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Queen Elizabeth

Breaking News – As Queen Elizabeth Arrives In Southampton, We Feature The Artwork And Royal Spa

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

  1. Rosemary Stubbs says:

    It’s even better than I ever imagined! Well done Cunard.

  2. Gloria Bullen says:

    Oh the bliss of relaxing on a sea day in the Royal Spa and being pampered. Roll on.

  3. Chris & Margaret Rose says:

    Hi Alistair,
    Welcome to your home port!
    Thanks again for the stunning pictures from inside Queen Elizabeth.

  4. Beryl Moss says:

    Welcome to Southampton. Having now returned to Kent after witnessing Queen Elizabeth’s arrival in Southampton which as she emerged through the morning mist brought a lump to my throat having followed the building of her through your very informative and intering blogs and vlogs, keep them coming. Looking forward to Monday in Southampton for the naming ceremony and then it will seem like a long wait until next year when we and my grandaughters board her and see for ourselves the magnificence of such a beautiful ship.

  5. Paul Clayson says:

    sorry to hear that there will be no art auctions, they provided many a very enjoyable afternoon on previous cruises, and have resulted in over a dozen pieces of art adorning my walls at home. Hopefuly the art for sale will be at as good a discount as previously given. I know I was looking forward to a 17th October birthday present.
    Paul Clayson, Canada

  6. Ruth Saunders says:

    It looks amazing! I have been lucky enough to travel on the Queen Mary 11 and now hope I will also be able to go on this magnificent ship. The artwork and interiors look absolutely beautiful.

  7. deborah ward says:

    count down now to when i board the ship

  8. carol kane says:


  9. Chris Grove says:

    Thank you Alastair for all your really interesting blogs. It has been so good to read them .

    The New Queen is magnificent, we can’t wait to sail on her.

    Will you also send blogs when she is on her Maiden Voyage? It would be lovely to hear how it is going!!!

    Well Done to all at Cunard!!

  10. Andy says:

    Fantastic pictures of Queen Elizabeth, it is looking better than I imagined, I have watched her arrival on the TV and can’t wait till we board her on tuesday


  12. denise mackinnon says:

    It just gets more exciting every few days. What a wonderful way to keep us informed of the beutiful new ship Queen Elizabeth. We will certainly be watching all the t.v. news coverages next week to watch her leave on her maiden voyage, as well as the naming of her by our Majesty Queen Elizabeth 2.
    The countdown is on for us until we sail out of New York next January 2011. Hope to meet you then.
    Denise and Laurie MacKinnon. Geelong Victoria Australia.

  13. Patricia Anderson says:

    Stunning, tasteful and beautiful, every inch of her! The years of planning and work that went into all of it were worth it.

  14. Sarah Nicol says:

    Beautiful paintings! Delighted to hear there are some items ‘rescued’ from the QE2. Love the silver QE2 and must get a photo beside the bell again.
    Hope the TV news will devote more time to QE’s launch by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth ll. Wish I could tune in to ‘South’ news up here in Scotland. About 30 seconds given to her arrival on the national news (that I saw).
    Looking forward to your own video of the naming ceremony. Will it also have footage from her arrival and her departure on her maiden voyage?
    Bon voyage to Captain Wells and his officers and crew, and to passengers as they leave Southampton on Tuesday!

  15. John Goodman says:

    Look forward to seeing Queen Elizabeth depart on her maiden voyage. 46 years ago (almost to the day) since I sailed on the first Queen Elizabeth from Southampton to New York to seek a new life in the U.S. Hope you have better weather for your voyage – we had Force 10 gale and everything had to be tied down! Congratulaltions to Alistair on his new ship.

  16. areally wonderful lokking ship . Cannot wait till we travel on the 25th. the britania club looks amazing. we will see you at lunch on sunday 10th. best wishes

  17. All the best to you and the crew of the QUEEN ELIZABETH.Enjoy the maiden voyage and we are looking forward to sailing with you on the 25th October.Thank you for all your hard work keeping us up to date with the ships progress and it will be lovely to see some of QE2 QM2 QV staff on board.

  18. Eric Cobley says:

    71 hours and counting

  19. Claire says:

    Met some of the crew today in Southampton wearing Queen Elizabeth Maiden Voyage Hoodies. I am now very jealous as I want one!!! Is this one of the perks Alastair of being lucky enough to be part of the crew or will passengers be lucky enough to get their hands on them?

  20. Cameron Robson says:

    Hi Alastair – you’ve done a fantastic job keeping the excitement building over these last months! Queen Elizabeth looks absolutely amazing, and although QM2 and Queen Victoria are both hard acts to follow, I think Cunard have surpassed themselves with this new Queen! I am counting the days until next Spring for the first of what I am sure will be many voyages on Queen Elizabeth. All the best to everyone for the celebrations next week.

  21. Trudy Matthews says:

    Sarah in Scotland – if you have Sky you can tune in to BBC South on channel 984 which is the local channel for Hampshire.
    Also, just wondering if anyone has heard if there will be a firework display when QE leaves on the maiden voyage? There was a spectacular display for the QV and really looking forward to a good show.

  22. We are almost packed and ready to go and so looking forward to the voyage. We have recognised some of the faces of staff we have previously met on Cunard voyages. We are hoping that Andrew Nelder is on the board as he was the maitre d on our first Cunard cruise on the QE2. He as much as anyone created that special Cunard experience. It would be good to see him on the new Queen Elizabeth. Eddy and Ann

  23. Anthony Jr says:

    I could not be any more excited for tomorrow than anyone else in the world for tomorrow!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! On that note, does anyone else think that HM The Queen will name the ship again with a number like she did with QE2? :)

  24. Sian Lamb says:

    Hi Alistair,
    Great blog as usual, always pop into “We are Cunard” for a peek. Most relieved to see so many important pieces “rescued” from QE2, the beautiful bust from the Queen’s room and the silver model from the miships lobby. All look gorgeous along with all the new pieces. Sad to hear though that the 2 large paintings from QE2 are replicas, does this mean that the originals are still on QE2? Sad shame, also what of the fabulous Japanese suit of armour from D stairway?! Keep up the great blogging, will join you on QE very soon (but don’t tell my hubby how much it really costs!) ;-)

  25. Alistair,

    We hope you have a fantastic first voyage on the newest “Queen” from Hellen and I, and maybe one day the TOG Voyage might make it to Queen Elizabeth!

    Best wishes,


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