…. without fanfare!
Cunard’s well oiled PR department usually makes big waves with their announcements but kept it rather quiet today: There was little more than a one liner to announce the departure of their most senior officer on their Facebook page, and while Alastair Greener announced his own departure today on the ‘We are Cunard’ blog, I couldn’t find a mention about Commodore Warner. According to their Facebook page, they are planning to publish a video and photos later.
Long-serving Commodore Bernard Warner (62) left the Bridge this morning in order to step into retirement, after completing the 2011 World Voyage and docking Queen Mary 2 in Southampton for the last time. Today he handed over command of the Cunard fleet – flagship Queen Mary 2, Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth – to Captain Paul Wright. This could however be a very short command if Captain Wright’s own retirement in June will go ahead as planned.
Commodore Warner became Captain of Queen Mary 2 in 2004 and was appointed Cunard’s highest ranking officer in 2007. No successor was announced today, but it is my understanding that Cunard will come forward with a name on Thursday.
Samuel Warwick put together a very good summary of his career on his excellent QM2 website. If you are interested in his biography, click on this link. When I googled the Commodore today, I didn’t find many news in English. In fact, the majority of posts were from German cruise magazines and forums which all used a German translation of the bio.
I’ve got a short video in my collection, in which shipping columnist Peter Elson interviews Commodore Bernard Warner as she visits Liverpool 20 Oct 2009. Filmed and edited by Samantha Parker. Liverpool Echo TV.
Commodore Warner offered some insights in an interview with John Heald in 2007, click here to read.
On my various travels on QM2, I never had an opportunity to meet Commodore Warner. I am sure he will be thoroughly missed by those who enjoyed his company and command and I wish him all the best for his ‘post Cunard’ life.