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Queen Elizabeth

The Latest Pictures of our New Queen – Part 1

September 14, 2009

We Are Cunard

Posted in: Queen Elizabeth

  

Two months after my last visit we have some more pictures of Queen Elizabeth under construction in the Fincantieri shipyard in Monfalcone, Italy. Last Thursday Queen Victoria made her first call to Venice this year and our guests enjoyed what I believe to be one of the most incredible cities in the world. I will do a full blog on our day there very soon and this will include some great pictures of the city, from the ship, as well as some stunning video footage of her arrival taken by our cameraman who watched Queen Victoria’s dramatic arrival from the shore side.

 

As we made our final approaches we could just see in the background, the Fincantieri ship yard in Marghera where just over 21 months ago Queen Victoria was completed.

 

As soon as we arrived, our guests set off to explore this beautiful city, while I started the ninety minute drive down the coast to the small town of Monefalcone to see how our new Queen was taking shape. So donned with a hard hat, I was taken around the yard and was amazed at the amount of ship sections and machinery, literally everywhere, all ready to be assembled and create our new liner. This is one of the boilers that will be in the technical spaces of Queen Elizabeth.

 

 

The numerous sections that will comprise the ship are made in to different blocks in various sheds around the yard and then put together to make bigger ones which become so large they are often worked on outside. It is sometimes a challenge to work out which piece is which, but I am fairly confident this block is the aft section of what will be deck 2 of the Britannia Restaurant.

 

 

Then as we turned the corner, it was the moment I had been waiting for, since seeing the keel being laid on the 2nd of July. (If you haven’t seen those pictures or video you’ll find them on the 6th, 9th and 13th of July postings.)

 

To be able to see into the dry dock, where in just a few months Queen Elizabeth will take to the water for the first time, was probably the most exciting part of the day. The progress was staggering as you can see from this photo which is looking aft with the ship’s bow in the foreground.

 

 

It gives you a great cross sectional view of her hull before the forward section, including the bulbous bow, is added. The height of the front section here is “A” deck which houses mainly crew areas including crew cabins which arrive in “Pods”, and you can see them covered in white plastic. If you look carefully you can also see the section of the hull which has been painted white, and where this starts is promenade deck 3. I think the open section that goes from “A” deck to deck 2 will eventually be the forward “A” staircase.

 

Moving along the port side of the ship you could see there are still many sections of the ship’s keel still waiting to be placed. The section on the right hand side of this photo is in its final position ready to be attached to more sections in the middle.

 

 

You can see the wire cables holding the last block in place (on the left of the picture), and these will remain there until the welding is complete. And if you look carefully you’ll see on this next photo the narrow gap of a few millimetres, waiting to be welded.

 

 

This next picture shows the aft section of the keel where the massive “Azipod” motors and propellers will be attached to underside of the missing section of hull. Also, as you can see, there is still one more small section to add to the very aft of the keel.

 

 

Then I was in for a real treat, yes I was actually going to be allowed to board the ship – well what there was of her anyway! I don’t know but my claim to fame may be that I was the first Cunard Employee to do so – who knows!

 

 

It was quite a strange feeling walking up the gangway knowing there was only a small part of here, yet realizing that crew will be boarding the ship for the first time in about a year’s time ready to take up their positions to prepare her for the maiden voyage. I entered on the “A” deck gangway and although it was very dark, with just a few lights powered by shore side generators, as I looked aft, I could just about make out to what I think will be the guest entrance to the Medical Centre. (The white doors on the left hand side)

 

 

It was an amazing day and I’d like to thank Simona Capraro who looked after us so well in the yard, along with Luca Fornasiero and Carlo Fucile from Fincantieri who were kind enough to give up their valuable time to show us around. The exciting news is that this is just part one of the pictures from this visit; I’ll post part two soon and these will be ones taken from a position I wasn’t sure was going to be possible. I was also accompanied by our cameraman, Andrew, who is currently preparing a video of the visit for this Blog which will also be posted soon.

 

So please keep logging on, as I have lots more to share with you and of course I’ll try and answer your questions too. I’ll be back on Thursday, if not before, with more news around the fleet. Cheers – Alastair

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  1. ShipMaven says:

    I suppose it would be too much of a dream to hope this Queen Elizabeth would be more like RMS Queen Elizabeth (Hull 552 at Clydebank) than QE2, QM2 or Queen Victoria….

  2. Steve Bass says:

    HI Alastair,

    I was one of the pasangers at you blog meeting today on QV. These are grat pictures. Please keep them coming and I look forward to seeing the video. Thanks.
    Regards
    Steve

  3. fraser mcinnes says:

    fantastic new pics…. very exciting cant wait for part 2!!!!!!!!!!!

    keep up the great blogg loving it every week…..

    regards
    fraser :)

  4. Andre says:

    Thank you Alistair for this wonderful blog.

    We will be travelling aboard the Queen Mary 2 on our first Cunard voyage next year during the World Cruise. We will be sailing with family who are long time Cunard travellers, so are very much looking forward to seeing the ship ourselves.

    Andre Vanne
    http://www.feathersaustralia.com.au/

  5. Dave Meineck says:

    Alastair,
    Can you now confirm that QE will be the same size as the Queen victoria, ie same lenght, beam, draft etc?
    Will she be able to get through the Keel canal?
    Dave M.
    ps we have booked a cruise.

  6. Freddie Paynter says:

    Alastair,

    Thanks so much for these photos and I can’t wait to see Part 2. It’s rather impressive to see how much work has been done on QE since the keel laying in July. I’m looking forward very much to seeing her in New York in January 2011 with QM2 and QV.

    Thanks again,
    Freddie Paynter.

  7. Ellen M. Stephenson says:

    There will be drawers in the closets on QE???? Not a huge issue, but a helpful storage item. The lack thereof created a bit of a problem for some travelers when the QV first took to the waters. Looking forward to the maiden world cruise of QE with or without drawers.

  8. Christian Reay says:

    Queen Elizabeth’s construction is really coming along – and how! It only seems like yesterday when the video of the keel laying ceremony was posted back in early July.

    Will there be a special video blog of the ‘Floating Out’ ceremony?

    All the best!

    Christian

  9. Gail Roberts says:

    Alistair:

    Great job, wonderful pictures!!! Thank you so much for showing us our latest “Queen”. Can’t wait to see Part 2. Your blog means so much to us who have been Cunarders for years. Makes us feel that we are right on top of whatever is happening!!!

  10. Looking forward to the launch of the new Queen Elizabeth ocean liner next year. Hope she looks like a Cunard ocean liner and not a traditional cruise ship.
    20 years ago I walked down the crew gangway of the QE2 for the last time after serving on her as a PRS then bartender for just over 2 years. It was a great experience with many great crew some of whom I’ve gotten in touch with recently thru Facebook.
    I remember Amanda Reid who was lead Peter Gordeno dancer back then and now is asst. cruise director. The only 2 crew I remember from 20 years ago still with Cunard are John Davies who was public room officer on QE2 now crew chief steward on the Queen Mary 2 and Jan Johnson who was public room mgr on the QE2 now food and beverage controller om the Queen Victoria and Queen Mary 2.

  11. Anyone out there passenger or crew who remembers the QE2 from 20 years ago when I served on her.
    Click on the link for photos from the late 80′s.

    http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=2009939&id=1115705221&l=a455886a89

  12. David Cunard says:

    A repeat question – who is to name the new vessel and when? Despite the company’s best endeavours, she’s bound to be known as QE3 since of course she will be the third with that name, albeit originally named for Queen Elizabeth, later the Queen Mother.

    My understanding is that she will be very similar to Queen Victoria, a vessel which I really like, and am already booked on a segment of the 2011 World Cruise. For my taste, QM2 is too large, the distances too far, and QV is far easier to get around. With any luck, QE3 will embrace all that is best of them both.

  13. Carol kane says:

    Great vidio Alister, Is it possible to go to that site and watch them build the QE ? but still love your updates, cant wait to board her. cheers

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