No surprise that the Cunard Line’s tradition of British heritage and attention to historical detail has resulted in a cruise industry first. Its newest ocean liner, Queen Victoria, will offer the sport of fencing when she enters service in December.
Long a pastime of Prince Albert, husband and consort of Her Majesty Queen Victoria, fencing relies on keen strategic thinking. Not to mention those cool outfits.
Britain’s Leon Paul Fencing Equipment will provide the equipment. Run by and for competitive fencers, members of the Leon Paul family have competed in nearly two dozen Olympic Games and even more World Championships. The company has been headquartered in London since 1921.
“Fencing is often described as physical chess,” said Ben Paul, the fourth-generation president of Leon Paul. “It’s tactically challenging while also providing great exercise. We are delighted to use our knowledge of the sport to provide Queen Victoria guests with an authentic fencing experience using the same state-of-the-art equipment selected by competitive fencers.”
Cunard guests will have an opportunity to learn fencing basics or fine-tune their fencing skills with a fully certified instructor using equipment identical to that used by world champions. The fencing program can accommodate up to 10 aspiring or accomplished fencers at a time for foil fencing, the preferred method for elementary fencing classes due to the flexible and lightweight blade and blunted tip. Fencing instruction for guests ages 16 and up will be provided daily by a fully certified fencing instructor.
Other recreational activities include paddle tennis, shuffle board, chess, deck quoits (the maritime version of horse shoes), ping-pong and golf.
The Queen Victoria offers the very best of the heritage and traditions of Cunard Line, along with all modern day luxuries and other innovations. The cruise liner features the first traditional West End-style private boxes at sea in the Royal Court Theatre; the first Cunardia museum exhibit at sea, housing Cunard artifacts and memorabilia; the first two-story library at sea featuring an elegant spiral staircase.
Queen Victoria’s distinctive black and red livery differentiates her from other ocean liners. Enjoy elegant public rooms with rich wood paneling, intricate mosaics and chandeliers. A grand, colonial-style conservatory features a retractable glass roof. Queen Victoria’s arrival marks the first time that three Cunard Queens have been in service together in the company’s 168-year history. She joins the world’s grandest liner, Queen Mary 2 and the world’s most famous and best-loved liner, QE2.
Queen Victoria makes her maiden voyage in Europe´s northern waters, leaving Southampton, England on Dec. 11, 2007 and visiting five cities: Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Oslo, Hamburg and Brugges. On January 6, 2008 the Queen Victoria begins her maiden 106-night world cruise. The ocean liner departs Southampton, England and sails across the Atlantic on a tandem transatlantic crossing with the QE2. The ships will arrive in New York on January 13, 2008 where they will join up with the Queen Mary 2. This will be the first time the three Queens will be united.