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Queen Elizabeth

Sydney Royal Rendezvous Part Two – Overnight

March 3, 2011

We Are Cunard

Posted in: Queen Elizabeth, Queen Mary 2, Updates

After all the excitement of the Australian and New Zealand ports Queen Mary 2 and Queen Elizabeth are now heading north and will be crossing in to the Northern Hemisphere over the next few days. Meanwhile today, Queen Victoria is making her final call of the year to Los Angeles, but has her special Rendezvous with Queen Mary in Long beach this evening, and we’ll bring you pictures of that special meeting next week.

Thank you again for all the comments about the Royal Rendezvous in Sydney; it really was an amazing two days and in this Blog we are going back to that first full day with both Queen Elizabeth and Queen Mary 2 in this magical harbour. That’s after this week in Cunard’s history from 3 to 9 March.

3 March 1950 Caronia makes her maiden call to Alexandria
4 March 1996 The Norwegian conglomerate Kvaerner acquires Trafalgar House for £904 million and assumes control of Cunard. This becomes the third major ownership change for Cunard in its 156 year history.
5 March 1970 HRH Princess Margaret, accompanied by the Earl of Snowdon, pays an informal visit to QE2 in Barbados.
6 March 1953 HRH The Duke of Windsor sails from New York to Southampton on Queen Elizabeth.
6 March 2009 Queen Mary 2 makes her maiden call at Yokohama for Tokyo
7 March 1980 QE2 makes her first transit of the Suez Canal
9 March 2000 Cunard signs a letter of intent with Chantiers de L’Atlantique (France) for Queen Mary 2.
9 March 2006 Cunard Line announces that Commodore Ronald W. Warwick O.B.E., Master Queen Mary 2, will be retiring on 31 July that year after 36 years of company service

The arrival of Queen Elizabeth and Queen Mary 2 in to Sydney Harbour last week was just the beginning of two days of celebrations. There is also a video you can watch of the Queens arrival and here’s the link:

It was great to see that even though our Queens were in different parts of the harbour you could still see Queen Mary 2 from the decks of her younger sister:

It was a busy day for everyone with many functions taking place as well as media tours, and amongst that, there were guests disembarking and embarking. Our President and Managing Director, Peter Shanks had a very interesting day and I’ll let him take up the story in a special Presidents Blog:

President’s Blog

Peter Shanks

President and Managing Director

Cunard Line

Teamwork …..I have written before about the special people we have at Cunard. Last year I developed a special bond with many of Queen Elizabeth’s ship’s company. Throughout the ship’s build and launch there were many people who worked their socks off. We all deserve a couple of hours off from time to time, so during the afternoon after the arrival of our Queens, we did something special. Queen Elizabeth’s Hotel Manager, Robert Howie, Chief Engineer, Colin Black and Cunard’s Product Director, Tracy Jessop joined me on the Sydney Harbour Bridge Climb. As time was short, we did the Fast Climb, and if you haven’t done it, then please promise me that next time you are in Sydney, you will if you are able to; it’s a fantastic experience. Believe it or not, it was the first time that our Hotel Manager and Chief had gone ashore since leaving Southampton. We had so much fun and on getting to the top we were able to see both Queen Elizabeth and Queen Mary 2 below us in the harbour. It was quite a sight, but actually what was uppermost in my mind was how fortunate I am to work with such talented at motivated people across all levels on all of our ships.

Some helpful perspective……..That evening back on Queen Elizabeth we hosted a special event for Lifehouse Foundation. They are a wonderful organisation founded by Professor Chris O’Brien, who was a visionary cancer specialist who sadly died from cancer. We always like to support great causes and many people came to a special cocktail reception in the Garden Lounge on Queen Elizabeth that evening.  My day so far had been pretty exciting, but as I listened to the speeches, it sensibly brought me back down to earth. It was a very moving evening raising $25,000, and if you would like to know more about Lifehouse Foundation, then please Google Lifehouse and see what you can do to help.

In the next Blog I’ll share what happened the following day on Queen Mary 2, but what I can tell you is that it was another remarkable occasion.


Thank you Peter for another great President’s Blog. It’s always great to be in port with our sister ships; especially overnight. This gives our ships company special time with their colleagues to catch up and share stories. It was certainly a busy night around the city for our crew including our photo teams who are always looking to capture the perfect picture.

Queen Elizabeth’s Chief Photographer, Petar Petanac is a familiar name for regular readers of this blog, as he has given me some amazing pictures to share. He told me that they were invited to take a photo from a unique vantage point; from one of the suites in one of Sydney’s prestigious hotels. Donald and Elizabeth Walker, John Leatherland and David and Linda Mitchell were kind enough to let one of our photographers, Sasa, get this superb photo of Queen Elizabeth at night from their balcony.

The following day marked a poignant occasion on Queen Mary 2 and I’ll be back tomorrow, with another President’s Blog from Peter Shanks, sharing the events of that day. Then on Monday I’ll have the last part of the Sydney Rendezvous Blogs with some stunning pictures as Queen Elizabeth sailed past Queen Mary 2 on her departure. Cheers for now, Alastair

  1. Rob Holloway says:

    Lovely pictures and video of the two ships. Much appreciated.
    Was impressed with Cunards President Peter Shanks and folks who made that Sydney Bridge Climb together, that took nerve. I checked out the tour one day and they had indicated you must not drink prior and nornally one is given an breathalyzer test prior. Thought the climbing gear would have ropes and all.

    Well done

  2. Chris & Margaret Rose says:

    Hi Alistair,
    They keep coming!!
    What a great blog and the YouTube is amazing!
    We have also visited Sydney for the Rugby World Cup…sorry to our Australian cousins BUT England did win!!
    We had the privelege of meeting with Robert Howie at a cocktail party on Queen Elizabeth and am sure that all those who climbed the Sydney Harbour Bridge, as I did in 2003, thoroughly enjoyed the experience.
    Very best regards

  3. Brenda Vessey says:

    What a great blog seeing QM2 entering Sydney harbour with the Queen Elizabeth, we are really looking forward to joining the QM2 in Singapore on the 24th March.

    Can you help with a question please Alistair. My husband was going to take his white tuxedo, but on looking in the Cunard brochure the men all seem to be wearing black tuxedos, can you give us any guidance on this as he does not want to stand out like a white spot on a domino.

  4. Hi Alistair,
    Just completed a wonderfull cruse on the queen elizabeth new york to sydney,the highlight of the cruise for us was taking part in the first ships choir,we gave a concert to 800 plus in the royal court theater and received a standing ovation,a small disapointment was the poor quality of the dvd we purchased,(did we get a bad copy?)highly recomend any future travellers to participate.
    Once again thanks for a wonderfull trip.
    Charles and Carole Meson Stateroom 5159.

  5. Kate Oldershaw says:

    Despite it being in stills,I was able to watch the progress of both ships as they entered harbour via the onboard and harbour webcams. Quite amazing and I was so jealous of those on board. A historic occasion. But what’s more amazing to me, is that I could do this from thousands of miles away.

  6. Judith Sayers says:

    We did the bridge climb on my birthday in March 2003. Its a great experience, we didn’t have the two Queens in the background though!!Great Blog as usual.

  7. Beryl Moss says:

    Having watched the arrival in Sydney on the ships web cams it is great to see the arrival video which is as usual fantastic as is all the photographs. Well done

  8. Trish & Mike Mellor says:

    Thoroughly enjoying the blog Alistair – we really do have to do the whole thing again. Great picture Sasa – as always! Hope to see you when we take a trip on the Elizabeth at the end of May.

  9. Daryl Cooper says:

    Hi Alistair,

    Been searching through our memorabilia of our QM2 voyage from Singapore(March 14, 2009) to S/Hampton and came upon the names of Warren Smith (Entertainment Officer), Gun, as she called herself, member of entertainment staff and Edwin our stateroom steward on deck 5. Are they still part of the ship’s company? Just interested as they are part of our memories.
    It is Sunday afternoon in Queensland, Australia and yet again, no bridge cam from “Queen Elizabeth” with the obligatory apology!

  10. Mark Rosenfeld says:

    2 big boats docking.

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