Cunard has taken delivery of its new 92,400-tonne liner Queen Elizabeth which will be officially named by the Queen on 11 October.
The handover ceremony took place on board the vessel at the Fincantieri Monfalcone shipyard in Italy where the liner was built.
The Queen Elizabeth becomes the third vessel in Cunard’s fleet, and joins the Queen Mary 2 and the Queen Victoria.
Cunard’s managing director Peter Shanks said: “This ceremony to mark the completion of the ship, and our acceptance of delivery, is just the first of a number of significant events over the next few weeks – including the ship’s official naming by Her Majesty The Queen in Southampton on Monday October 11.
“I’m certain the British will take this truly magnificent ship to their hearts, as they have all the Cunard Queens”.
Queen Elizabeth is currently sailing to Southampton, where she will arrive on Friday October 8. She will depart on her maiden voyage at 5pm on Tuesday October 12.
Cunard, which is owned by Carnival Corporation, has shrugged off economic woes by completing the unashamedly luxurious £365 million liner as planned.
The 964ft vessel aims to put to recreate the halcyon days of cruising, during what the company said was a “more civilized era of travel”. It boasts a total of 16 decks, 12 of which will be used for accommodation for just over 2,000 passengers. The art deco features are similar to those in the original 1930s liner Queen Elizabeth. The focal point is a vast chandeliered ballroom and nostalgic entertainment including Ivor Novello style piano evenings.
In addition to the bowling green, the games deck will offer passengers the chance to play croquet and paddle tennis.