Queen Elizabeth arrives in Southampton

Queen Elizabeth – the latest addition to the Cunard Line – has arrived in Southampton ahead of her official launch on Monday.

The vessel will become the third in the fleet – joining the Queen Mary II and Queen Victoria.

Pictured: Queen Elizabeth during construction

Queen Elizabeth was built in Italy and replaces the Queen Elizabeth 2 (QE2) which made its last transatlantic crossing in 2008.

“Queen Elizabeth is a spectacular addition to a spectacular fleet, and we would love as many people as possible to take the opportunity to come out and share with us the excitement of welcoming Southampton’s newest star,” said Peter Shanks, Cunard’s president and managing director.

This is the third Cunard ship to take the name Queen Elizabeth.

The first was launched on the Clyde in Scotland in 1938 by the then Queen Elizabeth - who later became the Queen Mother - with the present Queen, aged 12, also present.

The Queen launched the second Queen Elizabeth, the QE2, on the Clyde in 1967.

She also named the QM2 at Southampton in 2004.

The new Queen Elizabeth is one foot longer and one foot wider than the QE2 - which was sold to Dubai-based property developers Nakheel after being retired.

However, with 16 decks it is much taller.

The QE2 remains moored at Port Rashid awaiting an uncertain future.

Launch

Queen Elizabeth will be named on Monday 11th October by Her Majesty the Queen.

She will depart on her maiden voyage at 17:00 hours on Tuesday 12th October.