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Queen Victoria

More Signature Events On Queen Victoria’s World Voyage

April 29, 2010

We Are Cunard

Posted in: Queen Victoria


Countdown to Queen Elizabeth – 165 days


Welcome to another Blog, as Queen Mary 2 arrives in New York after her first Westbound Crossing of the season and Queen Victoria returns to Southampton after her first voyage of the summer, which took her guests to the sunny and warm Iberian Peninsula. Queen Elizabeth is progressing well and I’ll have some more pictures from the shipyard in Monfalcone on Tuesday and Thursday next week.


Although her 2010 World Voyage finished a week ago, in this Blog we are looking at some of the great events over the last week of that wonderful circumnavigation. But first, here’s a busy week in Cunard’s History, from 30 April to 6 May


1 May 2004

QE2 and Queen Mary 2 arrive in Southampton – the first time two Cunard Queens have been in the company’s home port since 1967. QE2 relinquishes the title of flagship to RMS Queen Mary 2, having been Cunard’s longest serving flagship.

2 May 1969

QE2 began her maiden voyage from Southampton to New York which took 4 days, 16 Hours & 35 Minutes making her the only ship offering a scheduled transatlantic service.

2 May 2005

QE2 marked 36 years of service when she arrived in her homeport of Southampton. A special Birthday party was held on board to honour the ship. Special guests included nine former and current Captains as well as 80 year old John Whitworth OBE, who was the Managing Director of Cunard Line at the time of QE2’s introduction and was instrumental in the ship’s construction.

3 May 1982

Whilst en route to Southampton from Philadelphia, QE2 is requisitioned by the British Government for the Falkland Islands campaign. Cunard Countess is also chartered for use in the conflict. Also requisitioned were the England and Atlantic Conveyor which were both Cunard ships although they were not in passenger service.

4 May 1839

Samuel Cunard signs a seven year contract to carry mail with the British Admiralty



As regular readers will know, the interdepartmental Crew Tug Of War is a huge event on the World Voyage on both Queen Mary 2 and Queen Victoria. Following in the wake of many years of this traditional competition various departments trained for the big day. On the Maiden World Voyage the Musicians came out victorious, but were beaten last year by the Deck Department. So who was going to win in 2010? The defending champions were looking good in their fire fighting attire sailing through the first round.




Despite the tough competition, the event is all about having fun and raising money for the World Voyage Charities, as well as offering an opportunity to dress up, like the Galley department pictured here led by Chef de Cuisine Eric Yeung.



There were just two ladies teams and this year the Entertainment team chose a country and western theme.


Although they looked great they were beaten by the Bar Girls in the final pull. Meanwhile the male members of the Entertainment Department had put together a “Dream Team”, made up of Musicians, Production Staff and Nico from the Entertainment Staff. The strategy seemed to work as they made their way to the semi final to meet the Deck Team.



It was a close call but the Entertainment team managed to win through to the final against a team of contractors who were fitting new carpets around the ship and were joined by Trevor, one of our chefs. Despite a valiant fight by the Dream Team, the contractors and Trevor were victorious and here they are receiving their award from Captain Christopher Rynd.



The mixed team was won by our Purser’s Staff, and here’s our Cashier Darryn Mulford accepting the award on behalf of his team.



There was one more award to be given and that was for the best dressed. This was won by the Production Department for their “Muscle Men”, under the leadership of Senior Production Manager, Chris Knowles.



You may be wondering why the lady in the left hand corner of the photo was laughing so much; it was because Ben Salevante (Queen’s Room Production Manager), had just ripped his outfit as he bent down to pose for the awaiting paparazzi!


A couple of days later our guests were treated to another fabulous performance from our Guest Choir. After the success of the performance six weeks beforehand the group was restarted by Simon Maycock of the Entertainment Staff, joined by guests who embarked in Sydney, Hong Kong and Dubai. Paul Ritchie led the rehearsals and conducted the concert, with Dustin Turner back on the piano. Here they are in action on the Royal Court Theatre stage.


What a great concert it was and congratulations to everyone who took part. Following their performance, which quite rightly received a full standing ovation, there was time to pose for a professional group photo in the Grand Lobby.  



It was coming to the end of the 2010 World Voyage and you could sense mixed feelings. Feelings of sadness that it was coming to an end, as well happiness as everyone looked back at an amazing adventure and all the new friends they had made. There was one more port to go and that was Civitavecchia in Italy. Many guests headed off to Rome for the day on tours offering an amazing taste of this wonderful city. However for those wanting a quieter day, a great meal and a walk along the beach, Civitavecchia is actually a great town with some really good restaurants.



Much as I love going around the world, and Asia is probably my favourite part of the World Voyage, I must admit tucking in to a fantastic pizza back in Italy was wonderful!


It was soon time for goodbyes and that was certainly done in style in the Golden Lion Pub on the last night and I promised I would mention some of the regulars who had managed to join the staff most nights. Firstly Tony and Peter (who you may remember were kind enough to give me those great pictures from the top of the Burj Khalifa), who were great regulars from Singapore.


Then of course there were the gentlemen I called the Three Wise Men. They had travelled the entire World Voyage and they had become great familiar faces each night and certainly the Pub felt quite different the night after they disembarked. Here they are, Gil, Brian and in the middle, the man behind the “Ducklings” – (that’s a whole story in itself!) – Terry Waite.



So there it was, the end of another year’s World Voyage and I hope you enjoyed following our Queens, their crews and guests as on their adventures around the world.

For those of you who were with us, I hope these Blogs have brought back some great memories and that you had an incredible time. We look forward to welcoming many of you again next year on Queen Elizabeth or Queen Mary 2 on their 2011 World Voyages or perhaps on Queen Victoria on her voyages in North American waters.


Although I am going on leave today, there’s a lot more to share with you over the coming weeks as both Queens settle in to their summer seasons, so I’ll be still Blogging regularly with help from friends on all three ships. Amanda Reid will be taking over from me until I return to Queen Victoria at the end of May. Cheers for now Alastair.

  1. Beryl Moss says:

    Another very interesting blog and hope you enjoy your well earned leave. Look forward to seeing you again on Queen Victoria as we shall be doing the Baltic Cruise departing Southampton on 31 May.

  2. William W. Gay says:

    Hi Alistair, Congratulations on a great blog. I am a first time commenter and am looking forward to sailing on Queen Elizabeth’s maiden transatlantic crossing next January. May I suggest adding to Cunard’s history for early May a mention next time of QE2′s momententous arrival in Baltimore, Maryland on 5th of May, 1985. Her maiden arrival in the Port of Baltimore was such an event that it rated a paragraph in Ron Warwick’s excellent book about the ship. I saw her that splendid day in 1985 coming up the Chesapeake Bay amidst a vast armada of small crafts. I vowed to be on the ship for her next visit to my hometown, and was aboard the crossing in early May 1986, the only time the QE2 sailed (due to ice in the shipping lanes) directly from Southampton to Baltimore, missing out her scheduled call at New York. Look forward to seeing you on QE next year. Best wishes for your well-earned leave.

  3. Chris Frame says:

    Congratulations Alastair on the new format! It is wonderful to see your vision for this blog coming together so elegantly! You’ll be happy to know the Queen Victoria book (Queen Victoria: A Photographic Journey – http://www.queenvictoriabook.com ) is now at the printers! Looking forward to seeing your foreword in print!


  4. mark napier says:

    I see from the 2011 programme that QE is to have the “Verandah Restaurant” in place of Todd English. Will this be an inhouse operation or are the company bringing in an alternative celeb chef?

  5. TomPier says:

    great post as usual!

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