Cunard has been forced to cancel two cruises by Queen Victoria in the New Year as a result of maintenance work being brought forward by almost a year.

A 12-night cruise to the Canary Islands from Southampton on January 3-15 and a five-night trip to Amsterdam and Cherbourg January 15-20 are affected.

The work is being brought forward as a bearing on one of the ship’s propulsion units will need replacing ahead of the ship’s previously scheduled dry dock in December 2015.

“This has no impact on the safety of the ship but it is timely for the bearing to be replaced prior to the ship’s round world cruise beginning January 20, 2015,” the line said.

A future cruise credit of £100 per person is being offered to all affected passengers which can be used in conjunction with any alternative Cunard booking made for cruises departing within the next two years.

Full refunds of any money paid will also be available should affected passengers not want to to re-book an alternative cruise with Cunard.

Passengers and travel agents have been informed.

Cunard director Angus Struthers said: “While we are sorry to be cancelling the two cruises, we are looking forward to welcoming all those affected back aboard a Cunard ship in the near future, perhaps on Queen Victoria or Queen Elizabeth, both of which will be sailing in 2015 fresh from their make-overs.”

Refurbishment of Queen Victoria at the Blohm & Voss shipyard in Hamburg will create nine single cabins, re-modelled from part of the ship’s casino.

Large flat-screen TVs are being installed in all cabins and sun awnings will be erected on the open area near the stern Lido pool and on both sides of the Grills Upper Terrace area near the top of the ship to offer more shade on deck.

Scrubber technology is being installed aboard Queen Victoria to match that now aboard Queen Elizabeth in line with the company’s commitment to minimising its environmental impact. This involves the installation of a filtration system for the exhaust gas from the ship’s engines.

The changes are being made following the success of sister ship Queen Elizabeth’s recent refit at the same yard.

Struthers said: “Queen Victoria’s multi-million pound refit will ensure this much-loved ship remains in tip-top condition for her world cruise in 2015 and beyond.”