December 3, 2009
We Are Cunard
Posted in: Queen Elizabeth
Countdown to Queen Elizabeth – 313 days
Welcome to another special Queen Elizabeth update, and the last of the videos and pictures from my visit to the shipyard a couple of weeks ago. Thank you for all the great comments, especially about these updates; we’ll certainly keep them coming and will try and get some more pictures posted before Christmas. The next key date everyone is waiting for is when Queen Elizabeth will be floated out from her dry dock and move to her first outfitting dock. I’m afraid I don’t have a firm date on that yet but we understand it will be at the beginning of January. I’ll of course let you know and we’ll hopefully get some pictures and video of that to you very soon after the event.
I also have some more news about recent awards Cunard Line has won. In the recently announced annual Porthole Magazine Readers’ Choice Awards, Cunard was awarded ‘Best Onboard Educational Programs’, ‘Best World Itineraries’ and ‘Best Transatlantic Itineraries’. With that great news here’s this week in Cunard’s history, for the week 4 to 10 December:
4 December1975QE2 completes her first million miles of steaming
6 December 2008 Queen Victoria makes maiden call at La Goulette
10 December1999 The Caronia is renamed at a ceremony in Liverpool
10 December2007 Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Cornwall names Queen Victoria, Cunard’s 147th ship.
So now back to Queen Elizabeth and the third and final installment with pictures and video from my visit to the shipyard in Monfalcone, Italy. As we walked forward through the ship, I had to really think hard about which space we were in. Passing through the Queens Room and Royal Arcade, I was excited to see how the Royal Court Theatre was looking. Walking in on deck 2, I was greeted by this incredible view of what will be the stunning auditorium.
With a bit of imagination you can see where the seating will be, with the stage area directly ahead in the middle. Queen Elizabeth’s Royal Court Theatre will have the same amazingly clear sightlines, so don’t worry, the big steel girders are just there temporarily while the shipyard strengthen the structure around the theatre. The big white panel on the stage is the biggest fire screen door that will be on the ship. This leads from the stage to the scenery dock area where the scenic elements of shows will be kept. Just before you ask, I’m afraid I don’t have any details on the shows yet, but I do know they will be brand new shows, designed exclusively for Queen Elizabeth. Of course, as with all the breaking news items on our new Queen, I’ll let you know as soon as I can. Meanwhile it was time to try out one of the theatre boxes.
Queen Elizabeth will be just the second ship in the world to have private theatre boxes, following their huge success on Queen Victoria. I had to clamber up scaffolding to get there, but it was so good to see it all coming together. So here it is, the final video clip of our visit:
Our thanks again to Simona and Antonio in the Fincantieri ship yard for all their help over that weekend. They were so accommodating with their time and I think the results of their patience speak for themselves. We’ll try and get some more pictures soon but in the meantime I’ll be back on Monday with a very different Blog which tells a moving story from one of our crew members. Cheers, Alastair