Southampton based cruise ship, Queen Victoria is being forced to cancel two voyages due to a problem with one of her propulsion units.

Announcing the cancellation of the cruises in January of next year, Cunard said “it is timely” that a bearing needs to be replaced as part of a previously scheduled, multi-million pound dry docking in Germany during December at the Blohm and Voss shipyard in Hamburg.

Cunard stressed the problem has no impact on the safety of the vessel but the bearing needed to be replaced before Queen Victoria sets sail on her World Cruise beginning January 20, 2015.

The two voyage effected by the work are a 12-night cruise to the Canary Island leaving January 3 together with a shorter, five-night trip to Amsterdam and Cherbourg, which would have departed on January 15.

“Passengers, and their travel agents, have been informed,” said a spokesman for Cunard.

“A future cruise credit of £100 per person is being offered to all affected passengers which can be used in conjunction with any alternative Cunard booking made for cruises departing within the next two years. “Full refunds of any monies paid will also be available should affected passengers not be in a position to rebook an alternative cruise with Cunard.”

Following the success of sister-ship, Queen Elizabeth's recent refit at the same yard, Queen Victoria's make-over will create nine single staterooms on the ship for the first time, re-modelled from part of the ship's casino.

In addition, carpets are being renewed throughout and large flat-screen televisions, mostly 32” or above, are being installed in all passenger cabins while in the ship's informal Lido restaurant, waiters will in the future serve hot drinks at all meals. As on Queen Elizabeth, sun awnings will be erected on the open area near the stern Lido pool and on both sides of the Grills Upper Terrace area near the top of the ship to offer more shade on deck. On the technical front, “scrubber” technology is being installed aboard Queen Victoria to match that now aboard Queen Elizabeth in line with the company's aim of minimising its environmental impact.

This involves the installation of a filtration system for the exhaust gas from the ship's engines. Cunard director, Angus Struthers said: “While we are sorry to be cancelling the two cruises, we are looking forward to welcoming all those affected back aboard a Cunard ship in the near future, perhaps on Queen Victoria or Queen Elizabeth, both of which will be sailing in 2015 fresh from their make-overs.”