The sea trials in 1968 turned out to be quite a disaster, due to serious trouble with the turbines she had to return to the shipyard and Cunard refused to take delivery. As a result, Cunard had to cancel the scheduled maiden voyage. The interest in the new liner was extraordinary: Thousands of well-wisher were cheering on departure in Southampton; and she had a triumphant arrival in New York on May 7, 1969. Media from around the world was covering the event – everyone wanted to have a glimpse of the new ocean liner with ‘that funny funnel’ which didn’t necessarily please every Cunard hardliner.I added 4 video clips from British Pathe to my video collection
QE2 Maiden Voyage Southampton-New York
News Reel with original commentary
QE2 leaving Southampton 2 May1969
QE2 arriving in New York 7 May1969
QE2 arriving in Southampton in March 1969
HM Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philipp visiting QE2 in 1969
Even back then commemorative postcards and stamps were popular and a must have for many Maiden Voyage passengers. I guess, little has changed since then.
Postcard with QE2 postal stamp and onboard maiden voyage stamps. Unfortunately, the date of the postal stamp is off.
I’ve always been fascinated by QE2’s 1969 outfit which has become the focus of my own collection. Here are some scans of original black and white photos, more will be posted soon.
Left to Right: D Butterworth, Chief Radio Officer, J B Morton, Deputy Hotel Manager, J Smith, Hotel Manager,
Captain W E Warwick, Master, Captain G Smith, Staff Captain
Upper Deck Library
I soon will be adding more colour photos which are scans from vintage 35mm Kodak Ektachrome slides. They were taken in December 1969 inNew York. They just need a little TLC to take that tired and worn look off them.
QE2 in New York, December 1969
For those who are interested in other aspects of the 1969 I recommend to check out the following 2 pages on the RMS Queen Elizabeth 2 website:
- Suppliers to QE2: A list of all suppliers who helped fit out the ship.
- Images of the Pleasure Island Brochure: Image scan from one of the first QE2 Sales Brochures.
As someone who loves dining and wining, I wondered what might have been on the menu during the maiden voyage. I did find a ‘Specimen Suggested Dinner Menu during the Maiden Voyage to New York’ which was served in the Columbia Restaurant. Still looking out for original dinner menus from the first crossing, if someone is willing to part with one, please contact me.
The Columbia Restaurant in 1969: Hidden by the large napkins, you can see the Snow Flake pattern china.
A wonderful areal shot of QE2 in her first year of service.