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Queen Elizabeth


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: 

Guest Blog
Robert Howie, Hotel Manager
Queen Elizabeth

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

  1. Thelma says:

    Can’t wait to take a trip on her.

  2. Beryl Moss says:

    It is great to see the pictures of QE at sea on her sea trials and a very interesting blog especially the technical information.

  3. judith appleton says:

    How fantastic to see her at sea.This will be our first Maiden Voyage and the excitement is building.What a hectic few weeks you will all have.

  4. Robert Jones says:

    The excitement builds. It’s great to be able to follow the progress of this great ship. I love Cunard!!

  5. Steve says:

    Congratulations Cunard! My goodness she looks amazing in the water!

  6. sheila hedderick says:

    Thanks Alaister, Queen Elizabeth looks fantastic, just a little bigger than Queen Victoria i see,So looking forward to next March. Any chance of a photo of the Bowling Green?….sheila

  7. Robert Hofmann says:

    Very excited about the maiden voyage as this will be my first. I’m a huge fan of the QM 2 and I’m looking forward to the same wonderful service on the new QE. Also I’m sure Cunard has some wonderful surprises in store for its passengers!

  8. wow,wow, now we begin to see the new queen in most of her glory, we are very excited about our trip on 8th nov. then we will have acomplished travelling on all queens back to QE2, what nostalgia this new queen elizabeth follows, we simply adored QE2. we simply love the style of cunard & your staff just make it such a wonderful adventure everytime. its so much part of our retired life !! martin & jay haywood

  9. Brogan Swan says:


    She really is something beautiful. She has begun to look more regal and more Cunard each time we see an update of photos. As a past QE2 passenger i am now growing to like the design, very modern with a touch of class. Reading the technical aspects mentioned from Colin gives us all an insight into what this liner is capable of doing and it is very remarkable. I am looking forward to some great nights in the ‘Yacht Club’, brings back some fond memories of an old favourite. Can you tell me whether Thomas Quinnons will be aboard on her maiden world cruise?

    Thanks yet again for an exciting blog Alastair,


  10. Alex Craig says:

    Looks fantastic cannot wait for next July and our cruise

  11. Hi Alastair

    Great report from the maiden sea trials and thanks to Robert & Colin for the updates. Unless I’m mistaken, it would appear she is already carrying her home port registry unlike her sister, which bore the temporary registration of Nassau I seem to recall.

    Rgds and looking forward to seeing her ‘in the steel’ in October as it were!


  12. looks like a great ship and I hope one day I can get on bord. do you know what it first voyage is to I particularly like the 7th photo of the glass roof of the inside of the ship as it looks amazing

    Thanks for the post

  13. Albert Galaburda says:

    I am traveling with you later this year. These blogs remind me of the excitement, when a child, I felt when the heavy curtains slowly opened at the cinema, and the newsreels began projecting. Please, keep them coming.

  14. rita lenon says:

    It all looks very good and i am very pleased to be one of the passengers on the 12th October 2010. I too am counting the days…..i can’t wait to see her grand interior!

  15. Margaret Bills says:

    When will we know when she is arriving in Southampton and who is going to officially name her. Surely there is only one person who should do this!

  16. Patricia says:

    What a thrill it would be to be on the maiden voyage! She looks divine

  17. 21.7 knots? Magnificent.

  18. matthew says:

    I cant wait to see her on the 30 Apr 2011

  19. Gayle Ruedi says:

    We would like to book eastbound transatlantic passage on the Queen Mary 2 later in 2011 for 2 people plus a dog (36” nose to base of tail) and cat for an extended UK and European vacation. But the customer representative I spoke with (very nice and very helpful) told me there was nothing available for 2011 that could accommodate both the dog and cat. She also explained that you have to have a booking before you can be wait-listed for kennel space. But if kennel space does not come available for that crossing, we would need to change it to a later one. Or if kennel space became available on any other crossing but the one we were booked on, we would take that. In other words, the key factor to a booking is kennel space.

    It seems like there should be a way to be wait-listed for kennel space and a stateroom together. We’re very disappointed.

  20. Carol Kaye says:

    Hi, She looks lovely, have just booked for next April, know its a long way off, but gives me chance to buy some beautiful clothes to wear on a beautiful ship. Roll on April

  21. Paul Stanyer says:

    I regularly visit Trieste. When a line is completed it normally spends a couple of days in the maritime station in Trieste before seting sail for Southampton or wherever. During this time local dignitaries visit the ship and the builderrs hand it over to its owners. Does anyone know when the Queen Elizabeth is scheduled to depart from trieste for Southampton as I would like to watch this historical and emotional departure?

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