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October 23, 2008

We Are Cunard

Posted in: Updates


We have just ended our back to back final Transatlantic Crossings with Queen Mary 2 on our flanks and they have been as expected totally unforgettable. Our Guests have experienced what sailing the North Atlantic is all about and what makes it such a legendary voyage!


It was Friday 10th October 2008 and QE2 was imminent to steam off on our 805th North Atlantic Crossing over to New York City, the BIG Juicy Apple… This with our grand larger sister Queen Mary 2. In Southampton on this day Queen Mary 2 was alongside at the City Cruise Terminal. Also in Southampton was P&O Cruises newest ship Ventura, docked at the Mayflower and we were berthed at our usual spot at the Queen Elizabeth II Terminal.


All guests boarded, 1668 in total including 22 different nationalities. Our crew totalled just over 1000 spread across an amazing 56 different nationalities who were all geared up and ready to ensure that this would indeed be an emotional, memorable penultimate transatlantic for this Grand Old Queen of the high seas.



Queen Mary 2 from QE2, photo by Guest, Chase Heilman

Queen Mary 2 from QE2, photo by Guest, Chase Heilman





Entertaining us on this voyage in the Grand Lounge was Petrina Johnson, Dave Evans and Steve Hewlett. As well as our magnificent cast of the Royal Cunard Singers & Dancers. Lecturing in the Theatre was Brian Hoey, Sir. Michael Parker, Bill Miller and Ted Scull. Also included in the Entertainment package was our outstanding jazz band the ‘Ray Terry Jazz Band’, our Caribbean band ‘ChangeZ’ and three super talented classical ladies from the Ukraine ‘Celestial Strings’. A great line-up! 


The first two days of the Atlantic proved to be just a little bumpy but both ships stayed beautifully stable and calm. This is exactly what these two gracious ships were built for…



Queen Mary 2 from QE2. Photo by Paul Davies, Photo Manager QE2

Queen Mary 2 from QE2. Photo by Paul Davies, Photo Manager QE2



I must say I have forgotten how lively Transatlantic Crossings are, all our venues bustling with atmosphere and excitement and before we knew it we were arriving at New York City and no matter how many times you have been there, it takes your breath away every time.




NYC arrival. Photo by Guest, Chase Heilman

NYC arrival. Photo by Guest, Chase Heilman




We glided under the Verrazano Bridge with just a few feet to spare with Lady Liberty on our port side welcoming us as she has done graciously for so many years. It was a gorgeous day and the decks were lined with our Guests, flashes going off every few seconds, some genuinely spectacular photographs captured memories that will last forever.




Photo by Guest, Chase Heilman

Photo by Guest, Chase Heilman




QE2 lines up at Pier 90. Photo by Guest, Chase Heilman

QE2 lines up at Pier 90. Photo by Guest, Chase Heilman





Our sail-away, the 806th and final for QE2, was amazing and dramatic at the same time as we pushed away from Berth 90 and slipped into the Hudson. The weather was perfect, almost as if it was ordered by Samuel Cunard himself, it was an ideal day for these two ladies to once again take to the North Atlantic back to Southampton… 1697 guests on board.



QE2 met with Queen Mary 2 at Lady Liberty before they both set sail into the deep blue… I have attached some pictures below.



QE2 meets Queen Mary 2

QE2 meets Queen Mary 2





QE2 leads Queen Mary 2 away from NYC

QE2 leads Queen Mary 2 away from NYC





Entertaining us on the way back was Maria King and Annette Wardell. Lecturing we had none other than Stephen Payne, one of the Naval Architects involved in the design of Queen Mary 2, Celebrity TV Presenter Jennie Bond and Brian Hoey QE2’s favourite Royal Author. 


Yet again the days went by very quickly. Time flies when you are having fun in a first rate atmosphere around the ship. Could there be anything better…?

  1. Jerry Nuovo says:

    This is a great story of the tandem crossing of the QM2 and QE2.Here is a website beyondships.com that has profiles on many passenger ships including all 3 Cunard Queens.The links are http://www.beyondships.com/QM2.html and http://www.beyondships.com/QE2.html and http://www.beyondships.com/QV.html Regards,Jerry

  2. Roger Jephcott says:

    My wife Ros, our daughter Sarah and her fiancee Scott Paine had a most memorable crossing on QE-2 from New York to Southampton on 16th October 2008. It was an occasion not to be missed, tear-jerking at times with QM-2 in tandem, and superb service from the ‘grand old lady’. The final moment when QM-2 sped off ahead of QM-2 at 4.30pm on 21st October at the end of the tranatlantic stage of the voyage with much hooting of the ships’ horns, ‘hoorahs’ from the QM-2 passengers and the much clicking of cameras was a glorious moment never to be repeated or forgotten. Roger Jephcott

  3. Carla Louden says:

    Absolutely Stunning…2 great Queens ! I will never
    forget QE2 and the memorable times aboard her on which I joined my Mom and Dad. My
    Dad is 88yrs old and did 11 World Cruises on QE2. He speaks of no other but QE2 ! Although he admires Queen Victoria ( and QM2 )he insisted I join her ( QV )for her Maiden World Cruise….his admiration is for his beloved QE2! Cunard is supreme and his home is filled with memoirs including the new addition, Queen Victoria !

  4. That last photo, “QE2 leads Queen Mary 2 away from NYC”, is simply STUNNING. QE2 is still by far the more attractive ship – she’s truly beautiful – but the QM2 will take QE2′s legend forward to the future in quite some style.

  5. Jerry Nuovo says:

    Since we all do love Cunard’s history here is a video of Queen Mary being put into drydock in 1960 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DFss7xe-Mtw Regards,Jerry from New Jersey,USA

  6. Jerry Nuovo says:

    With Halloween only a few days away,here is a video that is about the legend that the first Queen Mary is haunted.Whether or not the first Queen Mary is really haunted well I can’t say yes or no http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fAFoT4UefDk Regards,Jerry from New Jersey,USA

  7. Great stories and pictures of life aboard during this historic and emotive journey. I have a number of photographs of the final tandem departure from Southampton, QE2′s return from her final T/A crossing and many more. I don’t claim to be a great photographer but if anyone is interested, these can be found on my Flickr site: http://www.flickr.com/photos/andyfitzsimmons/collections/72157607613822155/

    While time passes all too quickly, the many happy memories we all have of our time spent aboard this, the grandest Lady of them all, shall always remain with us.

    Farewell and thanks QE2!


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