August 23, 2010
We Are Cunard
Posted in: Queen Elizabeth
Countdown to Queen Elizabeth – 49 days
I was going to bring you more news from Queen Mary 2 and Queen Victoria today, but having just received news and pictures from Queen Elizabeth’s Sea Trials, I’m afraid they will have to wait until next week. Sea Trials are a very important stage of the new build process, where the ship undergoes numerous tests to ensure she will perform to expectations when she is delivered to Cunard. Queen Elizabeth’s Hotel Manager, Robert Howie, is already in the shipyard and sent me this special Guest Blog, so I’ll let him take up the story:
Robert Howie, Hotel Manager
On 13 August at 8.44am, Queen Elizabeth slipped her lines and quietly, under her own power for the first time, left the shipyard in Monfalcone with around 300 shipyard employees, contractors, Carnival Corporate Shipbuilding Inspectors, Lloyds Register and Cunard representatives on board.
Although the weather wasn’t at its best it was still quite a sight to see our new Queen moving out from her outfitting berth, a journey she will make again in less than two months time, but then it will be for the last time and heading not for Trieste, but Southampton.
During the trials many manoeuvring, incline, blackout and stability tests were carried out as the ship was put through her paces by the Fincantieri team. The tests were continuous for three days, and trust me being almost thrown out of bed as the ship underwent her incline tests during the night, proved that!
On the Sunday, the weather brightened as we ‘cruised’ in circles and carried out more manoeuvres around the Adriatic. This is the view from just above the illuminated Queen Elizabeth sign looking aft to the lido deck.
Queen Elizabeth entered the dry dock in Trieste at around 4pm, with the water soon being drained from the dock. By the time I had left at 7pm, Fincantieri were already starting to prepare the exterior of the ship for her final coat of paint. Queen Elizabeth will remain in dry dock until the end of the month when she will complete her ‘Owners (Cunard)’ Sea Trials when Captain Wells will be in attendance.
The outfitting of the ship will continue whilst in dry dock and in fact over the weekend, while we were on Sea Trials, I noted a significant move in areas nearing completion. This is the view of the open decks looking towards the Yacht Club and the new Games Deck.
The Pavilion Pool and Garden Lounge with its magnificent roof are also looking very impressive.
It looks equally fantastic from the inside.
Inside the finishes are being applied, such as the tiling and glazing, all of which reflect the theme of an English Conservatory.
Meanwhile the Lido Restaurant, Princess Grill, both levels of the Britannia Restaurant and Commodore Club are all now fully carpeted, so we will be loading the furniture into these spaces within the next two weeks. This all helps on the sea trials, as the weight gives a more realistic feel to the ship.
Having attended many sea trials, I have to say that this one was probably the most uneventful, in that everything seemed to run to plan. Unfortunately we had no gala dinners, full production shows or any of the glamour that we will have come 12 October, but we all managed to keep ourselves occupied!
Thank you very much Robbie for this fascinating post. I also received a message from Queen Elizabeth’s Chief Engineer, Colin Black who told me more about the technical aspects of the sea trials.
Of the sea trials Colin said:
“The Bridge Navigation went very well, and the SOLAS Steering test was very impressive with full service speed and hard steering to 35 Degrees to port then starboard. This was repeated several times to test all conditions of steering operation with a speed of 21.7 knots. Then the forced roll at 9 degrees was impressive that it only took a few seconds for the fins to stabilise the vessel. It was good to see all six engines running at one time with all of them performing to expectations. The propulsion was tested with excellent results under load increase and decrease demands.”
Thank you Colin for the technical viewpoint as it’s always interesting to see this stage of the process, and you cane look forward to seeing more pictures from Queen Elizabeth in dry dock in Trieste next week. Also a big thank you to Evhad Kunovac for taking these great pictures. Evhad will eventually be working as the Concierge in the Grills Lounge but is currently working the Crew Office as more and more crew join the ship.
I’ll be back on Thursday when I’ll be sharing some exciting breaking news about the Shops on board our new Queen. Thanks again for logging on and please keep your comments and questions coming in. Cheers for now, Alastair