One of three luxury Cunard cruise ships, the Queen Victoria is elegant, contemporary and refined. As the name suggests, she has historical ties with the British royal family, as do her sister ships, the Queen Elizabeth and the Queen Mary 2.
Guests can expect to be treated like royalty as soon as they step on board, with the Cunard crew priding themselves on offering 'White Star Service' to every passenger. The crew always go the extra mile to make sure your cruising experience is as comfortable as possible.
The Queen Victoria is best suited to those seeking a classic, luxurious cruise experience. She is one of few ships to still maintain a strict dress code, creating a stylish, graceful atmosphere. However, don't make the mistake of thinking this ship is posh - the aim is to provide a comfortable retreat for everyone, where guests can feel treated to something special. Isn't that what a holiday at sea is all about?
The Queen Victoria weighs 90,000 tonnes, measures 964.5 feet in length and spans across 16 decks. With the capacity for 2,014 passengers, this luxury liner has plenty of space to relax, unwind and enjoy the ocean views.
Step inside this beautiful vessel and you could be mistaken for thinking you are in a luxury 5-star hotel. From glittering chandeliers to impeccable marble floors, the interior decor is impressive and inviting.
A particular highlight is the chiming pillar clock in the Royal Arcade. This was designed by Dent & Co, the clockmakers responsible for the Big Ben in London, who also served Queen Victoria - yet another of the ship's royal ties.
You can learn all about the vessel's royal history at the Cunardia Display on Deck 2, which features interesting memorabilia and photographs.
Many of the activities on the Queen Victoria are designed to encourage socialising in relaxed environments, making this vessel incredibly popular among solo travellers and seniors. The ship has a designated Social Hostess who facilitates opportunities for people to mix and mingle, such as coffee and cookie mornings. The inclusive environment also means no one is left alone - if a lady is without a dance partner, the helpful entertainment staff will find her one in moments!
Another great place to meet new people is at the Cunard Book Club. The resident librarian will lead a discussion about a popular book most mornings. While you are there, lose yourself in the ship's library, featuring more than 6,000 titles.
If you are ever unsure about what activity you'd like to try next, then Cunard has a wonderful morning television show to help you make a decision. Hosted by the Queen Victoria's Entertainment Director, this show provides you with a rundown of the day's entertainment and upcoming events. Tune in on channel 21 on your stateroom television.
Guests will also find all of the traditional cruise games, such as shuffleboard, hoopla, deck quoits and paddle tennis.
Be prepared to be amazed by the dining options on the Queen Victoria. As with all other aspects of life on board, the crew really do go the extra mile when it comes to dining.
Take for example the daily afternoon tea in the Queen's Room. Held between 3.30 and 4.30pm every day, guests are treated to white-gloved service. A delightful string quartet plays in the background, only adding to this elegant atmosphere. If you have something to celebrate, there is also a champagne afternoon tea served in the Winter Garden.
Another example of the dining staff going above and beyond for passengers is the amazing wine packages available. Guests can choose from a range of whites, reds, roses and sparkling wines, to be enjoyed with dinner, at one of the many bars or lounges or in the comfort of your own room. There is even a designated wine line you can call if you would like some help from the ship's experienced sommeliers.
It's little touches like these that really set the Queen Victoria's eateries apart from the competition. No matter where you drink or dine, you will feel as though you are somewhere really special.
This vessel has a varied sailing schedule, with trips all over the world. The shore excursions available will therefore depend on your chosen route and destination. Rest assured that no matter which ports you are calling into, there will be arrange of shore excursions to suit all ages and fitness levels. The helpful staff at the Tours office can point you in the right direction.
The ship has a total of 1,003 cabins. Guests can choose from suites, mini suites and balcony, outdoor or indoor rooms. There are ten wheelchair accessible cabins and nine designed specifically for solo cruisers.
All of the standard staterooms (balcony, outdoor and indoor) are fully equipped with all the basic amenities you would expect, as well as a few nice extras, such as bathrobes and slippers. Guests are also often left chocolates after the daily turndown service.
The mini suites are larger versions of the staterooms, with a separate lounge and bigger bathroom. For a real treat, you'll want to book a Queen's Grill suite - these tend to sell out quickly as they come with several fantastic perks, including butler service, champagne on arrival and the option to dine from an exclusive Queen's Grill menu.
Dining included in your Queen Victoria ticket:
Specialty dining (not included in your Queen Victoria fare):
If you love nothing more than to spend a few hours browsing the shops, then you'll be very contented with the Queen Victoria's shopping area. Featuring designer retailers such as Fortnum and Mason and Harris Tweed, you can pick up cosmetics, perfumes and beautiful garments at duty free prices.
Another excellent way to spend the day is by taking a Behind the Scenes tour. An informative guide will tell you all about the running of the ship. A small charge applies and spaces are limited, so be sure to register your interest with the entertainment staff or the reception desk.
The Queen Victoria also has several enrichment programmes for those who are looking to learn a new skill. Choose from a range of interactive workshops, including fencing, watercolour painting, bowls, photography classes and French lessons.
The Queen Victoria plays host to some of the best formal nights at sea, so be sure to pack your very best outfits. These nights are usually held in the Queen's Room ballroom, the 'social hub of the ship', or occasionally at the 830-seat Royal Court Theatre. Most nights will have a pre-determined theme, such as the Black and White Ball, but regardless you can expect brilliant live music and talented pianists. There will be at least two formal nights per seven night cruise.
At the Royal Court Theatre you even have the option of reserving a private box, perfect for if you are celebrating something special or would like a little bit of privacy. Other popular spots for nightlife include the Commodore Club (great for cocktails - try the Martini mixology class to make your own), the Veuve Clicquot Champagne Bar (bubbles available by the bottle or the glass) and Churchill's Cigar Lounge (for a more relaxed, laid back atmosphere). The ship is also home to a Monte Carlo inspired Empire Casino.
A note on the dress code: if you are unsure about what to wear it is best to ask, but as a general rule of thumb it is best to switch to formal dress after 6pm. On formal nights, don't be afraid to go the extra mile - many of the ladies get their hair and make-up done at the on board salon, while tuxedos are a dime a dozen among the gentlemen.
The Queen Victoria is home to two main pool areas and four whirlpools. The Pavilion Pool has 10,000 square feet of sunning space, while the Lido Pool is reserved for passengers aged 16 and older.
For those looking for a spot of pampering, the Royal Spa is home to several award-winning Elemis spa therapy options, as well as an in-house thermal suite, featuring heat therapy chambers. Guests can purchase day or full-week passes. The fitness centre is located within the Royal Spa area, boasting fantastic ocean views.
The ship also has several sports courts on Deck 11, perfect for a game of tennis or deck quoits. Guests may also be interested in organised group fitness activities, including Yoga, Tai Chi, Pilates and Nordic pole walking.
Although the average age of guests on board the Queen Victoria is late 40s and above, this is still a very family-friendly vessel. While your children can't expect bumper cars or rock-climbing walls, they will be very highly entertained in the organised activity programmes.
The childcare options are arranged according to age; The Playzone is for children aged 6 months to 7 years old (children under 2 must be supervised by an adult), the Kids Zone for 8 to 12 year olds and the Teen Zone for 13 to 17 year olds.
There are several kid-friendly eateries on board, including a daily children's tea in the Lido Restaurant. Held from 5pm to 5.45pm, this features a buffet selection of family favourites such as french fries, cheese burgers and hot dogs, as well as free ice cream.
Located on deck 7