June 28, 2010
We Are Cunard
Posted in: Queen Victoria
Countdown to Queen Elizabeth – 105 days
Firstly thank you again for all the comments; this has been our busiest month to date for comments which is great news, so please keep them coming. I have given Queen Victoria’s latest Star of the Month, Noel Aquino, your many compliments, and he wanted me to say a huge thank you to everyone who wrote such lovely things about his work on board. Needless to say his family are also incredibly proud of him.
It’s also exciting to hear of so many of you joining us on Queen Elizabeth during her maiden season, so I’m looking forward to seeing you all there; not long now and you’ll be delighted to hear that I have more pictures to show you soon.
Meanwhile this post is all about Queen Victoria’s recent call to Venice, where she left as Cunard’s newest Queen, just two and a half years ago.
I was giving a commentary from the bridge and I had a magnificent view of our entrance to the city and then the Statzione Maritima with the Marghera shipyard, where Queen Victoria began her life, directly ahead of us. If you haven’t yet seen it, a wonderful video was made last September when Queen Victoria made one of her visits, and you can see it again on this link:
Captain Paul Wright then made an incredibly skillful turn, as we then headed back along the same route. This visit was to be a very special one, as we would not be docking at the regular Statzione Maritima, but actually right in the city, only a short walk away from St. Marks Square. This is indeed a rare privilege and gave us some incredible photo opportunities.
This view is from St. Marks and what a view it is, of Queen Victoria dominating one of the most amazing city skylines in the world. Venice is without question one of the most photogenic cities you could ever visit, where upon every turn there’s a view that’s reminiscent of a Canaletto painting.
The weather wasn’t at its best when we arrived, but the beauty of Venice shines, whatever the weather; the colours and light are just stunning. I managed to get off the ship a bit later in the day, and by the time I reached St. Marks the water had started to rise creating a rather different scene……….
I have visited the city many times, but have never seen this before, although apparently it does happen reasonably frequently. So the choices are, try and walk around it, or simply take your shoes and socks off and paddle. I’m sure you can guess which option I went for!
Yes that is me clinging to a lamppost! You have to admire a city that, whatever the weather, life goes on and of course as the saying goes, the band played on:
Yes that is an orchestra and waiter in somewhat optimistic mode, hoping for some passing tourists with the same resilience as theirs. Walking back to Queen Victoria and getting closer, you really sensed the scale of the ship compared to the centuries old buildings around her.
This was particularly the case when you walked a couple of streets back to see the iconic red funnel rising above the rooftops.
It was then time to be back on board, but then we were treated to a beautiful sunset, so I had to take advantage of a few more photo opportunities:
And this is the view of Queen Victoria with the landmark St. Marks Campanile, to the left and the entrance to the Grand Canal further to the left.
Then it was time to be back on board to savour the moment as we had a special Sailaway party planned with some wonderful Italian food from our talented on board Chefs, to the sounds of Andrea Bocelli playing on the Lido deck, all framed by a perfect view of a stunning sunset over this magical city.
It doesn’t get much better than that does it? What a treat it was and yet more very special memories for our guests and crew.
That’s it for now but I’ll be back on Thursday as usual with a regular weekly Blog as well as more news and pictures from Queen Elizabeth. Thanks again for all your comments; please keep them coming.