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Queen Elizabeth Meets Queen Mary 2 For The First Time

November 11, 2010

We Are Cunard

Posted in: Updates

Thank you as always for the great response to the various posts over the last week or so; it’s great to hear how much interest there is in our three Queens. We also love reading your questions and as always I’ll do my best to answer them.

Firstly on the subject of Queen Elizabeth’s Bridgecam, our technical team are still working on this and I understand that will be completed in the next few weeks. At the moment Queen Elizabeth is heading for the Mediterranean on her third voyage going to ports including Malta and Dubrovnik. Monday 15 November will be very special, as we arrive in Venice at about 8am (local time), that morning and this will of course be our first visit and well worth watching on the Bridgecam.

To answer a question in yesterday’s Blog, which included a section about Cunard’s traditional afternoon tea, I’ve spoken to our Food and Beverage Team and you’ll be delighted to hear we do have gluten free cakes, pastries and scones. There will normally be a selection available every tea time, but it’s always worth letting the staff know in advance so they can ensure the very best in White Star service.

Before I bring you more news from Queen Elizabeth and her meeting with Queen Mary 2, here’s this week in Cunard’s history for 5 to 11 November:

5 November 2004 QE2 becomes longest serving Cunard Express Liner surpassing RMS Aquitania’s record of 35 years 6 months 1 day (1914 – 1949).
6 November 2000 Cunard signs the final contract for Queen Mary 2 and unveils key design details. She will be the largest, longest, widest and tallest passenger ship in history and will enter service in 2004.
10 November 1970 QE2 makes her maiden call to Cape Town, South Africa
10 November 2008 Queen Victoria makes maiden call to Alexandria
11 November 1922 The Laconia undertook the first ever world voyage.
11 November 2008 QE2 begins her final voyage, which is 16 nights from Southampton to Dubai.

Towards the end of Queen Elizabeth’s second voyage, she called at the beautiful port of Cartagena, which is in south east Spain. Thanks to its strategic position; it has been inhabited by many different cultures which have left their mark on its rich heritage. The view of the city from Queen Elizabeth’s bridge was superb:

And the reason I was on the Bridge that morning, was because Captain Wells had invited Lord Howard, (see the blog posted on the 4th of November), to sign the visitors book.

As I hadn’t been there before, I managed to get ashore for a couple of hours in the afternoon to do my favourite thing; explore and have lunch in a local restaurant. I soon discovered that Cartagena is a naval station proud of its heritage and displays one of the world’s earliest submarines.

Looking in the opposite direction I was rather glad I was on the much more spacious Queen Elizabeth! Our new Queen looked wonderful amongst all the yachts and the hills of the Murcia region behind.

The city was larger than I expected and had some wonderful pedestrian areas, and it was probably the best weather day of the voyage, so it was lovely to walk past the beautiful buildings bustling with shops and restaurants.

This was one of the most stunning buildings which has recently been renovated according a to a local tour guide. It was once the Gran Hotel but now contains a bank and apartments.

Although there are some ruins from the Carthaginian era, most of its oldest monuments date from the Roman Empire, when Cartagena flourished. The city is understandably very proud of this magnificent amphitheatre right in the centre.

The day after, we docked at one of the most popular ports of call, and the gateway to the Mediterranean.  Gibraltar is an Overseas Territory of the United Kingdom, and is located on the southern part of the Iberian Peninsula at the Strait of Gibraltar that links the Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea, placing it between Europe and Africa.

It’s an amazing place and the growing demand for space is being increasingly met by land reclamation, which comprises approximately one tenth of the territory’s total area. The Rock itself is made of limestone and is 1,396 feet (426 m) high and is said to contain many miles of roads, most of which are closed to the public. Most of its area is covered by a nature reserve, which is home to around 250 Barbary Macaques, the only wild monkeys in Europe. One of our Tour Staff, Zoe, took this wonderful picture of one of the monkeys surveying the new area of the Rock and the latest visitor.

After a patriotic Sailaway it was time to make our way back to Southampton and the following morning I was walking along the promenade deck and saw one of those very special moments at sea, a beautiful sunrise and for a change I had my camera with me to capture the moment!

8 November was another historic day for Cunard as Queen Elizabeth passed the flagship of the Cunard fleet for the first time at approximately 7am. Queen Mary 2 welcomed the latest addition to the fleet with a blast of her ship’s whistles. Later that evening with guests who had embarked for her third voyage on the open decks, Queen Elizabeth passed her again. They all waved their Union Jacks while some wonderful music was played over the ships speakers.

It was very moving indeed and great to see the flashing cameras from both ships and we were even close enough to hear the shouts and cheers from Queen Mary 2’s guests who were getting ready to sail to Cherbourg straight after us. What a great sight it was and a very special evening.

I understand one of our facebook fans Grant Thomas took a video which he has posted on YouTube, which you may enjoy watching.

Then just yesterday we were sent this amazing picture by Andrew Cooke who was on a small craft to witness this great event, showing Queen Elizabeth just about to pass Queen Mary 2.

That’s it for the moment but I’ll be back again soon with another Blog from Queen Mary 2’s recent Transatlantic Crossing and of course news from around the fleet. Cheers for now, Alastair

  1. Gloria Bullen says:

    For those of you waiting to join the new Queen in her maiden voyage season all I can say is that you are in for a treat the staff felt like old friends having been on the Mary and QE2 in fact one member of staff knew us. Talk about White Star service.I have to agree with Alistair that the city of Cartagena was one of the most prettiest places we visited on this cruise and we were made to feel very welcome by expats living there who were very intrested in the ship and gave us a wonderful send of, thank you.

  2. Kenneth Eden says:

    Many thanks to Grant Thomas and Andrew Cook for their excellent video and pictures of the these two grand ladies of the sea. Oh, to hear the Marys whistle again, and to see the Elizabeth at sea, well, it was emotional,to,say the least.

    Alastair, you must alert readers to the Rose Bowl Parade, the CUNARD FLOAT, in case they did not receive an e-mail. What a New Years Day that will be, with Cunard represented!

    Cheers for now,


  3. Chris & Margaret Rose says:

    Hi Alistair,
    Once again, great photographs on the blog.
    Super picture in Gibraltar.
    The video by Grant Thomas is pretty special along with the photograph by Alistair Cooke.
    I am sure their will be some fantastic photographs in January from New York when all three Queens meet!
    Very best regards

  4. Robin Knight says:

    This blog really isn’t what is required at the present time. What potential customers need now is a sense of what it is like on the QE, how the ship is functioning, what problems there are (if any), how things are shaking down. Picture postcards of places in Spain just don’t fit the bill. Come on – you can do better!

  5. Paul Clayson says:

    Re Robin Knight’s comments-it really depends on what you are trying to do. I assume you are providing a link for Cunard faithful, and this it does very well. For example, friends of ours, Gord & Gloria Adair,are now on the QE, and we are enjoying following their trip, having been on her ourselves for the maiden voyage.
    I would guess that the positive comments re Cunard, ,that your blog atracts, the sense of family that comes through, plus the very evident loyalty of Cunarders, will be a good promotional tool for anyone who chances on the blog and has never sailed with Cunard before

  6. judith appleton says:

    I am pleased to see photos of new ports and loved the 2 queens. We are still feeling the thrill of being on the Maiden Voyage and love to see where she is now.

  7. Pam Towart says:

    I think the blogs are very appropriate & I enjoy them immensely (especially the photos/videos etc.). Looking forward to news of Malta (I was there in 1969)so it’s probably changed some over the years…

  8. Stacey says:

    I agree with Comment from Robin Knight – Especially in light of what is happening at sea with cruise shop from Carnival being stranded at sea. Booked and potential booking “customers need now is a sense of what it is like on the QE, how the ship is functioning, what problems there are (if any), how things are shaking down”
    Thank you Robin Knight for asking.
    I too was found the postcard photos and sunset photos a bit of over marketing and trivial. I truly was expecting more substance that was practical and truthful regarding how first Elizabeth voyages were doing. Not port photos but photos of the passengers on the ship and at the formal dinners. How the educational speakers were recieved. Crew has to be extremely busy, and the posts are nice marketing but for the most part most of us following have booked already.

    The online registration for my cruise is not working – it keeps taking my passport info and then it disappears and I get an email telling me that I need to submit it.
    Today I will be tracking down how to make the online registration work and hopefully it will retain info that has been put in it numerous times. All is good otherwise and we are looing forward to the adventure of a life time with Cunard’s Maiden World Cruise.
    Regarding competitors stranded at sea, Please join me in sending good thoughts of stregth and patience for those travelers stranded at sea, may they have a speedy, healthy & Safe non tramatic return to port- ready to recover and return at a future date for the luxury fun adventure they originally planned.
    Based upon interview of a passenger on TV am show I watched today – it seemed as if they are all in good spirits and the rations of food have been getting delivered so all is good and the passengers are being treated and cared for professionally and kindly and they have bonded and made friendships through this crisis. May those friendships be forged and followed up on future adventures on the Sea.

  9. Stewart Nicol says:

    Hi Alistair,
    I keep getting a blank web cam link due to satellite strength. Hope this does not happen on
    Venice visit!!!
    Enjoy you blogs !

  10. Lisa and Miles says:

    Great blog – and lovely to read all the latest news. We are missing the morning programme though – you need to stream it on the internet for us!

    Can’t wait for our next cruise… QE was fantastic. Was great to meet you, Alistair. Thank you for your post about our honeymoon on here a few days ago :)

    Miles and Lisa

  11. Beryl Moss says:

    Again your blog is fantastic with as usual superb pictures of Spain and Gibraltar. Also well done to Grant Thomas for his video and Alistair Cooke for his picture. It was great to be on Queen Mary 2 for her short voyage to Cherbourg to witness this meeting of the two Queens for the first time. A memory that will last a lifetime.

  12. dear alastair, we have loved our days aboard queen elizabeth even though monday & tes. were rough seas, what a great job capt. wells & crew done to make the start bearable. the bay of biscay was determined to test the new queen, how great she responded. your no.4 comments can be put to rest, as we have found no problems whatsoever. malaga was sadly missed due to adverse weather but we hope the bonus will be longer in malta than planned. p.s the evening shows are wonderful & some of the best we have seen on cunard. th whole ship now seems relaxed & its wonderful to see so many staff from victoria & even QE2.

  13. Albert Galaburda says:

    Wonderful! Thanks for the quick response on the gluten free…

  14. Paula Moseley says:

    Fabulous photos! Don’t they look amazing in the dark – magical.

  15. Steve says:

    Wow! Alastair you done us proud again with today’s blog. And the video!!!! I so can’t wait till January in New York now when all three Queens meet :-)

  16. Roger Hallett says:

    Alastair, great photos and video again – thank you and the team and the Cunard passengers for sharing their moments. I too became emotional when hearing the great horn sounding from QM2 – what memories; but I can’t wait for New York – I hope the weather is good. But what to address can I send you a few photos that may be of interest – I can’t seem to find an appropriate email link.

  17. Andrew Cooke says:

    Hi All,
    Delighted to see my photo of QE passing the QM2 displayed on here – thanks Alastair.
    I was also out on a boat for the QE’s maiden arrival and departure from Southampton – both were superb. Also videoed the events of 8th & 12th Oct and 8th Nov plus my wife & I visited the QE for a quick tour on 25th Oct.
    If anyone is interested, I’ll have the photos, video and even a QE 2011 Calendar available. I can be contacted via solentcruiseship @ aol . co .uk
    Apologies for the shameless plug!!
    Thanks and regards,

  18. mary murdoch says:

    Hi Alistair. Once again a wonderful blog/vlog. The pictures and vidio are great.Wont be long until we embark QE, so excited and will look forward to exploring the ship for ourselves. Some people are never happy and are always looking for faults, re 4 & 8 of the previous comments. They should think it is wonderful to be able to go on an internet site and get all the latest news with todays technology. Thank you once again to all the people involved at bringing us all the latest news.Mary

  19. Anthony Jr says:

    Mr. Greener,
    What an awesome blog today! the sight of the beautiful Queens together for the first time gave me chills! It is so good to see Cunard with a three ship fleet, and QE is quite stunning at night as well as the QM2 light up to show off her beautiful livery.

  20. Jacqueline Chambers says:

    Monday 8th Nov, I was on the Red Funnel ferry (Southampton to Isle of Wight) sailing alongside the Queen Elizabeth and passed the Queen Mary. Best ferry ride I’ve ever had. Took loads of pictures. Great sight!!

  21. Helga and Richard says:

    Hi Alastair,

    I will send to you the “very first meeting of the two Queens” in the morning of Nov. 8! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l_X-RUimwwM

    It was astonishing, that our sight from the balcony in deck 8 was the same high as the first balkony deck on Queen Mary2! What a moment for shiplovers like us!

    All the best.

  22. Christine Davison says:

    Mum and I love your Blog Alistair. We were both lucky enough to have been on Queen Elizabeth’s Maiden Voyage, which is a beautiful ship. We were also on QM2 on Monday evening for the short trip to Cherbourg and back and it was a great sight to see Queen Elizabeth pass Queen Mary 2. The wonderful memories we have.

  23. Pippa Ashley says:

    As a first-time cruise goer I was absolutely bowled over by the service and facilities in the beautiful Queen Elizabeth. To my knowledge nothing went wrong on this cruise except the non-delivery of Romaine lettuce at Rome! And you can hardly blame that on Cunard.
    The bed was extremely comfortable, the room was immaculately cleaned, the food was out of this world and the entertainment second to none. I particularly noted the attention the cleaning staff made to polishing the handrails/banisters in the stairwells. (I am a woman of a certain age and notice these types of things!)I was worried that if I stood still long enough I would be cleaned and polished as well!!!lol.
    The whole trip was an experience of a lifetime and I wouldn’t have missed it for the world.
    Thank you Alistair and all the rest of the extremely hard working but very friendly staff.

    If Robin wants to know anything more then he/she can feel free to ask me.I am not connected to Cunard in any way and the nearest I have ever been to a cruise before is visiting my daughter, who lives in Southampton!
    Yours in awe
    Pippa Ashley..

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