The naval architect who designed Cunard’s flagship cruiseship / ocean liner Queen Mary 2, has backed Belfast’s Harland & Wolff shipyard to build a new UK flagship vessel aimed at promoting Britain around the world.
Stephen Payne, a past President of the Royal Institution of Naval Architects (RINA) – has a proposal for a ship considerably bigger than the former royal yacht Britannia, decommissioned in 1997 after 43 years in service.
“My vision is for a British promotion ship encompassing exhibition, conference, trade, youth, cultural and tourism — which if built in Belfast, would showcase shipbuilding and capabilities in Northern Ireland,” he said.
“Harland and Wolff are very capable of building a prestige ship of this scale. InfraStrata Plc (the yard’s owners) come across as very dynamic.
Plans are reportedly afoot to name a new national yacht, which could cost up to £200 million, after the late Prince Philip.