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Ship's Company

Cunard Bids Farewell to Commodore Warner

April 26, 2011

We Are Cunard

Posted in: Ship's Company, Updates

I hope everybody enjoyed the holiday period over the Easter Break. It was certainly more than warm enough here in the UK – felt like summer had arrived. Thank you so much for the many comments we have had following the first posting of Peter’s Blog. We have had quite a few volunteers already to be guest bloggers which is great and we will be in touch with you to follow up.

We have another video blog for you today. I mentioned that Commodore Warner retired last week. Well we filmed the event. It will take you inside Cunard and share with you the passion and emotion of those who have spent many years at sea with us. Please take a few minutes to watch the video and I hope it gives you a flavour of the tradition of Cunard Line and how one goes about retiring a Commodore in style.

Busy but short week this week as we seem to be surrounded by holidays – what with Easter, Royal Weddings and UK Bank Holidays. We are all set on the three ships to celebrate the Royal Wedding on Friday in fine style and we will of course share the experiences with you. I am also spending time in our Cunard German office this week in Hamburg. It is a busy time in Hamburg as the famous ‘Harbour Celebration’ is approaching in the first week of May where up to one million people will be in the Harbour with Queen Mary 2 in prime position in the river for the fireworks. It is a sight to behold – Hamburg has a remarkable maritime history and the people there love their Ocean Liners. We have three voyages based out of Hamburg this summer on Queen Mary 2 and one on Queen Elizabeth. More and more of our North American guests are looking to join those voyage to head North as they start and finish in the beautiful city of Hamburg. We will let you know how the Hamburg Harbour Party goes.

We’ll be back on Thursday with an update from the fleet as they prepare for the Royal Wedding celebrations on Friday.

Kind Regards


  1. mary murdoch says:

    Hi Peter. Thank you for a marvellous but emotional blog. Best wishes to Bernard Warner for a marvellous long retirement and good luck to Commodor Rhynd. We sailed on Artimis in 2009 and he was the Captain and a very good one, too.

  2. Beryl Moss says:

    What an interesting blog and found the video very emotional. My very best wishes to Bernard Warner for a long and happy retirement. Congratulations to Commodore Ryndd and look forward to sailing with him in the future.

  3. Can’t tell you how much we are going to miss Commodore Warner–even his noon announcements were the best! Over the years he became a friend and we shared many *~~marvellous~~* times onboard the beloved QM2. All the best to him and his family, and a hearty Welcome to Commodore Rynd. And next time you see him? Please tell him he needs to work on blowing the whistles lots, lots more. Thanks.

  4. Larree & Dona Chetelat says:

    We have sailed with Captain/Commodore Warner several times. He is a true professional and a true credit to Cunard. We congratulate him and wish him well. Especially for a healthy, happy retirement…

  5. Chris & Margaret Rose says:

    Hi Peter,
    A truly “marvellous” and emotional blog.
    Very best wishes to Commodore Warner after 47 years he really does deserve a long , healthy and happy reirement.
    Very best regards

  6. Mark Rosenfeld says:

    Whats a commodore? The guy who drives the ship with GPS.

  7. John & Joan Smith says:

    As diamond card holders,we have experienced many fine captains on Cunard liners over the years. Commodore Warner stood out in our minds from those many voyages,with his sincerity,approachability & overall fine people skills.We wish him & Mrs Warner a long & healthy retirement & say a big thank you for his friendship on board.

  8. Manfred Müller says:

    3 comments and 3 different ways of spelling the new commodore´s name! I agree on Angela´s whistle training wish though. And comment no. 6 can be deleted. :-(
    Best wishes to Bernie from Hamburg.

  9. tony mac says:

    Makes me proud of my years in the merchant navy, evan as a steward at Cunard we were part of the team and after retirement

  10. judith sayers says:

    Good luck and happy retirement to Commodore Warner. What a moving tribute on the video, and a fantastic sword. We were on QVictoria when the new Commodore was announced, so have had the pleasure of meeting him, and attending the informal chat he did with Keith, which was very interesting.

  11. Roger Hallett says:

    My wife and I sailed on QM2 with the Commodore only twice, and the occasions were made more memorable thanks to Bernard’s professionalism and manner – both on the bridge and around the ship. We always made sure we were near a loudspeaker so we could hear his noon update from the bridge. The words, “This is the Commodore” have become part of our family folk lore along with our fondest memories of the Greatest Ocean Liner in the world – a most suitable pairing! Best wishes to Bernard Warner for his future. Your 46 years at sea remind me somewhat of this small piece: “It isn’t that life ashore is distasteful to me. But life at sea is better.” – Sir Francis Drake ..
    I wish Bernard and his wife a most enjoyable and long retirement – and that they will be doing so occasionally at sea.

  12. Rob Holloway says:

    That was a wonderful sendoff and video from your companies to Commodore Warner.
    It is good to see effort and time spent to wish a person the best on their retirement.
    Quite a stirring moment
    Well Done.

  13. Beth Long says:

    As a dedicated Cunard aficionado and traveller (I have sailed to date with no other line), I am a little more than concerned over the turnstyle effect we’ve seen in Cunard leadership in the past few years: Ian McNaught’s unexpected transfer to Seabourn (major disappointment), Nick Bates’ sudden retirement last Summer (equally disappointing), Alstair’s seeming overnight departure, and now, Comm. Warner goes too.

    Peter, may I remind you that Cunard is as much about tradition as it is excellence. I’m not sure why there seems such a flakey turnover of late in leadership. It has not gone unnoticed.

    I respect and admire Christopher Rynd – he seems a perfect fit for the role of Commodore. He can be a bit of a “brush off,” but I like him nonetheless. Please do what you need to keep him happy and around for more than a few years, will you?

    I also wish to add that I think it odd you would name this new blog after yourself. Cunard is bigger than you… ask Pamela Conover & Carol Marlow.
    This is a blog about Cunard

  14. Fiona Armitage says:

    What a wonderful Cunard send off. Thank you for sharing these moments on the Bridge, it was wonderful to see.

  15. Chris Frame says:

    A great farewell for a great Commodore.

    Good luck Bernard!

    Christopher Rynd will make an excellent Commodore. He was Captain aboard voyages on QE2, QM2 and Queen Victoria so am looking forward to seeing him again aboard QM2 in the future.


  16. Anthony Jr says:

    Mr Shanks,

    I just want to start out by introducing my self. I am Anthony Gaiani Jr, a past passenger of the Queen Mary 2 Westbound Transatlantic July 2006. I will be a frequent writer on this blog, especially now that you sir, the president and managing director of this Company Cunard Line, is the blogger. I go to Massachusetts Maritime Academy near Boston, Massachusetts. My grandfather took his wife in the late 1950′s on the original Queen Elizabeth for his honeymoon, and Commodore Christopher Rynd was in command of the QM2 when I sailed on her. Let me just say that he was fantasatic. AS you can tell, I love Cunard, and Queen Mary 2 is my absolute favorite, I think she’s is the perfect Ocean Liner. Well, when I was on QM2, I would spend a lot of time beind the glass next to the bridge and I eventually asked through the Purser if I could get insde and have a tour possibly. A few hours later I went back to my room and on my bed there was a letter from Captain Rynd inviting me and my family! I am very happy for him, he will enjoy QM2. Who wouldn’t?

  17. Daryl Cooper says:

    Re comment 13 posted by Beth Long, hopefully Peter Shanks is endeavouring to resist the “Americanisation” of Cunard and is attempting to maintain the British flavour.
    Long live the Queen, from an “Aussie” passionate about Britain.

  18. Diana and Mike Cave says:

    It was good to be able to share in the retirement of Commodore Bernard Warner via your video blog. We’d like to pass on our good wishes to him and his family as he embarks on a new journey. We enjoyed meeting him on our three voyages on Queen Mary 2 (we only travel on QM2!), and will miss hearing his salutes to Cowes as this magnificent ship passes by our home.

  19. Kenneth Eden says:

    I will miss the Commodore, he always remembered me took time to chat a little “extra” about the grand cruises we shared, not to mention, missing his humor and banter duringhis ship wide announcements!!

    I wish Commodore Warner the very best in his retirement.

  20. Nigel Barton and Sue Lee says:

    Peter, we too can relate to the sentiment expressed by Beth Long in Comment 13, but we won’t let that spoil our tribute to Bernie on his retirement. A very emotional and heartfelt video tribute; thank you Peter. We have travelled with Bernie on two Transatlantic round trips and it was always a delight to be informed and entertained, in equal measures, through his own unique style with his noon announcements from the Bridge. Joining him for dinner at that large table in the centre of Britannia enabled us to see the private man, who is even more entertaining and captivating. After 46 years service his retirement to spend greater time with Tina and the boys is well deserved and overdue, but he will be sorely missed by us and many other Cunarders…..a “marvellous” fellow and Commodore Rynd will find big shoes to fill !!

  21. Zannis says:

    I have to say that I cannot judge the seamanship of a captain; however, in terms of tradition, heritage and history, things that Cunard stands for, Captain Paul Wright should have been appointed Commodore of the fleet.

  22. Daryl Cooper says:

    Have just checked Queen Elizabeth’s schedule for 2013 and the January departure ex Southampton 6/1/13 is NOT a world voyage. Is the Queen Mary 2 doing a world cruise in 2013? as her schedule has not been posted. Is Cunard, perhaps, staggering the World Cruise departures ex Southampton?

  23. Lisa (Cunard) says:

    Hello Daryl.
    Queen Elizabeth will not be on World Voyage in 2013, she will be sailing to New Zeland from Southampton. Queen Victoria and Queen Mary 2′s World Voyage itineraries will be announced in July of this year.

  24. IAN SIMPSON says:

    Commodore Warner’s response to the earthquakes that dogged his last voyage can be described only as ‘marvellous’ – aware, compassionate and yet business-like. We are still basking in the memories of our hugely enjoyable cruise from Sydney to Hong Kong – despite the natural disasters. Special mention to Wendy, Octavian, Dino and Fernando – brilliant service in Queen’s Grill. Pity Sydney embarkation and HK disembarking not nearly as smooth as we’d come to expect at S/hampton and Brooklyn.

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