean liner, which will be built at Fincantieri's Monfalcone yard at an all-in cost of approximately $700 million. The vessel will be the second largest Cunarder the company has ever built.
"Cunard already owns and operates the two most famous ocean liners in the world, Queen Elizabeth 2 and Queen Mary 2, and a third - Queen Victoria - is due to be named by HRH The Duchess of Cornwall, in the presence of HRH The Prince of Wales, in December of this year," said Carol Marlow, president of Cunard Line. "The decision to order another ship for Cunard Line has been taken as a result of the strong booking response to the new Queen Victoria, and we are extremely pleased that Cunard will once again become a three-ship fleet so soon after the departure of the much-celebrated Queen Elizabeth 2 in November next year. Furthermore, we are delighted that Her Majesty The Queen has given her blessing to our calling this new Cunarder 'Queen Elizabeth', after our first vessel of that name."
The new ship follows a long line of famous Cunard liners stretching back to the company's inception as the first operator of a timetabled transatlantic service 167 years ago.
"It is a particularly special moment for Fincantieri to have secured a second order from Cunard at a time when we are nearing the completion of Queen Victoria," said Mr. Giuseppe Bono, Fincantieri's Chief Executive Officer. "Cunard is the most famous name in passenger shipping and we are honoured to have been chosen to build Queen Elizabeth and to continue the tradition and heritage of that great company."
Queen Elizabeth will offer the very best of Cunard's values and traditions, blended with every conceivable modern luxury that today's discerning travellers expect. Through her opulent public rooms and impeccable service, the new ship will reflect the grandeur which has been associated with Cunard ships since the introduction of the Mauretania in 1907; and from the outside, her black hull, gleaming white superstructure and distinctive red funnel will echo the classic characteristics of the company's distinctive liner heritage.
Queen Elizabeth will fly the Red Ensign with her home-port Southampton, as is the case with the other ships in the Cunard fleet.
The agreement is subject to approval by the board of directors of Carnival Corporation & plc. Design details and initial itineraries will be announced in due course.