March 17, 2010
We Are Cunard
Posted in: Queen Mary 2
Countdown to Queen Elizabeth – 208 days
Queen Mary 2 has now sailed from Australian shores, as she heads for the tropical island of Mauritius. She has left some fabulous and lasting memories for her guests and crew on board, as well as the thousands of people who came to see her in Sydney, Adelaide and Fremantle. If you didn’t catch the stunning pictures from Queen Mary 2’s arrival in Sydney they can be found on this link:
Once Queen Mary 2 docked at her berth at Sydney’s Garden Island, the bow of the liner was just a hundred metres away from the home of one of Sydney’s most famous residents. Looking out of the window is an essential part of the daily duties for the Quartermasters on the Bridge, but to be looking out over the home of one of the most famous film stars in the world must, surely be just a little out of the ordinary. The home in question belongs to the nautical hero; “Master and Commander” himself, Russell Crowe. This is the view of his home as Queen Mary 2 approached the dockside.
Russell Crowe, the ever popular New Zealand born Australian movie star, began his acting career in the early 1990’s with roles on Australian television. By the end of the decade he had been in films such as L.A. Confidential. He has been nominated for 3 Oscars, and in 2001 he won Best Actor for his starring role in the film Gladiator.
Feeling that perhaps Cunard’s flagship might have been intruding a little on his privacy, Captain Bates invited Russell Crowe and his family on board, so they could meet his new, if only temporary, neighbours.
Not only did the Crowe family have a full tour of Queen Mary 2, but he was also gracious enough to allow himself to be photographed with some of the Bridge Team. Here he is on the Bridge with the 4 – 8 Quarter Master Roel Cagoco:
Roel who is married with 3 children, lives with his wife Lucila and family in Zamboanga Philippines. Roel has worked on board Queen Mary 2 for almost 3 years, while his colleague Wilfredo Banguiran, known as Fred, lives in Cebu City with his wife Lilibeth and their 3 children. Fred has worked on board Queen Mary 2 September 2004.
What a great moment to treasure for these two crew members, making this quite an unforgettable World Voyage and I’d like to thank Queen Mary 2’s Hotel Manager, David Stephenson for sharing this wonderful story with us.
Six days later, after a maiden call to Adelaide, there were more celebrations as Queen Mary 2 arrived at the port of Fremantle for the first time. Fortunately for us Chris Frame was there to capture the excitement of the day. Chris recently lectured on Queen Victoria as part of the Cunard Insights programme. Chris’ passion for Cunard’s history started at the age of eleven when he first set eyes on QE2. He has published a number of books on QE2 and Queen Mary 2. Whilst on Queen Victoria, he was also working a new book, Queen Victoria: A Photographic Journey, which he is co-authoring with Rachelle Cross. I’ll let Chris take up the story of Queen Mary 2’s visit to Fremantle in this special Guest Blog:
Guest Blog – Chris Frame – Cunard Insights Lecturer and Author
Queen Mary 2′s maiden visit to Fremantle was a truly festive occasion. She is so large that the port had to be cleared of nearby shipping to allow her to fit into the passenger terminal. To facilitate this, the ship arrived very early, but despite this, hundreds of people lined the banks to watch the world’s largest ocean liner enter the port for her first time.
During the day, most of Perth (or so it seemed) ventured down to ‘Freo’ to see Queen Mary 2. Traffic was at a near stand-still as people flocked for every vantage point.
Aboard the ship, the atmosphere was one of excitement. Guests returning from shore tours (some coming back early to have their books signed by Rachelle and I), were all talking about how many people were in the port, waiting for the big event – Queen Mary 2′s departure from the city.
At 5pm the lines were let go and the ship set sail. She was escorted by the Fremantle Fire Boat spraying water skyward. Overhead, a small aircraft carried a banner “Fremantle Port Salutes Queen Mary 2!”
It was a fantastic sight as hundreds of boats, and tens of thousands of people crowded the port. The North Mole, where we were standing, had the biggest crowds I’ve seen since QE2′s farewell departure back in 2008.
As Queen Mary 2 sailed past, she sounded her magnificent “Queen Mary” horn and the crowd cheered – followed shortly after by an “Aussie Aussie Aussie” to which the Australian’s on board replied “Oi Oi Oi”.
As the ship slipped over the horizon, conversations were already on the 2011 World Voyage – we can’t wait!
Thank you, Chris, for a great post and superb pictures. You may be interested to know that Chris maintains a popular independent website (www.chriscunard.com), so you can catch up with him there. We’ll of course have lots more pictures from both Queens as they continue their World Voyages. Meanwhile I’ll be back tomorrow, with the results of the competition to design a sculpture to adorn Queen Elizabeth’s Royal Arcade Cheers for now, Alastair.