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Queen to name new QE cruise ship in Southampton

11/10/2010 13:34

 11 October 2010.

Queen to name new QE cruise ship in Southampton

The giant cruiser sailed up the Solent to its dock at Southampton

The Queen will officially name Cunard's new Queen Elizabeth cruise ship in Southampton later.The ship will leave on her maiden voyage to the Canary Islands on Tuesday - a trip that was fully booked less than 30 minutes after going on sale.The Italian-built, 92,000-tonne, 964ft (294m) long vessel arrived in the city on Friday.She joins two other "queens" in the Cunard fleet - the Queen Mary 2 (QM2) and the Queen Victoria.Full of art deco flourishes, the latest Queen Elizabeth recalls the era of the 1930s ocean liners.The ship features mosaics, chandeliers and cantilevered balconies and in the grand lobby is a recently-completed portrait of the Queen by artist Isobel Peachey.Also in the grand lobby is a panel, created by the Queen's nephew Viscount Linley, depicting the port bow of the original Queen Elizabeth.Hundreds of onlookers turned out to catch a glimpse of the vessel as she sailed up the Solent on Friday. The vessel is now moored at the city's Ocean Terminal.The new ship is the third Cunard ship to be named Queen Elizabeth.The first was launched on the Clyde in Scotland in 1938 by the then Queen Elizabeth - who later became the Queen Mother - with the present Queen, aged 12, looking on.The Queen launched the second Queen Elizabeth, the QE2, on the Clyde in 1967. She also named the QM2 at Southampton in 2004. The new liner features three swimming pools and a games deck.Queen Elizabeth 2 (QE2) made its last transatlantic crossing in 2008.The new ship is almost identical to its sister, Queen Victoria, but is more than a third smaller than Cunard's largest liner, the QM2.The 13-night maiden voyage cruise sets off from Southampton at 1700 BST on Tuesday. At the helm will be Cpt Chris Wells.Passengers will be able to enjoy West End-style shows in an 832-seater theatre, visit the spa, games deck and a shopping arcade featuring brand names such as Fortnum & Mason and Harris Tweed.Of the 1,046 rooms, 71% have balconies. There are four grand suites and two master suites, as well as 25 penthouses.