A Queen for Cunard

Queen Elizabeth II will christen the QM2 in January

By: Theresa Norton Masek

Queen Elizabeth II will christen the Queen Mary 2, continuing a long relationship between British royalty and the 163-year-old Cunard Line.

“This will be an historic occasion in the true sense of the word,” said Cunard President Pamela Conover. “The queen honored Cunard by launching our current flagship, QE2, in 1967, and we are delighted Her Majesty has agreed to do the same for our next transatlantic liner, Queen Mary 2.”

Although Cunard is now owned by Miami-based Carnival Corp., the line is working hard to preserve its long British heritage.

The QM2 will be the largest, longest and the most expensive passenger liner ever built. The $780 million ship is under construction at Chantiers de l’Atlantique in St. Nazaire, France.

The QM2 christening is scheduled for Jan. 8 in Southampton, England. The ship’s maiden voyage sold out long ago is set to depart Jan. 12 from Southampton to Fort Lauderdale.

The ship will embark on its first six-day transatlantic crossing April 16, and 13 six-day crossings will follow.