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Queen Elizabeth

Queen Elizabeth – The Wait Is Nearly Over

October 7, 2010

We Are Cunard

Posted in: Queen Elizabeth

Countdown to Queen Elizabeth – 5 days

The anticipation of our new Queen’s arrival in Southampton tomorrow is incredible, and judging from your comments, you seem as excited as we are to bring Queen Elizabeth to her home port.  As you know we’ll be making our approaches around 8am when we will have some press boarding the ship on a special launch, and there is bound to be some great coverage on British TV and in the newspapers. We aim to be alongside at the new Ocean Terminal by about 9.00am and we will then begin to show off the latest addition to the Cunard fleet.

In the week at sea coming across to Southampton the ship’s company and contractors have been busy preparing the ship for our arrival, with the final touches being added and everyone being thoroughly rehearsed in delivering the best of White Star service to our first guests.

More of that and how she’s now looking, after this week in Cunard’s history for the week of 1 to 7 October:

1 October 1972 Completion of the Queens Grill Penthouses addition to QE2.
4 October 2001 On QE2 Captain R.W. Wawrick performed the wedding ceremony of his daughter Rebecca, while the ship was in Boston
4 October 2006 Cunard announces the Captain of Queen Victoria as Captain Paul Wright
4 October 2009 Queen Victoria makes maiden call at Quebec, Canada
5 October 1994 QE2 rescues three seaman who are transferred from fishing vessel ‘Gail Ann’ in Mid Atlantic
7 October 2006 Cunard Line and The Halifax Foundation unveiled a bronze statue of Sir Samuel Cunard, prominently presiding over the Port of Halifax waterfront, the towering bronze statue appropriately depicts Cunard standing beside a ship’s telegraph, an iconic symbol of steamship travel. Joining the celebration were Sir Samuel Cunard’s great, great, great, great grandsons, Benjamin and Samuel Paton.

As you can imagine it’s been a very busy time on board as we head to Southampton. But just before we left Italy, we managed to film another Vlog just before the official hand-over ceremony, which we sent back to Southampton just before we sailed.

The nearly 3,000 nautical mile journey will have taken eight days including a stop off for fuel in Algeciras on Tuesday. This is a port on the Spanish coast just opposite Gibraltar, and while I was on deck, I took this picture of a beautiful day over “The Rock”

That reminds me of the question from Stuart Nicol, who asked about the Red Ensign which is the flag of the British Merchant Navy. Although that was the flag that was raised on the hand-over day, you are quite right that we would normally raise the Blue Ensign off the aft mast when Captain Wells (or any other Captain who is a member of the Royal Naval Reserve and has had permission granted by the British Admiralty), is master of the ship. It was great to see it flying when we were in Algeciras on Tuesday.

As I mentioned the last details are being attended to on board, and that includes everything from polishing all the furniture to vacuuming every carpet; including those long corridors.

As promised I have some pictures of the Guest Staterooms for you today, beginning with a Britannia Balcony Stateroom which shows the beautiful new linen, which is 100 percent fine cotton with a 200/300 thread count.

Working in conjunction with Cunard, Sealy has developed an exclusive mattress which is carefully hand tufted, and features individually nested pocket springs that react instinctively to the weight and motion of the body. And yes I did check; there are drawers under the beds as well!

I then walked along the corridors to find another door open, this time to one of our Princess Grill Suites:

Then I managed to get a sneak preview of one of our top Queens Grill suites, which I’m sure you’ll agree is truly magnificent.



The dining areas have all been finished, and they have also been used by crew and contractors as part of the ongoing White Star Training programme. Here you can see the Britannia Restaurant in all its glory:

Next to the Britannia Restaurant is the Britannia Club for guests in Britannia Club Staterooms, which is another superb dining venue on our new Queen.

For our Grills guests the restaurants on deck eleven are stunning as you can see in these pictures, with the Princess Grill on the Left and the Queens Grill on the right:


A venue which celebrates its namesake on Queen Elizabeth is the Midships Bar, and this features a lot of memorabilia in beautiful cabinets on deck three of the Grand Lobby.

Café Carinthia is also complete, and I’m sure this area of deck two off the Grand Lobby will be as popular as the one on Queen Victoria.

I mentioned last week that a stunning clock designed by Royal Watchmakers, Dent of London, would soon be in place in the Royal Arcade. It’s now in its new home, and I noticed that as I was taking this picture yesterday, our engineers were setting the time.


Talking of the Royal Arcade, I have to say the shopping area is looking amazing. Paul and his shop staff have been working incredibly hard to prepare the displays, and what a great job they have done;

Meanwhile on deck three, the Fortnum & Mason shop has also been fully fitted out and looks terrific:

That’s it for today, but I’ll be back again tomorrow with news about the art on board and also the Royal Spa. As I sign off we’re just one day away from Southampton, so we look forward to seeing some of you there tomorrow. Cheers for now, Alastair

  1. Albert Galaburda says:

    Wow. I say “wow.”

  2. Susan Tunge says:

    Looks magnificent, what a beauty she is.

  3. Gloria Bullen says:

    As ever Alastir your pictures are stunning and add an even greater sense of excitment as the day finally draws near. We wish everone on her first voyage well but cant wait for our turn on the 25th. So keep her safe and enjoy, as those who follow will enjoy. Roll on tomorrow and seeing her in the flesh so to speak. Hope you are there on her maiden voyage as well Alastair to continue this Blog as I now see you as a ‘email pal’and would miss the updates.

  4. Chris & Margaret Rose says:

    Hi Alistair,
    Once again a great blog with some incredible photos.
    We are currently in Florida so will not be able to see first hand your arrival in Southampton.
    Hopefully we will pick something up on BBC News on the internet.
    Have a great day on Friday sailing into Southampton.
    Very best regards to you all

  5. Wes Pippenger says:

    Thank you so much Alastair for photos of staterooms; your service to us has been great! The only thing more exciting will to be a witness in person on next Tuesday! W.

  6. David&Avril Denmead says:

    Alastair, the internals of your new Queen look fantastic so much detail and the craftmanship is fantastic cant wait to see her tomorrow in the flesh, we will be at Lee on Solent in the morning at 0645 awaiting her arrival. Good Luck.

    Avril and David

  7. She looks truly magnificent. Sorry we can’t come down for her arrival tomorrow, however we have BBC Southern set up ready in the hope that they at least will show her arrival.
    Can’t wait to come on board in December.
    See you then Alistair

  8. carol kane says:

    Alastair the ship looks simply beautiful. I see my cabin looks fantastic.the bed looks so inviting. I wish I was in southampton for the arrival and the launching on the 11th. I have enjoyed your blogs so much,I am going to miss them ,But the soon I will have the pleasure of sailing on her on world cruise. and saying hello to you as well. Good Luck for the comming events

  9. Carlo says:

    is very nice the new Cunard Queen. victoria’s even more beautiful.

  10. Carol busch says:

    Thank you for countdown. I have read all of the blogs and watched the vlogs-what a fascinating journey. Lou and I will be joining the QE for the world Cruise. Now we begin our countdown to our fascinating journey.

  11. Jim & Muriel says:

    Very informative blog with great pictures,will see you on Monday hopefully.
    We are booked on Xmas And world cruise as usual.

  12. Jim & Muriel says:

    Thanks for the pictures Alasdair ship looks great,we will be on board on Monday for the day and hope to see you.
    We will be doing the Xmas and world cruise as usual keep up the good work.

  13. Steve says:

    You and your team have done a wonderful job Alastair. Thank you for bringing us all the pictures and videos these last months. It’s been wonderful watching this new Queen’s progress. I shan’t be able to be in Southampton this weekend, but I’ll be checking on line, the TV and newspapers to get all the news. Good luck for the launching!

  14. Pam Towart says:

    Beautiful pictures & Rock of Gibraltar amazing! I too am in Florida so will also have to log into BBC website + hope BBC America World News will have a segment during their newshour(s)on Friday.

  15. Christine Davison says:

    Alastair, these photos are wonderful. Looking forward to seeing the ship on Sunday at lunch and then departing on her maiden voyage on Tuesday.

  16. Elaine Glave says:

    Oh Alastair what a beautiful Queen she is! Can’t wait to walk into the Grand Lobby on Tuesday….and those amazing staterooms and dining venues….Thank you so much for the photos and Vlogs. See you Tuesday.
    Elaine & Geoff

  17. judith appleton says:

    Cant be down there on Friday but will watch via the cam and hope there is TV coverage.
    See you Tuesday
    Judith and Bill Appleton

  18. Daryl Cooper says:

    My wife & I sailed with Captain Bates ex Singapore to Southampton on March 14, 2009. His noon time announcements and his anecdotes were a delight to hear. He will no doubt be sadly missed on board QM2.
    The new \Queen\ looks magnificent but sadly due to illness we have had to cancel our cruise on her ex Southampton December 1. Hope we see lots of vision of her arrival on Friday October 8 on Australian television.

    Daryl & Margaret Cooper, Palm Beach Queensland

  19. Roger Hallett says:

    Great coverage, Alastair. A bit far to dash over from Australia to see the arrival, but we will be watching on the Webcam as the new Queen sails up the Solent to Southampton. Please arrange nice weather. Regards.

  20. Robert Hofmann says:

    I have to say how disappointed I am that the web cam on the Queen Elizabeth has been out of sorts. I got up early to watch her arrival into Southampton and it is just blackness on the cam and the time hasn’t changed for an hour.

  21. Alastair the pictures are fantatstic – what a magnificent liner, the view from the bridge webcam of the approcah to home port is excellent.

    Best regards to you all.

  22. Paul & Glennis Parkinson says:

    We feel very privileged to be on QE’s maiden voyage. We are so excited and can’t wait to see her for real. At 9.40 am we have seen nothing on the news to let us know that she has arrived safely. Put us out of our misery someone!

  23. Richard Andrews says:

    The interiors of the Queen Elizabeth look absolutely stunning. What a shame one cannot follow the progress of the ship in the Solent. The webcam shows the position at about 7.40am and there it is stuck which is a disappointment and a backwards step as the webcams used to update every minute or so. It would be nice to see it in real time.

  24. Ian Tamsin says:

    Thank you for all the interesting information, the photos are really good and informative.
    We are really excited about joining the ship on November 26th. Any photos of standard class accommodation?
    Keep up the good work!

  25. Barbara Anderton says:

    Thank you for the magnificent photographs Alastair. Now I really can’t wait to get aboard on Tuesday for her Maiden Cruise.

  26. Kenneth Eden says:

    Stunning! Cunard has never presented such splendor at sea in decades.

    I look forward to the new QE, and will be booking her as soon as the 2012 cruises open for reservations, as I have QN\M2 and QV set up for 2011.

    Just stunning, tht is my word for the new QE interiors. Kenneth Eden

  27. Robert - Hunter Valley says:

    Reassuring that adequacy of room is provided for the drawers – One would approve. But, what of adequacy of roomage for the ports – aka – luggage – aka – baggage. Those from the Land of the Golden Urn, shall have ports to pack and unpack. Our American Friends may include the kitchen sink. Where to store – ah – indeed – there is the rub.

    Perhaps there is the balcony in which one could?

    The film shows a splendid range of vibrancy of colouring. One may miss the elegance of the Gracious Lady of QE2, the breadth and roominess of QM2 and the youthful vigour of Q.V. A new experience of vision and delight for the eye and the senses in QE. A New Miss to Honour the First Lady.

  28. Hans W Berghoff says:

    My personal countdown 3 months and 6 days ;-)
    Good luck to the crew and the ship – we’ll embark at Ft. Lauderdale.

  29. Rob Holloway says:

    I have really enjoued your blog and the work you have put into each entry and your pictures are amazing.
    One day we hope to be on one of the Cunard ships. Now if you could only have a season out of Vancouver ,Canada that would be a great way to reduce the long flight time.
    All the best to you and the Ship’s crew.

  30. Patricia Watts says:

    I was lucky enough to be invited on board Queen Elizabeth on Sunday 10th October. Absolutely stunning. The artefacts from QE2 are a delight to see and bought back some happy memories. A wonderful day!!!!!!I look forward to sailing on her .

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