As you all prorbaly know, Cunard is in the process of building a new ship called Queen Victoria. I have a long history with Cunard ships going back to the Franconia and so this development has been of considerable interest to me.
One as aspect of this topic that I have been focusing on for the last few months is why is Cunard building this ship? Obviously, it is a business and hopes to make money but why this type of ship and what is its purpose? Is she supposed to be a running mate for QM2? Was she supposed to be a replacement for QE2? The answer was more complicated than I had thought going into this research.
Essentially, it is an attempt to solve a problem that the company has struggled with since the 1960s. The market for transatlantic crossings can only sustain one liner. Thus, in order to expand, Cunard has to go beyond its core business. But where? It has tried mass market cruising and it has tried luxury cruising with limited success. In addition, it does not want to intrude upon the cruise offerings of its sister companies. The solution, a ship that is part cruise ship and part liner. They have modified the Vista cruise ship design to make the ship more like a liner technically. But more importantly, they are seeking to instill the ship with the style and atmosphere of a liner.
I have published a more detailed discussion based upon my interviews with Cunard personnel including Carol Marlow, Cunard's President, in the new issue of The Navy League Log. For those who are not members of the Navy League, the article is posted at http://www.beyondships.com/QV-Buildi...tradition.html.