January 27, 2011
We Are Cunard
Welcome to another busy week of Blogging. It’s always an exciting time of year for Cunard and now with three Queens travelling the world I know the Bridge Cams are particularly popular. From our Royal Rendezvous we will soon be very far apart from each other, but of course Queen Mary 2 and Queen Elizabeth will meet again in another great event in Sydney on 22 February.
For this Blog we are rejoining Queen Elizabeth who makes a return to the Caribbean but that’s after this week in Cunard’s history for the week of 27 January to 2 February.
|27 January 2010||Queen Victoria makes her maiden call at San Francisco. By this stage in her career having been in service for 789 days she had travelled over 250,000 nautical miles (enough to get to the moon), called at 150 ports and used about 100,000 tonnes of fuel which is about 22 million gallons.|
|30 January 2008||Queen Victoria makes her maiden call to Los angeles|
|30 January 2010||Queen Mary 2 makes her maiden call to Cochin, India|
|31 January 1951||Caronia makes her first west bound crossing of the International Dateline|
|2 February 1870||The keel is laid for the new Parthia and with its twin, Abyssinia, was to be Cunard’s finest ship to date. She was the first Cunarder to have baths – one on the Port Side and one on the Starboard side|
Queen Elizabeth’s Maiden World Voyage is now well under way and it has been wonderful to be back in the warmth of the Caribbean. As Queen Elizabeth left Fort Lauderdale there was just one more day for her to be alongside her sister Queen Victoria, so it was a perfect opportunity to take a couple more photos.
As the sun set there was one final shot as Queen Victoria would be heading to Bonaire while we were on our way to the nearby island of Curacao.
Curacao is one of the most picturesque islands with a rich Dutch heritage, which is evident in the buildings on the waterfront by the main harbour, which you can see in this photo taken from the upper decks of Queen Elizabeth.
One of the really interesting features is the Floating Bridge which connected the two sides of the harbour well before the dramatic modern bridge was constructed behind it. Being a major port for tourism and the fuel refinery, the bridge has to move to allow ships in and out, so I managed to catch this shot of the bridge swinging out to let a ship through, with the majestic Queen Elizabeth in the background.
You realise just how grand our new Queen is when you see her tower over the town in this photo from one of the stunning nearby beaches.
As we headed to our next port, we had a day at sea when it was great to catch up with two fans of the We Are Cunard Blog. Chris and Margaret Rose, from Walsall in the West Midlands, have been avid followers of the Blog for some time and have left lots of great comments. It’s always a real pleasure to meet Bloggers and hear their feedback. Chris told me that his father was a big fan of the liners; a passion he clearly passed to his son. I was delighted to receive on behalf of the ship, two fascinating books about the first Queen Elizabeth. Chris said that his father would have been delighted to know that two of his valuable collection would be kept in the new Queen Elizabeth’s library for future Cunarders to read and enjoy. Being Cunard we had to have a formal presentation with our librarian Monica Hoosova.
Thank you again Chris and Margaret, it was a lovely and very thoughtful, gesture and of course it was great to meet the faces behind so many lovely comments.
The next day Queen Elizabeth made another maiden call, this time to the port of Limon on the east coast of the beautiful country of Costa Rica. Yet again our new Queen dominated the skyline as you can see from this photo taken from a nearby beach.
Costa Rica though is one of those countries where you have to get in to the interior and see some of the beautiful countryside, rich rainforests, dramatic rivers and the abundant wildlife. Wherever you go there are ample opportunities to see a wide range of animals such as these monkeys in the roadside trees.
They didn’t seem in the least bit bothered by tourists stopping and taking photographs, in fact they looked very relaxed, enjoying the sunshine.
There are so many great tours available in this port of call, but it was great to hear about a new “Green World Tour” and Guest Blogger, Amy Mcbay takes up the story:
On 22 January Queen Elizabeth made her maiden call into Limon, Costa Rica and it was there that the tour office ran their first ‘Green World’ tour, Nurture and Nature. 47 guests participated in the tour and were left truly touched after their experience. The first call was to the ‘SOS Children’s Village’ where the Centre’s Principal greeted us with the children.
Once we were all seated the children performed a couple of dance routines which they had all been clearly rehearsing for some time. It was so moving to see so many happy faces and to learn exactly what it is this organisation does; I don’t think there was a dry eye anywhere in the audience.
SOS Children’s Villages are an independent, non-governmental social development organisation that works to meet the needs and protect the rights of children without parental care, providing a family-based care system that continues until adulthood.
Families are built for children in need, so every child can belong to a family, where they can grow up loved and sheltered. The work they carry out really is an amazing achievement and the children seemed so happy and settled.
The tour then continued on to ‘The Wildlife Rescue Centre’ where you can see rare, two and three toed sloths, as well as other animals native to the rainforest, such as monkeys, toucans and turtles amongst many others.
All these animals have been rescued from poachers and delivered to the centre by the government agency MINAET, coastguard and police. We were lucky enough to be present when one of the oldest residents was set free into the wild.
The staff at the Wildlife Rescue Centre were inspiring people, with many being volunteers who have travelled great distances to be part of this amazing programme. Unfortunately with the way in which some of the animals arrived at the rescue centre, they may never be set free back into their original habitat, but the centre is dedicated in pursuing the dream. The centre also visits local schools educating the children of the importance of looking after their surroundings and protecting their wildlife. This was an extremely successful visit and a day enjoyed by all with many guests feeling inspired and lifted by both of these incredible organisations. We are now thoroughly looking forward to our next ‘Green World’ tour.
Thank you Amy for a superb and moving Guest Blog; we look forward to your next! I’ll be back tomorrow with the first pictures of Queen Elizabeth’s Maiden transit of the Panama Canal and next week I’ll be celebrating all three Queen’s Stars of the month for January. Cheers for now, Alastair