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Queen Elizabeth

Southampton Meets Her New Queen

October 12, 2010

We Are Cunard

Posted in: Queen Elizabeth

Countdown to Queen Elizabeth – Today!!

Queen Elizabeth has been docked alongside Southampton’s new Ocean Terminal, since her arrival last Friday and already, an estimated 3,500 visitors comprising the world’s press, past guests, travel agents, and shore side staff, have had a glimpse of the latest Cunarder. It was great to walk around over the last couple of days and meet so many of our regular guests, many of whom have been following this Blog. And before her Maiden Voyage today, yesterday was a phenomenal day when Her Majesty officially named Queen Elizabeth.

Before we look at the last few days, I thought you might like to watch a special video that was made for the Inaugural Ship’s Company to celebrate the introduction of Queen Elizabeth to the Cunard fleet. The film, which shows the crew at work in the shipyard back in Italy, has special messages from Officers and Crew Members on Queen Mary 2 and Queen Victoria, as well as our shore side staff in Southampton.

Thanks to Eric Allen and his team for putting together this great video and all the film crews who brought together this great footage. Everyone on board really enjoyed watching it a couple of days before we left Monfalcone and a special celebratory crew event.

That all seems a long time ago, as Queen Elizabeth prepares to begin her Maiden Voyage. The celebrations in Southampton began early last Friday, as Cunard’s President and Managing Director, Peter Shanks escorted a group of press on a special launch to come and meet us at 6am.

It was such a stunning morning to watch Southampton appear on the horizon, and it was exciting to see all the various boats, ships and helicopters that had come to welcome us to Queen Elizabeth’s home port.

This boat was one of the first to greet us and stayed close by right up until we docked.

We were also joined by tugs who gave us their traditional welcome, as the sun started to rise on a beautiful autumn day.

I was lucky enough to be on the bridge for part of the sail in, where I was able to watch Captain Wells and his Officers bring Cunard’s new Queen to Southampton docks for the first time.

Meanwhile many crew came out on to the open decks to join in the excitement, and wave to the numerous helicopters that were carrying photographers and news crews to capture the day.

And what stunning pictures those photographers took from the helicopters, like this one looking down on Queen Elizabeth’s the upper decks

What a magnificent sight she was sailing up the Solent.


And here’s another great view showing the tugs in the morning light.


And again the tugs leading the way.

Captain Wells showed off Queen Elizabeth’s superb manoeuvrability, as he made a turn, to bring Queen Elizabeth to the  new Ocean Terminal, where she was named.

Here she is having just been tied up alongside the Ocean Terminal, where work had already begun on constructing a stage and grandstand for the naming ceremony.  

I took this photo the day before yesterday, where you can see the grandstand and performance area along the dockside where the naming ceremony began yesterday afternoon.

The canopy in this next picture is where Her Majesty officially named Queen Elizabeth during the ceremony.

Yesterday was a remarkable and historic day for both Cunard and Southampton, and the excitement in the city was evident with numerous film crew, press and local residents all awaiting the big moment. It’s impossible to miss the huge banners throughout the city, and the big screens in the parks will mean our homeport will feel very much a part of the celebrations.

And here she was just before the ceremony yesterday; Cunard’s gracious new Queen now ready and waiting to be named.

I’ll of course keep you posted with pictures, news and stories from the naming day and throughout Queen Elizabeth’s Maiden Voyage. I will also keep the news coming over the next few weeks and months of her Maiden Season as well as our regular features and news. In the meantime thank you again for all the kind comments you have posted and all the good wishes for the ships company as they bring the latest Cunarder in to service. Cheers for now, Alastair

  1. mary murdoch says:

    Hi Alistair and all the team. The music is just perfect for this happy vidio. everything looks perfect.have a wonderful maiden cruise. I can hardly wait until December. You may not get many blogs/vlogs now as many of the vlogers will be on the QE. mary

  2. Tamsin says:

    Really brilliant video thanks.
    Tamsin and Ian

  3. Susan Tunge says:

    What a fantastic,happy and motivated bunch of people. The crew is just amazing. Well done!!

  4. Krakower says:

    Alastair…..The EXCITEMENT & ANTICIPATION continue thanks to you…..Soooo fortunate WE ARE CUNARDERS!!!!
    See you on Jan 16, 2011
    Anita & Moe Krakower

  5. Chris & Margaret Rose says:

    Your blogs have been quite magnificent and very enjoyable.
    This latest video just shows us what Cunard and Queen Elizabeth mean to all the employees.
    They look a marvellous team,
    Once again many thanks,
    Enjoy her Maiden Voyage!

  6. David&Avril Denmead says:


    We were at Gillkicker point this evening to watch the magnificent new cunarder making her way through the Solent on her Maiden voyage to the Canaries. Today Alastair we need a new count down to Queen Elizabeth’s Maiden World Cruise leaving on the 5 January 2011 and i make it 85 days and counting. Good Luck for the Maiden Voyage.

    Best Regards Avril and David Denmead

  7. Roger Hallett says:

    Good pictures – and thanks for the update.

  8. Margaret Tayler says:

    Just looked at the Blog having returned home to Gloucestershire after watching you all Sailaway – what a good send off. Looking forward to sailing on the latest Queen next year.
    Hope you all enjoy the Maiden Voyage.
    Margaret Tayler

  9. Rob Holloway says:

    Thank you for those great pictures and that is one amazing video of the crew getting ready especially of showing the mix of crew arriving and their different department’s.
    It is nice to see them having fun in doing the video. Well Done.
    Now if the video experts could have made it expand to a full desktop LCD size, that would have been excellent. Perhaps a new training exercise.
    My wife was wondering why I was smiling all the time watching everybody..

  10. Truly amazing pictures of QE in the Solent. Saw her leaving on her maiden voyage last night on the news.
    Can her current position be added to her Bridge Webcam pictures please?

  11. Roger Hallett says:

    Alastair – Unfortunately we havd no coverage in Australia of the departure, so we are looking forward to your next update. Why is the Bridge Cam not showing current position or the destination as the other ships do?

  12. All the “QUEENS” are beautiful and I can not wait until 29th January 2011 when I board
    “QUEEN ELIZABETH” in Long Beach for 30 nights to Fremantle on her maiden world voyage.
    When we arrive in Sydney, “QUEEN ELIZABETH” will be bigger than “QUEEN MARY 2″.

  13. Sarah Morris says:

    What stunning photographs! What a difference a beautiful sunny day makes. By the way, I wanted to watch her leave port from home via the bridge webcam at home, but unfortunately it froze at about 1710hrs and I missed it! The webcam title also doesn’t give the location such as ‘at sea bound for Lisbon’ – the other two do. Could this be fixed please? I just love following the ships online.

  14. Beryl Moss says:

    It was truly a memorable occasion to watch her appear through the morning mist as she sailed up Southampton Water and on Monday in Southampton to witness the truly spectacular naming ceremony.
    Enjoy you Maiden Cruise and keep the blogs coming as I find them extremely interesting and informative.
    Looking forward to our cruise on her next year.

  15. Can’t wait until she sails into New York Harbor in January. IT IS SO EXCITING!

  16. Steve says:

    Alastair, What can we say other than ‘Thank you’. You haven’t just brought the new Queen Elizabeth home to Southampton, but also to us and our hearts. It’s been an absolute joy watching her progress from Italy to the UK. You have shared this experience with us and we all feel part of the ‘family’. Please , please don’t stop now that she is in service. Please keep us updated with her and her two sisters Queen Mary2 and Victoria. And we look forward to coming aboard on January 5.

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