November 26, 2009
We Are Cunard
Posted in: Queen Elizabeth
Countdown to Queen Elizabeth – 320 days
As the countdown continues, Queen Mary 2 is now enjoying the Caribbean sunshine, and we’ll hear from her again soon. Meanwhile Queen Victoria is in the sunshine too; this time in the Canaries. As promised, I have more pictures and video from the Fincantieri Shipyard where Queen Elizabeth is currently under construction. In my last Blog we saw the outside and now in the first of two special Blogs, I can bring you the very first views of her interior. Firstly thank you again for all the great comments and questions, we love receiving them so keep them coming.
Here’s this week in Cunard’s history, for the week 27 November to 3 December:
27 November1920 Samaria II is launched
27 November2008 QE2 arrives in Dubai, Unite Arab Emirates, to begin her new life.
29 November1968 QE2 Sails from fitting out berth under command Of Captain Bill Warwick
30 November2007 Queen Victoria leaves the ship yard in Marghera, Italy flying the Cunard flag for the first time
1 December2005 “A Moonlight Serenade” featuring Carly Simon, recorded in Queen Mary 2′s Queens Room airs on over 100 TV stations
3 December2004 Cunard signs a contract with Fincantieri’s Marghera ship yard, to build hull number6127 – Queen Victoria
Back in Italy and my visit to see the progress of our new Queen Elizabeth, it was great to go back on board just eight weeks after my last visit. I know I’ve said it many times before, but the rate of progress is just staggering and as I made my way up the metal staircase, that will become the A stairway, I must admit that at times, it was a struggle trying to work out where I was. With the help of Antonio from Fincantieri, we made our way up to the navigational Bridge, not that there was much to see!
This part of the ship had only been added about a week before, but remarkably this is where Captain Wells will be in less than 45 weeks, to take command of our new Queen.We then headed aft along long expanses of open decks, where guest staterooms will be added over the coming months (if fact the first ones had arrived just a few days before our visit), to get to another section that had just been added.We came to a grand staircase and then realised this would be the magnificent centerpiece of the Britannia Restaurant.
It really will look stunning although of course there is a lot of work to do over the next ten months! From there we headed forward along deck 2 and could just about make out the preliminary work for the beautiful ceiling that will be a major feature of the new Britannia Club Restaurant.
Then we arrived in the Grand Lobby, such an amazing space on Queen Victoria, and you could see, with some imagination, how impressive this space will be in less than a year.
If you look carefully through the scaffolding you can make out the elegant staircase and the space where a specially commissioned piece of artwork will create a superb focal point to the centre of the ship.
You can see some more of this in the second of three videos we filmed that day:
As you will realise there is more to come, so I’ll be back next week with the third and final video clip and more pictures of the forward part of the ship including, one of the most talked about spaces; the Royal Court Theatre. Our thanks yet again, to Simona and Antonio in the yard for all their help, as well as Andrew and Martin, for their great pictures and video. Cheers, Alastair