White Star Service logo

Queen Elizabeth

Breaking News – The Latest Pictures of Cunard’s New Queen

August 5, 2010

We Are Cunard

Posted in: Queen Elizabeth

Countdown to Queen Elizabeth – 67 days

Welcome to another special Blog with news, pictures and video footage from Monfalcone, Italy where Queen Elizabeth is less than ten weeks away from her maiden voyage. Thanks again for all your questions and comments; they are always great to read. I know you are all waiting to hear who’ll name our new Queen, and I assure you I’ll let you know on this Blog as soon as I find out. Also Ian; yes there will be a harpist on Queen Elizabeth; in fact we’ll have 28 musicians on board, which is the same number as we have on her sister, Queen Victoria. Before we get to those latest pictures from Italy, here’s our regular feature; this week in Cunard’s history from the week of 6 to 12 August:

August 6 1929

The Britannic is launched at Harland & Wolf in Belfast and becomes part of the Cunard White Star Fleet in January 1934

August 8 1922

The Doric is launched at Harland & Wolf, Belfast and becomes part of the Cunard White Star fleet in 1934

August 9 1990

QE2 completes her 500th Atlantic crossing

August 9 2007

Cunard introduces its new lecture series called “Cunard Insights”

August 12 1914

The Ultonia is among many ships that takes the B.E.F. (British Expeditionary Forces) from Southampton to Le Havre at the beginning of World War 1 

August 12 2008

Queen Victoria returns to Venice for the first time since leaving the Marghera shipyard over 8 months earlier 

As you may know, I spent a couple of fantastic days in Italy last week to see how Queen Elizabeth was progressing at the Fincantieri shipyard in Monfalcone. Although like you I had seen pictures of her progress, I was excited to see her again for myself, as this was the first visit back to the yard since her float out ceremony at the beginning of January. I was also lucky enough to be accompanied by our cameraman, Andrew, and you’ll be seeing a total of five Video Blogs over the next couple of weeks, with the first at the end of this post.

Arriving at the yard early on Thursday morning, there was a huge amount of activity surrounding Queen Elizabeth, but despite the rain and all the busy cranes, delivery trucks and shipyard workers, our new Queen was looking fantastic.


Once aboard, I could actually find my way around as everything had begun to look quite recognizable and so different from my last visit. I just couldn’t believe how much progress had been made since January. With the ship now powering herself the Grand Lobby had been dramatically transformed:

This was just one area of the ship where there were so many people working; it was incredible how they all managed to work in such a busy area. Our staff at this Purser’s desk will be welcoming guests in less than ten weeks time!

Moving up to deck 2, this is a view I have taken a shot of quite a few times; it’s looking across the Grand Lobby from Café Carinthia:


The ship is probably now at it’s very busiest, with so many specialists working on everything from marble, wood, glass, metal, artwork, plasterwork, lighting to the furnishings and carpets. Mind you as soon as something is completed, it is immediately covered and protected. To give you an idea of how much is going on at the moment all over the ship, this is the lobby by the C Staircase on deck 2.

The library, which will soon be receiving its 6,000 books, was looking very advanced with many of the finished decorative elements already covered, but it’s still instantly recognizable.

The distinctive and elegant Royal Arcade staircase was beginning to receive it’s Art Deco flourishes, and in the second of next week’s Blogs, I’ll be talking to Cunard’s President and Managing Director about the artwork that will be the centrepiece of this area. 

Up on deck 10 in the Commodore Club, a lot of the lighting fixtures were already in place. The parquet floor was also being laid while we were there, (to the left of the picture), as the finishing touches were added to the marble work.

espite the weather, they were still working outside, with teak being fitted around the Pavilion Pool, by a team of specialists under a temporary cover.

And now here is the first in a series of Video Blogs; firstly giving you an overview of how Queen Elizabeth is looking.

 Don’t forget all our Video Blogs are available on YouTube at WeAreCunard or simply click on this link:


That’s it for now but I’ll be back on Monday with the first of two Blogs, which followed members of the press who joined us on our second day. There’ll be more pictures and two more videos, along with interviews with the press as well as Peter Shanks. We’ll then have posts (and videos) featuring the progress of the Dining areas and Entertainment Venues.

That’s all to come, along with answers to your questions and all the regular news from around the Cunard World. Cheers for now, Alastair

  1. Steve Bass says:

    HI Alastair,

    Once a again another great video of Queen Elizabeth. Would it be possible to string all of these together and make a DVD? These could then be sold in the ship’s shops, I am sure they would sell well and I would certainly buy one when on board at Christmas. Can’t wait to see the next set of pictures and videos. Well done.

    Steve Bass

  2. Love the blogs! thank you Alastair!
    We will be on for the maiden voyage in the grill, we are so lucky!
    Looking forward to seeing you all in Southampton, Oct 12th.
    Very exciting!

  3. Chris & Margaret Rose says:

    She is really looking fantastic!
    Can’t wait to see more blogs.

    Thanks again for all the information we can’t wait till we board her in January in Fort Lauderdale.

  4. Dawn Melloy says:

    So excited about the maiden voyage (paid for today – ouch!). Video quite spooky but fascinating!! Thank you.

  5. It’s so good to see how she is coming along. Thanx so much for these updates and vlogs. Can’t wait till January!

  6. judith appleton says:

    I can`t believe so much has taken place since the last video blog. Things are so recognisable and its incredible that books are already going into the library.The speed of change is incredible. WHAT A LOGISTICAL ACHIEVEMENT.It`s hard to believe that in less than 10 weeks we shall be sailing on her.

  7. Steve Bass says:

    HI Alastair,

    Some great pictures and a brilliant video once again. Would it be possible for your technical department to string all these videos together and make a DVD? You could then sell them in the ships’s shops. I am sure they would sell well, I would certainly buy one when on board at Christmas. Thanks once again can’t wait to see the next video.

    Steve Bass

  8. carol Kane says:

    Hi Alistair,
    QE looking great, just a few finishing touches to go. WOW. well done Monfalcone, well done all you wonderful tradesmen & women. what a splendid achievment.there is a lot of talent in that shipyard, you all deserve a great round of applause. beacuse of all your work all us cunarders will have a wonderful time aboard. once again WELL DONE

  9. Beryl Moss says:

    What a fantastic video and looking forward to all the rest of them. The excitement is now growing as each day goes by and will be in Southampton to witness her arrival at her home port.

  10. Anita & Moe Krakower says:

    Hello Alastair…..Looking forward to joining you for The Elizabeth 2011 World Cruise Jan 16, in FLL
    Haven’t seen you since The Victoria 2008 World Cruise….We are delighted to be planning 3 months aboard The Elizabeth….Best Regards to you & our Cunard friends!

  11. Jeff Towns says:

    Hi Alastair:

    Got my pre-cruise documents in the mail today, as a matter of fact and looking at the shore excursions. I am doing a book in advance of the maiden voyage as I did for Queen Victoria. Since you figure so prominently in it, I hope you will sign it for me. Keep up the good work. Jeff

  12. Robert Hofmann says:

    Love the updates! Also love the pictures and videos. Amazing to watch the progress of the new QE. I am so very excited for the maiden voyage! I’m sure there will be lots of surprises in store for all of us on this historic voyage! Only 9 weeks to go!

Leave a Comment