Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall are to attend the naming Cunard’s new 90,000-ton cruise ship, Queen Victoria.

The Duchess will officially name the ship at the ceremony, to be held in Southampton on December 10 2007. More than 2,000 VIPs are expected to attend.

Cunard’s Queen Victoria will be in Southampton for four days, during which time more than 7,000 guests are expected to visit it. It will depart on its maiden voyage on Tuesday December 11 2007.

Carol Marlow, president and managing director of Cunard Line, said, “This will be an historic occasion. We are most honoured that Their Royal Highnesses have accepted our invitation and that Her Royal Highness will name our newest Cunarder.

“Every one of our Cunard Queens has been named by a member of the Royal Family and we are therefore delighted that Queen Victoria will follow in that tradition.”

The ship is styled to resemble a traditional cruise ship, with grand public rooms, wood paneling, mosaics, chandeliers and a colonial-style conservatory with a retractable glass roof. Queen Victoria also features the first private theatre boxes and the first museum on a seagoing vessel.

Queen Victoria will embark on her maiden world cruise after Christmas. She will call at 37 cities in 23 countries, returning to Southampton on April 22 2008.

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