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Queen Elizabeth


September 30, 2010

We Are Cunard

Posted in: Queen Elizabeth

Countdown to Queen Elizabeth – 12 days

What an exciting week it’s been here in Italy, with both Queen Victoria and Queen Mary 2 on Mediterranean voyages and Queen Elizabeth spending her last few days in Monfalcone. In fact as I write this Blog on Wednesday night, a special presentation is taking place in the Royal Court Theatre, and I’ll tell you more about that in a special Blog tomorrow as Cunard officially takes delivery of Queen Elizabeth.

Today as promised I have more pictures of Queen Elizabeth’s interior and more news about what we have all been doing, but that’s after this week in Cunard’s history for the week from the 24th to the 30th of September:

September 25 1974 In the Mediterranean, QE2 rescues 6 survivors from the sinking yacht ‘Stephanie’
September 25 2003 Queen Mary 2 undertakes her first sea trials
September 26 1934 The 80,744-ton Queen Mary launched at Clydebank and becomes the first merchant vessel to be launched by a member of the Royal family (Her Majesty Queen Mary).
September 27 1938 The Queen Elizabeth, at 83, 673 gross registered tons, becomes the largest liner ever built. She is launched by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother.
September 27 1967 Queen Mary sails in to New York for the last time completing her final transatlantic crossing, with 1,400 passengers on board including the designer John Brown incognito. Shortly afterwards she set sail for Long Beach, California
September 28 2009 Queen Victoria makes her maiden call at Boston

I know I always say how astounded I am by the progress the Fincantieri ship yard team make, but this last 10 days has been truly staggering. The Grand Lobby is looking fantastic with just some final adjustments being made to the lighting.

Meanwhile to give you an idea of the speed of progress these two pictures of the Royal Court Theatre auditorium were taken just three days apart during which time the covers came off the seating area and the lighting bars were completed and raised in to place:

In the Queens Room, you can see the wonderful chandeliers with the other lighting fixtures going in just a couple of days after this picture was taken, which shows the famous Cunard dance floor is receiving it’s polish:

The art deco influences are beginning to become more and more prominent, such as these beautiful lighting fixtures in the Royal Arcade. Between the steps there’ll be a stunning Dent clock which I saw being place today so I’ll send you a picture of that soon.

If you have ever wanted to know how they attach some of the paintings on the ships panels, well you’re about to find out. I just happened to be passing through the Grand Lobby the other day as this piece was being placed in its new home behind the Purser’s Desk.

This next photo will seem quite familiar to many readers as the Golden Lion Pub, although it has slightly different decor and furniture to the one on her sister Queen Victoria.

Moving on to some of the dining venues, I know the anticipation is building towards the opening of the Verandah Restaurant. The name comes from the first Queen Elizabeth, and the paintings you can see were inspired by those in the original restaurant.

Another new venue for Queen Elizabeth is the Britannia Club restaurant and what a stunning venue this will be. There were just 3 days in between these photos being taken, again showing the tremendous progress being made:

And talk about a dramatic transformation, this is the Britannia Restaurant a few days ago just before the lighting and other decor was completed:

The restaurant teams have been as busy as everyone on board, preparing for the Maiden Voyage. Here are some of them forming one of the many human chains I’ve seen around the ship this last week, bringing in the brand new china to be cleaned and then stored ready for our first guests.

And here they were a day later, under the direction of the Britannia Restaurant Maitre D’ Patu Kerai, all dressed and ready for a function for some special guests from the shipyard and from our new build team based here in Monfalcone.

Another venue that has progressed enormously is the Yacht Club, and again these photos were only taken four days apart.

Meanwhile around the ship, there are so many people finishing off a variety of projects such as the careful marking out of the Deck Quoits and Shuffleboard courts by a team of specialised craftsmen.

A big job that can only take place over the last two weeks of the outfitting process is the planting of literally hundreds of plants around the ship, so we were recently joined by Debbie Gilmore and her team to begin that huge task.

With the entire inaugural crew now on board, everyone is very busy preparing their respective areas such as the shop staff loading all their stores, preparing window displays and stocking up the shelves.

The whole ship is receiving that last bit of special attention with every area looking pristine ready for her hand over to Cunard, and that includes the iconic red funnel.

How lovely it is to see the name Queen Elizabeth on the astern of the ship, and even that area receiving special attention, so that she looks immaculate when she arrives in her home port for the first time on the 8th of October.

I’ll have more pictures tomorrow which will show her on her delivery day, and I have to say our new Queen looks stunning.  Next week I’ll have a special Vlog for you as well as news from our crew event and the handover ceremony, but now we have to prepare to leave Monfalcone for the last time.

Cheers for now, Alastair

  1. S. Nicol says:

    Excited to see photos of the QE and also the webcam up and running!

    Wish I was on board.

    Will be looking for TV news coverage of the arrival and naming ceremony as we are up in Scotland.


  2. Only 12 days to go! She look fab! Looking forward to our lunch on board on 10th too & maybe get to see our cabin!

  3. mark napier says:

    Stunning, what a beautiful ship. Hope to be on one of next years cruises.

  4. How absolutely wonderful to read and see all the news. It makes the anticipation of our trip in May even more palpable. It has been a lifetime dream for my husband and I and this, our 50th year of our marriage is truly even more special . Thank you, Alistair!

  5. Ann Ridout says:

    Looking forward to travelling with her next summer. All booked and ready to go. Thank you for keeping us up to date.

  6. brogan Swan says:

    Exciting photos, it was great to see a familiar face in one of the photos. I shall be awaiting news coverage of her arrival in Southampton. Great to see the webcam up and running.

  7. Chris & Margaret Rose says:

    Hi Alistair,
    Thanks again for such great photographs.
    We are so glad to see that Queen Elizabeth has been added to
    \Where are the ships now\!!
    As always we are looking forward with anticipation to the next blog.
    Chris & Margaret Rose

  8. Gloria Bulen says:

    Gosh it is nearly here. We were not fortunate to get on her maiden voyage but will in 3 weeks time packing our case as we head on her maiden Mediterranean Premier. If she looks as good as the photos we are in for a wonderful time.

  9. Can’t wait until the 12th so we can see everything “up close and personal”.
    Beryl & Paul Clayson. Canada

  10. Peter Hulme says:

    The QE looks absolutely stunning. Roll on the 12th and the opportunity to see her for real.

  11. Peter Hailer says:

    Too many e-mails. Today’s is the only meaningful content, sent to date! Most of the previous, to me, are in the “spam’ category. Either send out worthwile information less frequently or STOP altogether. I do not need quantities of e-mail just to fill my inbox.

    Thanks for reading my comments, Peter Hailer

  12. judith appleton says:

    What a stunning ship she is

  13. Trudy Matthews says:

    The ship looks absolutely beautiful and I can’t wait to be on the maiden voyage.
    Slightly disappointing that the large screen broadcast of the naming ceremony is over 2 miles away from the ship – meaning that when she is named, none of the observers will be able to see the ship.
    When the QV was named, she was right by Mayflower Park which gave many hundreds of people the chance to see her and the naming ceremony at the same time. Wonder why Cunard chose to do this?

  14. Simon John says:

    Very excited to be following the progress of the New Queen on this blogg. And looking forward to joining you guys on the 8th. Simon

  15. Beryl Moss says:

    What fantastic photographs. Well done Alastair. Can’t wait until next Friday the 8th to witness her arrival in Southampton.

  16. Great to see the latest photos of the QE, only 12days now, im one of the lucky ones being on her maiden voyage with my son, see you onboard Alastair

  17. Michael A. Kremer says:

    Hello, wonderful pictures. Unfortunately it is not possible to access the web cam from outside the UK, because the links still do not work properly. I do hope that this will be fixed eventually because it affects useful links such as to the CWC as well. Nobody is perfect, though. Best Michael

  18. Missed out on the maiden voyage by 30 seconds but our consolation is 22 days down to the caribbean
    over Christmas and the New Year, What a bummer!!!! See you then Alister.

  19. Sandee says:

    Great pictures can’t wait to see her in person. Were getting ready to leave Hawaii to join the maiden voyage on the 12th!

  20. carol Kane says:

    I thought the QV was a beauty BUT the Queen Elizebeth outshines them all. She is looking FANTASTIC..looking forward to the Launching and more footage. can’t wait to board her. Thanks Alastair the info you out up has been great. Loved it all

  21. Chris Grove says:

    It has been so great to read the blogs and the excitement that Alistair has fueled in the minds of all who have read them The QE is quite spectacular, we can’t wait to sail on her next year.

  22. Queen Elizabeth Yobst says:

    Please be sure to have me on the Maiden Voyage as Contracted.

  23. Andy says:

    Fantastic pictures, can’t wait less then two weeks now

  24. deborah ward says:

    I am so looking forward to being on the maiden voyage of Queen Elizabeth and hopefully meeting other passengers who have posted comments.Will be great to meet and swop stories of how we managed to be lucky enough to get a cabin onboard this fastest ever sellout.

  25. Diana Smith says:

    We shall be on the maiden voyage and we can’t wait to see everything \in the flesh\. We shall be meeting Australian friends on board who we met on the final Mediterranean Cruise of QE2 which will make this voyage even better. Thanks for keeping us up to date with the blogs – amazing transformation in the last few days.

    Diana and Roger Smith

  26. Carol & John Kaye says:

    Wonderfull pictures really looking forward to our trip in April.

  27. Christine Davison says:

    Looking forward to our lunch on board on 10th October and then the Maiden Voyage on 12th October. The ship looks stunning. I cannot wait to see her.

  28. Debbie King says:

    It’s the Final Countdown! Can’t wait until 12th. We’ve been looking at this blog (and now the bridge cam) every day and we’re really excited. Long live the Queen!

  29. Ann Crickmore says:

    Hello Alistair
    We’ve been watching with bated breath and Oh how I have resisted in commenting but with only 11 days and counting I just couldn’t resist! The pictures are getting more and more impressive and living up to Cunard’s usual standard. We can’t wait – just like all the other lucky ones who will be on the maiden voyage on the 12th! And to top it all I will be at the naming ceremony too! I’m sure you will be the star of the show again just like on Queen Victoria maiden voyage.
    See you on board Alistair!
    Regards to all
    Ann and Trevor Crickmore

  30. Chris & Margaret Rose says:

    Hi Alistair,
    One of our friends lives overlooking the Isle of Wight.
    Are you able to let us know what approximate time Queen Elizabeth is expected in Southampton on the 8th October.
    We are currently in Florida but he has agreed to photograph her for us!
    Very many thanks
    Chris & Margaret Rose

  31. Louise Saxon says:

    Chris and Margaret – Cunard have put a list of viewing points and times, along with a map on their website: http://www.cunard.co.uk/About-Cunard/News-Room/Queen-Elizabeths-Southampton-Arrival/

  32. Chris Frame says:

    Hi Alastair,

    Just returned from the fantastic QM2 and very much looking forward to being aboard Queen Elizabeth in 2011. Hope all goes well during the voyage across to the home port! Best of luck!

    Chris and Rachelle.

  33. Robert - Hunter Valley says:

    Welcome to realise that the Pub is enclosed and not open planning, as in QM2. Any comments on drawers and room to hide the ports – aka – luggage. We shall some. Await comments from Christine on the New Lady.

    For those in Sydney on the 22nd February – look out for us. The Quiet Ones.

  34. MR.V.MITCHELL says:


  35. Brenda Davison says:

    Looking forward to seeing you again Alistair. Do you know the theme for the Cunard Ball, London Ball, Elizabethan Ball and Starlight Ball as just finalising the outfits. Not long to wait now.

  36. Jilly says:

    Hi. She look lovely, can’t wait to sail on her. Can someone tell me how they got an invite to the Naming Ceremony please??? All the best to the boys on board. Jilly

  37. rita lenon says:

    Counting the days now and it is very exciting. I will be on her Maiden Voyage with my husband and Charlene our daughter. What a trip this will be. . . . . breathtaking! Look forward to meeting fellow lucky passengers and crew.

  38. David&Avril Denmead says:


    Looking forward to seeing the new cunarder Queen Elizabeth sailing through the Solent up to Southampton her home port for the first time she is looking really great. Ready for the information as to the best viewing point. Avril has started the count down to the world cruise and has her 134 dresses ready and packed for the voyage!!!

    Avril and David

  39. Daryl Cooper says:

    02:31 wherever the new “Queen” is is not 18:49 in Queensland,
    Please have the webcam updated or at least have an explanatiom why! is not provided. QM2 and Queen Victoria are current, why not new Queen Elizabeth?

  40. Gerrie and Mike Lambert says:

    I agree about the web cam it is ok if you know the ports or can get the brochure out to work out where she is . I love following these lovely ships about .

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