Can a cruise ship make a social statement? The Queen Victoria plans to do just that.
The Cunard ship will mark International Women's Day on Tuesday when it berths in Sydney, Australia. It plans to unfurl a pro-rights banner on its hull and be illuminated in purple in the evening, according to a statement.
The banner will read #PledgeforParity, a campaign that will be highlighted Tuesday around the world. It aims to close the gender gap when it comes to social, economic and political achievements.
The ship will host a party Tuesday evening bringing together "scores of Australia's leading women," the statement says. Among them will be Ann Sherry, executive chairman of Carnival Australia.
And here's a bit of irony: The real Queen Victoria, who ruled Britain from 1837 to 1901, was not in favor of equal voting rights for women. "Let women be what God intended, a helpmate for man, but with totally different duties and vocations," she wrote in 1870.
But back to the ship.
The Queen Victoria will be bathed in purple light, the color associated with the women's movement, from 7 p.m. to midnight local time. Then the ship will dock for almost three weeks in Sydney before resuming its world voyage of 120 nights.