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Queen Victoria

VENICE WELCOMES BACK A ROYAL VISITOR

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:

http://splashsandbox.com/2009/09/queen-victoria-returns-to-her-birthplace/

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.

Cheers, Alastair.

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  1. We are so much enjoying your blog.
    We sailed on the Queen Mary 2 last year from Southampton to New York to celebrate Chris’ 60th Birthday.
    We are joining the Queen Elizabeth on her maiden season at Fort Luaderdale on 16th January 2011 and sailing through the Panama Canal and leaving her at Los Angeles.
    Chris is fanatical about Liners and in particular Cunard, his Grandfather sailed on the original Mauretania, and he saw the original Queen Mary sail from Southampton, visited the original Queen Elizabeth in Southampton and saw the QE2 sail from the Isle of Wight!
    We are both looking forward to our voyage on the new Queen Elizabeth and enjoying all the photographs of her as she gets closer to completion.
    Many thanks,
    Chris & Margaret

  2. mary murdoch says:

    Great pictures. looking forward to 30th July when QV visits the River Forth for the first time. We live in Fife and will have a picnic down at the banks of the river that day presuming the weather continues to be good but if not we will watch her from the car and hopefully get some good pictures to add to the the rest of our Cunard gallery.

  3. Brogan Swan says:

    What a perfect spot to dock a liner, right in the heart of a beautiful city. Absolutely wonderful photos Alastair.

    I would like to know Alastair if piano players Patrick Patton and Ernie will be joining the QE as they were on the QE2′s final world cruise?? i have kept in contact with Patrick via email and he wasnt sure but it would be fantastic to see them again on our voyage on the world cruise in feb.

    cheers.

  4. Beryl Moss says:

    Your photos are fantastic and as Venice is a city I have always wanted to visit this is one of the cruises on Queen Victoria or Queen Elizabeth which is definitely on the list to do. Thanks again for a very interesting blog, looks as though you had fun.

  5. judith appleton says:

    What stunning photos. It hardly seems possible for Queen Victoria to be docked in such a position.

  6. John and Judith Wilson says:

    We are really enjoying your blog. We have sailed on all the Cunard Queens–QE2, Queen Mary 2 and Queen Victoria and are booked on Queen Elizabeth for her maiden season. Your blog makes the whole thing even more exciting. Thank you.

  7. Barrie Laney says:

    Great photo’s Alistair, and a very interesting Blog.

    Where are all the pigeons?. I have never seen a photo of St Marks Square with no birdlife ?.

    How far away was Queen Elizabeth. I was thinking that maybe the workmen on Elizabeth might have caught a glimpse of Victoria as she arrived.

    Barrie Laney

  8. Robert Hunter Valley says:

    One may imagine the world of Monteverdi and Caravaggio. Remember the legagy of Italy to France.

  9. Gerrie and Mike Lambert says:

    We will be on the new Queen Elizabeth next year due to sail in to Venice. This will be my first time visiting Venice and I am so excited. Judging by those pictures we will be really close in and that is thrilling . Roll on next June.

  10. Carol kane says:

    Hi Alastair
    What a great photo of the QV docked by St Marks campanile next to the grand canal, Its a fab one to show the size of the ship and how the size of buildings have change ……….. Love it Love it

  11. julie says:

    absolutley brilliant…..looking forward to QE in November in Venice…….my first time there

    Julie xxxxxxx

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