Cunard's Queen Victoria getting $40M makeover

Cunard Line will add a new Brittania Grill restaurant to the Queen Victoria.
Cunard Line will add a new Brittania Grill restaurant to the Queen Victoria.

FORT LAUDERDALE -- Cunard Line said it will spend $40 million on a makeover of the Queen Victoria that will include the addition of 30 new cabins.

The move will raise the double-occupancy capacity from 2,021 to 2,081, Josh Liebowitz, senior vice president of Cunard North America, said at a news conference at Seatrade Cruise Global.

Liebowitz said the new cabins will be added by slicing a back section of existing suites off the ship. "We have a whole new sundeck up top," said Liebowitz.

The 30 additional staterooms will be Britannia cabins. Existing Britannia Club cabins will be moved to a midship area where there will be 43 Britannia Club cabins in a configuration similar to Cunard's Queen Elizabeth.

To create space for a Britannia Club restaurant, the current Chart room will be relocated to Deck 2 off the Grand Lobby where Café Carinthia is currently located. The Chart Room will feature Illy coffee, Godiva chocolate treats and light bites by day and cocktails by night.

In addition, the Midships Bar will be given a new Gin and Fizz Bar theme.

The improvements will happen during a month-long drydock in Palermo, Sicily, that concludes June 4, 2017.

At the news conference, Liebowitz said that in 2018 the Queen Elizabeth will sail in Australia and in Japan during cherry blossom season. It will also sail in Alaska in the summer of 2019. "We've never had the Cunard product there," Liebowitz said.

The itineraries are part of a push to diversify Cunard's passenger base, which in recent years has become majority-sourced from the U.K. In particular, Cunard seeks to raise the share of Americans, Canadians and Australians.

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