October 8, 2010
We Are Cunard
Posted in: Queen Elizabeth
Countdown to Queen Elizabeth – 4 days
Today is the day! Although our new Queen is four days from her maiden voyage she arrives in Southampton this morning and by the time you read this we will be docked alongside at Southampton’s new Ocean Terminal. There will be a lot going on over the next few days as Cunard show’s off the latest addition to the fleet, culminating in the naming ceremony by Her Majesty on Monday.
Continuing in the series of Blogs highlighting some of Queen Elizabeth’s features, today I am focussing on the fabulous artwork on board, and firstly the new Royal Spa.
The 13,000 square-foot spa features stunning art deco style decor with two levels for treatment rooms plus fitness and pool facilities. Like her sisters, Queen Elizabeth’s spa offers a comprehensive health and wellness programme including the spectacular new Royal Bath House, which is the centrepiece for the ultimate solo or sociable spa experience.
The Royal Bath House includes a state of the art Hydrotherapy Pool plus a Thermal Suite with inviting sauna and steam grottoes.
Queen Elizabeth is the first spa at sea to offer Remède services, including customised facials and massages, as well as Remède and Elemis spa products. There are many new treatments, such as the Royal Self-Scrub Experience, where guests work with the spa’s mixologist to create a customised blend of exfoliants that buff away impurities.
Couples and friends can also share a spa experience, enjoying a massage, wrap or facial side by side. The spa also includes a full-service hair and nail salon using award-winning products and providing the latest services, such as Phyto Hair Cocktails, St. Tropez Sunless Tanning for the face and body and the Brazilian Blowout, which leaves hair smooth, healthy and frizz-free for up to 12 weeks without the use of damaging chemicals.
We have a wonderful team who have been busy settling in and I managed to get a quick picture of some of them as they were training:
Queen Elizabeth’s fitness centre includes a fully appointed work-out facility and aerobics studio with signature fitness equipment and classes such as Walkvest®: which helps use extra calories while wearing a weighted vest while walking. There are also many others including Aqua Tone which is a special class that incorporates movements in water with equipment such as dumbbells, floats and fins and helps build muscles without overexertion.
To promote wellbeing, the spa also offers services using the ancient traditions of Chinese medicine and Ayurvedic techniques. A professionally trained acupuncturist will also offers treatments to assist in alleviating stress, pain or helping with weight loss.
Once guests are fully revitalized they will be able to enjoy the art and memorabilia onboard Queen Elizabeth which features a unique mix of contemporary art, QE2 and Queen Elizabeth memorabilia and some stunning Art Deco pieces. There is so much detail, such as the incredible carpeting all over the ship, like this fabulous piece in the Grand Lobby.
Art deco flourishes, wood panelling, intricate mosaics, chandeliers and cool marbles will combine to give Queen Elizabeth a design and personality of her own, but with overtones of the late 1930s when her predecessor, the first Queen Elizabeth, was built.
All the lighting has been designed specially for Queen Elizabeth and we have featured some of the elegant chandeliers on this Blog. Here’s just one of the beautiful art deco lighting fixtures at the entrance of the Britannia Club Restaurant.
In addition, Queen Elizabeth’s fine art programme will depart from the art auction format with Cunard’s introduction of a partnership with Clarendon Fine Art, one of Mayfair’s most celebrated new galleries. Peter Shanks, Cunard President and Managing Director, told me:
“Queen Elizabeth’s artwork reflects Cunard’s distinctive heritage and style with art deco pieces, maritime paintings, and works reflecting our ties to the Royal Family. And our partnership with London’s Clarendon Gallery provides an exciting new offering for our passengers who enjoy contemporary art.”
As you have seen in recent Blogs, the Grand Lobby features the 18.5 ft. marquetry panel depicting the port bow of the original Queen Elizabeth, created by David Linley, son of the late Princess Margaret and the Earl of Snowdon.
There are also antiques from the period, including in the library, this 30”, 1930s art deco globe by Phillips & Sons, on the original large, carved walnut stand.
Last week you saw how they mounted some of the artwork and here’s that finished piece; a mural by award winning art director, author and art deco expert Arnold Schwartzman.
Art throughout the ship also celebrates Queen Elizabeth’s predecessors such as the pictures in The Verandah, inspired by the original Queen Mary Verandah Grill artwork. There’s a tribute to QE2 in the Yacht Club with striking photos and from QE2 itself, a silver ship model and a builder’s plaque and bell;
Peter Shanks said:
“Displaying the famous silver QE2 model created by Asprey’s in the early 1970s, and displayed for many years on QE2, shows the enduring history of that famous ship”.
Artefacts from the first Queen Elizabeth are on display in the Midships Bar.
Cunard Place on deck 3, will feature memorabilia highlighting the relationship between the three Queen Elizabeth liners and the Royal Family, as well as murals based on the Queen Elizabeth and QE2 launch ceremonies, painted by Italian artist Diego Bormida.
Housed in the Queens Room are three significant pieces, including a bust of The Queen, by Oscar Nemon;
There is also a replica of the Cunard commissioned portrait of Princess Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh that originally hung in Caronia’s main lounge, and then moved to QE2. A second replica painting is of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, by Sir Oswald Birley, commissioned for the original Queen Elizabeth and subsequently on QE2.
Queen Elizabeth will also display paintings paying tribute to Cunard’s history. Robert Lloyd is one of Europe’s most sought after marine artists, producing visually stunning paintings like this oil mural in the Commodore Club of three Queens meeting in Southampton.
Other paintings in the Commodore Club include Queen Elizabeth in Sydney Harbour, and printed porthole murals of maritime scenes such as this one of our flagship, Queen Mary 2.
Known for painting in oils using a palette knife, Harley Crossley had seven of his large original paintings of Cunard and White Star ships on one of the stairways on QE2. His most recent work of art, Queen Elizabeth leaving Southampton, is in the Grand Lobby.
Clarendon on Cunard will ensure that the most collectable contemporary art is available on board, to view and to purchase. Within the on board gallery will be a superior range of original paintings, limited editions, sculpture and collectors' art books. Rolf Harris originals and limited edition prints are expected to be popular.
The gallery will host events that provide a unique opportunity to meet some of the artists who will bring their work to life on board.
There also will be an area dedicated to collectable artwork surrounding Cunard itself; the Cunarders’ Gallery. Within this less formal setting, Clarendon will show collections of historical images, vintage travel posters and celebrity photographs. These will be exclusively available to guests of Queen Elizabeth and are shown off here by Queen Elizabeth’s Art Directors, Christopher Thomas and Abigail Reeve
Many of you may remember the Blog in March that told the story about the competition that ran last September in conjunction with the Daily Telegraph. If you didn’t you can catch up on this link
The winner was announced as 20 year Peter Simpson, who is in his second year of a sculpture course at Edinburgh College of Art and here is his stunning piece of artwork in place on Queen Elizabeth.
I’ll be back on Monday with news and pictures of our time in Southampton, and later in the week we have some very special Blogs planned; Cheers for now, Alastair