Cunard has cut the first steel for its fourth cruise ship, which will be named in early 2020 and will be the 249th ship overall to sail for the 179-year-old line.
Cunard Line has kept details about the new cruise ship close to its chest, but said during the steel cutting ceremony that it would “reimagine the luxury cruise experience with an array of unique and exciting on board amenities”.
The ship, which will be the second-largest in the fleet after Queen Mary 2, is being built at Fincantieri’s Castellammare di Stabia ship yard in Italy.
Fincantieri also built Cunard Line’s Queen Victoria in 2007 and Queen Elizabeth in 2010.
The steel cutting ceremony is a keystone-event in the life of a new ship, marking the commencement of building works that will culminate in its delivery in Monfalcone, Gorizia, Italy, in 2022.
“After years of planning and design, we are delighted to see building works commence on our newest ship,” said Simon Palethorpe, President, Cunard. “The 249th Cunarder will be our fourth luxury liner for the 21st century.”
“The new ship is taking inspiration from the successes of our past, integrating the Cunard spirit with exciting new concepts and ideas that will provide a uniquely luxurious travel experience for our guests,” he added.
During the steel cutting, Cunard also announced the commissioning of a unique sculpture, masterly crafted from the first piece of metal cut for the new ship.
Acclaimed sculptor Sam Shendi will complete the work, which will be displayed on board the ship for Cunard’s guests to enjoy.
Shendi is an Egyptian-born, British sculptor and uses contemporary industrial material, steel, stainless steel, aluminium and fibreglass to create his figurative work.
“I’m really looking forward to working with the Cunard team and to be given the challenge of creating a sculpture from the first piece of steel cut for their new ship is such a unique opportunity,” said Shendi.
“It would be exciting for any artist to be part of such a long history and know that their artwork will travel the world on the ship connecting guests from all corners of the globe.”
With construction underway, the new ship’s interior designers will work alongside Fincantieri to deliver the ship’s staterooms, lounges and restaurants.
The team is being led by globally acclaimed cruise ship designer Adam D. Tihany, and includes award-winning Simon Rawlings (David Collins Studio), Terry McGillicuddy (Richmond International) and Sybille de Margerie (Sybille de Margerie Paris).