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Queen Elizabeth

Cunard Takes Delivery Of Queen Elizabeth

October 4, 2010

We Are Cunard

Posted in: Queen Elizabeth

Countdown to Queen Elizabeth – 8 days

With just a week to go before her maiden voyage, it’s now official; Cunard Line has taken delivery of Queen Elizabeth; the second largest Cunarder ever built and the third new liner the company has built in six years.

The Handover Ceremony took place last Thursday on board the new 92,400-ton vessel at the Fincantieri Monfalcone shipyard. The event included a speech by Cunard President and Managing Director Peter Shanks.

The signing of the final documents between the Monfalcone Fincantieri Shipyard Director, Mr Cesare De Marco, and the CEO of Carnival UK (Cunard’s parent company), David Dingle, was witnessed by Peter Shanks and the first master of Queen Elizabeth, Captain Chris Wells.

The four Gentlemen then turned their eyes to the ship’s main mast for the official flag changing ceremony:

The Italian flag was ceremonially lowered and the Red Ensign, (the flag of the British Merchant Navy), was raised by Third officer Matthew Wilson, from Troon in Scotland.

What a great sight it is, to see the Cunard House Flag and the Red Ensign flying ship’s mast with the Italian flag flying from the starboard yardarm, as the ship was in and Italian port.

Peter Shanks, proudly holding a Queen Elizabeth key ring, commented after the ceremony:

“This ceremony to mark the completion of the ship, and our acceptance of delivery, is just the first of a number of significant events over the next few weeks – including the ship’s official naming by Her Majesty The Queen in Southampton on Monday 11 October. I’m certain the British will take this truly magnificent ship to their hearts, as they have all the Cunard Queens”.

 Following the ceremony Captain Wells went to the bridge to announce to the ship’s company that Queen Elizabeth now belonged to Cunard.


It was quite a moment for all the crew, and you could hear a huge cheer of excitement throughout the ship when the announcement was made. This was also the first time that Cunard’s Engineers and Deck Officers took control of Queen Elizabeth. Preparations were then made by all departments to prepare the ship for departure and here Captain Wells leads the navigation brief with the Deck Officers and Monfalcone Pilot.

As the departure time approached, Captain Wells invited the crew to gather on the open decks to witness the historic moment when the last of the lines were let go for the sail away. Then at just after 3.30pm the Captain manoeuvred Cunard’s new Queen out of her berth, towards the open seas.

I was fortunate enough to be on the bridge for departure as the crew gave a huge cheer for the Fincantieri Shipyard workers gathered on the dock side, followed by the familiar, “We Are Cunard”. We played some great music on the open decks as the crew took a little time out from their busy schedules to be part of the celebration. It was soon time to return to work, and I managed to get some photos of the ship so I could post them today. This is the view from the forward mast looking aft towards the Garden Lounge.

Heading forward the outfitters had just finished laying the Astroturf on the Games Deck and this is the view of the first Bowls Green at sea underneath the canopy.

Heading inside the ship, all areas are very close to completion with just small detailing to be finished, such as linen, plants and stocking the bars etc. The Grand Lobby, with the Linley Artwork as its centrepiece, is looking truly magnificent:

Our Queen Elizabeth Theatre Company, Musicians and Stage Crew have been incredibly busy preparing the shows. At the moment the Royal Court Theatre is being used 24 hours a day, balancing the jobs of staging, lighting and rehearsing the brand new shows. This is how it now looks; how about this for a Theatre:

Now that the protective covering has been removed, you are able to really appreciate all the craftwork and fine detailing all over the ship, such as this stunning entrance to the Grills Lounge on deck 11.

During our eight days over to Southampton our teams will be busy setting up all the dining venues, and we will be fortunate enough to try them out, to ensure everything is ready for our first guests who will be embarking in just a week’s time. One of those venues is the Lido:

All areas of the ship are looking stunning and it’s particularly interesting to see some of the newly created spaces receiving their final touches, such as the elegant Garden Lounge.

A popular venue on both Queen Mary 2 and Queen Victoria is the Commodore Club and the one on Cunard’s latest Queen is also looking wonderful. The decor is warm and inviting with some beautiful artwork of the Cunard Queens.

And finally in this Blog, the nautically themed Yacht Club, named after the popular venue on QE2. This space has come together incredibly fast over the last few days and is now looking fantastic.

That’s it for the moment, but I’ll have more pictures of the other areas of the ship in a few days time along with some guest blogs from Queen Victoria and Queen Mary 2.  It’s as busy as ever on board with the whole ship’s company working extremely hard to make sure our new Queen is not only looking beautiful when she arrives in Southampton, but that we are all ready to deliver White Star Service to our guests on the Maiden Voyage. I’ll give you more details of our arrival next week and of course you can monitor our progress by watching the Bridge Cam. Cheers for now, Alastair

  1. Michael A. Kremer says:

    Wonderful photos. Everything looks great. Can´t wait to come on bord for the maiden voyage. I wish you and everybody on bord all the very best.

  2. Celia and Eddie Ilbrey says:

    Wow! It all looks great and we can’t wait to come aboard in December.
    We noticed that Thomas managed to get in one of the photos again!
    Looking forward to some more from you later in the week.

  3. John and maureen Percival says:

    Congratulations!! What an achievement for the shipyard and for Cunard to have built such a beautiful ship. She can now proudly join her two sister ships. What an incomparably beautiful and elegant fleet they make! We feel so privileged to be joining the Queen Elizabeth on the Maiden Voyage and feel like children on Christmas Eve, we are Soooooooooooooooo excited. well done everyone!

  4. Freddie Paynter says:

    She is looking incredible, Alastair. That’s all I can say. Incredible!
    I look forward to seeing her in New York in January.

    Freddie Paynter.

  5. S. Nicol says:

    She’s looking fantastic!

    I love the aqua colour on the bridege!

    I thought she was going to raise a blue ensign – as Captain Wells is RN REserve? Will that only be in UK waters?

    Hope all is going well for all the officers and crew on board.

    S. Nicol.

  6. Brian Hudd says:

    She is looking fantastic, cannot wait to join her on the 25th of this month for her second voyage, a truly remarkable ship, we are so excited!!!!

  7. Brogan Swan says:

    She looks fantastic. ‘WOW’ comes to mind actually. What a fantastic job you have all done. I take my hat off to you all in preparing this beautiful liner, alot of hours and many weeks spent with hard work but i am sure alot of pleasure would have come out of this, especially the finished product.

    Well done everyone.

  8. Albert Galaburda says:

    It looks fantastic, congratulations and thank you for keeping us posted. We are looking forward to being on board this November. We have voyaged on the QM2, so our expectations are high!
    Cheers to everyone.

  9. Gloria Bullen says:

    Well done everyone who worked on her in Italy for turning out such a beatiful ship. It will be treasured and loved I am sure by all who sail in her just as we grew to love her predecessor the QE2- Lets hope that something is done soon to THAT wonderful vessel.

  10. Chris & Margaret Rose says:

    Hi Alistair,
    Once again many thanks for the blog and all the pictures.
    Can we wish you and all the crew a safe passage to Southampton.
    We are so looking forward to joining her in January.
    Very best
    Chris & Margaret Rose

  11. Wes Pippenger says:

    Hey Alastair: After reading the blogs the last several months it feels like we should be pen pals. What a great service keeping us apprised of the progress. Do you have any photos of cabins, suites, etc.? We depart the U.S. on Thursday to head way towards the maiden voyage. Can’t wait. W.

  12. Great pictures, at least they will be good enough until we can take our own on the 12th
    We have also made reservations for the Princess grill for next October’s voyage to the Holy Land, so we will still have something to look forward to after the maiden voyage.
    Beryl & Paul Clayson, Canada

  13. Sarah Morris says:

    She looks wonderful! As a Diamond World Club member I was looking forward to a visit at Southampton next weekend, sadly the invite never came :-( still these wonderful photos do it justice. I look forward to sailing on her soon. Sheila & Sarah Morris

  14. Wendy Carter says:

    Thank you for posting such superb photos of the handover. She looks stunning,and looking forward to travelling down to Southampton to see her and also stay to see her sail on her madian voyage. Hope one day to get a chance to sail on her.Thank you for your excellent web site

  15. mary murdoch says:

    Hi Alistair. How wonderful she looks.I feel very emotional when I look at the pictures and oh so excited to be embarking on her in December. Have a safe journey home to Southampton and hope all goes well with her naming cermony and maiden voyage.Best wishes and good luck. Mary & Bob Murdoch

  16. Beryl Moss says:

    Congratulations to all at Fincantiere shipyard for building such a magnificent ship. She looks abosolutely magnificent and can’t wait to step aboard next year to see for myself the elegance which your photographs show. It will bring a lump to my throat when I see her sailing into her home port of Southampton. Looking forward to some more photographs and once again thanks for all the extremely good blogs and vlogs over the past few months showing her progress from the very first pictures to her being handed over to Cunard.

  17. I am scheduled to teach watercolor on her next year and look forward to sailing on this beautiful ship


  19. Armelle Evoy says:

    Another proud moment for Cunard. I am sailing over on the QM2 and will be joining Queen Elizabeth on her second voyage Oct 25th. My congratulations to all who have worked so diligently in creating such an elegant ship. I am so pleased that Her Majesty The Queen is presiding at the naming ceremony as we Canadians had the privilege of another Royal Visit by Her Majesty this past summer which was very special. See you soon.

  20. Andy says:

    Fantastic pictures, she is looking great, only a week to go before we board, can’t wait

  21. Roger Hallett says:

    Congratulations Cunard – and all the wonderful trades and crafts people in Italy for what looks to be a fantastic job. Creating fashion is easy – creating style is not so easy, and this new Cunarder is most certainly stylish! The handover must have been quite an emotional moment for many. My wife and I will be flying to Southampton in December to join the Queen Elizabeth for the voyage back to Australia, and are really looking forward to seeing the ship for the first time. Thanks again Alistair for the blog and the pics – really helps bring the creation process to life. Congratulations once more and best wishes to all.

  22. Sheila Hedderick says:

    Thank you Alastair, the ship looks magnificent, my husband is sure to be a regular on the new bowling green. Sheila

  23. Dawn Melloy says:

    Like lots of those above it brought a tear to my eye to read the blog. How proud the crew must be, and rightly so. It is amazing how Cunard ships take on a personality of their own and how they get themselves firmly into your heart. We loved QM2 and are soooo looking forward to the New QE’s maiden voyage. I’m sure she’ll be another much loved friend.

  24. ron says:

    How awesome is this ship?
    Great work Alistair in keeping us Cunarders updated.
    My son Daryl and I had the pleasure of meeting you on Queen Victoria earlier this year, and we look forward to meeting up with you again when we join Queen Elizabeth in Fremantle in March.
    Could not see the point in joining Queen Elizabeth in Sydney (our home town) as we would rather be sailing away from Australia than around Australia.
    However,we will be there waving when the 2 Queens arrive ib Sydney on 22 February.
    We cannot wait until 1 March as we will have then sailed on the 3 Queens.

    Ron and Daryl

  25. Pam Towart says:

    This ship looks just MAGNIFICENT! Have sailed on QEII & will be sailing on Queen Victoria in 2011 but might have to add this new one to my ‘wish list’….

  26. Chris Frame says:

    Congratulations Alastair and Cunard.
    A proud day for the company.
    Looking forward to catching up aboard in February.

  27. Oliver says:

    Congratulations! It must be an incredible moment to sign the final documents… And from this point your are the new owner of such a fantastic new cruise ship.

  28. Robert - Hunter Valley says:

    When in Sydney – the conversation around the boree log may be – where are the drawers and are there plenty of ‘em – mate. By February – the Golden Urn should stand Resplendent in the Hallowed Grounds of the Shydney Cricket Ground.

    May even, practise my leg breaks on the lawn.

  29. Simon says:

    Great pictures Alistair. Any news on the entertainment for the Maiden Voyage?

  30. Alex Barbara Craig says:

    Th ship looks fantastic, roll on July 2011,God Bless all who sail on her,

  31. Ann says:

    Wonderful pics and comments Alistair…

    I don’t know how you find time to do this blog with such a busy job and we all thank you for taking the time to do it and show everyone what is going on and what we want to know about the new ship……how I wish we had this many years ago to keep us all updated….would have been great,
    thanks again and keep up the good work.

  32. judith appleton says:

    Thanks Alastair for all the blogs and vlogs . It has been wonderful to see the development over the the months. The video brought a tear to my eyes. We are driving down from the North on Monday and hope to watch the big screen on Monday before the much anticipated maiden Voyage on Tuesday.See you then.

    Judith and Bill Appleton

  33. Tony & Jan O'Hara says:

    Wonderful pictures. The liner looks outstanding. Only 6 days until we join her for the maiden voyage. Do not want to go to sleep when we are on board because it will make the time go so much faster.

  34. Brenda Davison says:

    Great phots of the new ship. We feel so privileged to be joining the Queen Elizabeth on the Maiden Voyage. Only 7 more sleeps.

  35. Paul & Di Wolf says:

    Greetings and Congratulations on your new arrival!
    We are looking forward to joining the new Queen in New York on 13 Jan 2011 to Los Angeles.

    This information email is a great idea and very much appreciated. We feel we will know the ship well in advance of joining it.

    Best wishes

    Paul & Di

  36. John & Beryl Kemplen says:

    Hi Alastair. Some superb shots in the construction / sea trials video. Thanks for sharing it with us. A fine ship, though we still think QV is the best-looking of the bunch. Hope the maiden voyage goes well.
    Best wishes
    John & Beryl

  37. P.C. Kohler says:

    Pity Cunard cannot fathom courtesy flags. QE is shown with the Italian NATIONAL flag at her masthead when, of course, it should be the Italian ENSIGN. Just as a foreign ship in UK waters would fly the Red Ensign and not the Union Flag as a courtesy flag. If an country has an ensign for its merchantmen, that is what is flown as a courtesy flag. I thought any deck cadet knew that…

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