September 24, 2009
We Are Cunard
Posted in: Queen Elizabeth
Thank you again for all the comments about my last post featuring the video from the Fincantieri yard in Monefalcone, and here as promised is part 2. I know you have many questions which I will answer when I can, but at the moment I’m afraid I have no more news for you about the various announcements you are waiting for such as, the ships senior officers, the alternative restaurant or the exact date when Queen Elizabeth will leave the dry dock. However I’ll let you know on this Blog as soon as I do. In the meantime I am hoping we will return with the cameraman again in the next few months so keep logging on.
As you read this, Queen Victoria has been having a wonderful Atlantic crossing. She is now just a day away from her 3rd visit to New York, as the first port of call on her Autumn Colours Voyage. Meanwhile Queen Mary 2 returns to Southampton after her fantastic Mediterranean Voyage, before heading for New York.
Before we take you back to see more pictures and video of Queen Elizabeth, here’s “This week in Cunard’s History”, for the week, 25th of September to the 1st Of October, which celebrates the anniversary of the first Queen Elizabeth being launched.
September 25 2003
Queen Mary 2 undertakes her first sea trials.
September 26 1934
The 80,744-ton Queen Mary launched at Clydebank and becomes the first merchant vessel to be launched by a member of the Royal family (Her Majesty Queen Mary).
September 27 1938
Queen Mary sails in to New York for the last time completing her final Transatlantic Crossing, with 1,400 passengers on board including the designer John Brown incognito. Shortly afterwards she set sail for Long Beach, California.
October 1 1979
QE2 makes her maiden call to Boston, Massachusetts.
So yes they did manage to get me up one of those incredible cranes which tower 200 feet above the ship yard, but at least we didn’t have to walk up. Believe it or not there was a lift inside the crane’s leg, making the task somewhat easier. And just in case you think I sent someone else up there to take the pictures for me this first photo gives you some idea of how high up we were!
From the top we were greeted by an incredible view which immediately made you realize what an impressive operation a shipyard is. Everywhere you looked you could see parts of our new ship. Each carefully numbered block will eventually become part of this massive jigsaw, but in the meantime it waits its turn to either become part of a larger block or be lifted on to the emerging superstructure. Here you can get an idea of the enormity of the project with ship blocks everywhere, and the town of Monefalcone in the distance.
While Andrew, our cameraman, was filming I was able to take in the views and begin to try and work out which block was which. As I somewhat hesitantly walked across the gantry I got an amazing view directly above the ship in the dry dock.
Looking directly down in the middle I could see on to ‘B’ deck. This area which is just above the waterline is mainly crew accommodation and machinery spaces. As I mentioned in the film on the previous Blog, the large boxes covered in white plastic are crew cabins and bathrooms which arrive as units ready to slot in to their final places. Then moving forward (or up the picture), you can see the ‘B’ staircase which will be right in the middle of the completed ship. Directly forward of that area are the crew lifts and staircase. The very top is the decking of deck 6 with the crew staircase and ventilation shaft in the middle. It may seem like I am sure about all this but have to admit it did take a while to work this all out!
In a shed on the other side of the yard, I could just about make out what I think is going to be the aft mooring deck of Queen Elizabeth, and believe it or not these sheds move on tram tracks so the cranes can lift the blocks in and out.
The next block I saw took a bit of working out, and then I realized this is the midships section with the left of the picture being towards the aft.
You can make out deck 3 deck of the grand lobby with the guest lifts to the right and the void ready for the elegant library staircase in the top right of the block. It’s incredible to think that this massive section will be lifted on to the main ship in just a couple of weeks. I think this will be the section that will fit on top of the ‘B’ Deck section of the earlier picture.
And now, for some more video and this time some very impressive footage from the top of that crane!
Well that’s it for the moment but I hope to post some more pictures for you soon and of course another video from Monefalcone in November. Meanwhile I’ll be back on Monday with Queen Victoria’s latest “Star of the Month” who is from our deck department. Coming up I also have an interview with Queen Mary 2’s new Entertainment Director as well as lots more on the way. Cheers for now – Alastair