Archive for the ‘Cunard Current Fleet’ Category

A rescue operation interrupted Queen Mary 2’s voyage from New York to Southampton ahead of the Diamond Jubilee celebrations in Southampton.

On the eve of the Jubilee Celebrations in Southampton, I was kind of glued to MarineTraffic to check for the ships progress, as I planned to get up and out early for their arrival at Hythe Marina. I certainly was surprised when the ship map indicated she stopped at Start Bay off Dartmoor. I quickly checked with my liner friends, last thing we wanted to happen was a technical failure preventing her to arrive together with her sister ships but when the map showed an RNLI boat close to Queen Mary 2 it became evident that a medical evacuation took place.

AIS indicated that an RNLI boat pulled up to QM2 –  Thanks Tee Adams for getting this shot when my internet went down.

It was the second medevac Torbay RNLI has carried out from Queen Mary 2. The first was on her Maiden Voyage in January 2004.

The facts gathered from the RNLI website:

Torbay lifeboat crew were launched to rendezvous with the passenger vessel Queen Mary 2 on the evening of 4 June as she was on her way to Southampton for a historic meeting of the three Queens (Queen Mary IIQueen Elizabeth and Queen Victoria) to mark the Diamond Jubilee.

The crew carried out a medical evacuation and the casualty was transferred from Queen Mary 2 to the all-weather lifeboat and was then met at Kingswear by an awaiting ambulance.
The launch instruct was given at 19:49 BST, launch time 20:01, ready for service time 22:33. All Weather Lifeboat (ALB) 2012 Shout #23. Coxswain Mark Criddle, Mechanic Simon James.

Despite the rescue op, Queen Mary 2 arrived in Southampton on time, leading the three Cunard ships into port.

The evacuation was filmed by RNLI crew member Nigel Millard, a great video showing the evacuation. I also found a video on YouTube by a passenger, so here we have 2 different views of the operation:

Slideshow with excellent photos by Nigel Millard:

A passenger on board Queen Mary 2 was in the perfect spot for the onboard view of the operation:

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I added a new video to my library which I’d like to share: Queen Mary 2’s departure from Hamburg on May 8, 2011 around 18.30 hours.

She visited during the annual Hamburg Hafengeburtstag (Hamburg Port Anniversary) which always draws hundreds of thousands of visitors. Every year, the Hamburg Harbour is honoured with a big birthday party which lasts over 3 days. Big cruise ships, frigates and steamboats can be admired during the days of the Hafengeburtstag and Queen Mary 2 is always the biggest attraction.

Sail away weather was perfect:  Sunshine – blue sky and a light breeze – thousands of onlookers lined they shores to see the ‘Mighty Queen’ make her out of the harbour towards the sea.

It’s a professional video by C)neworkz  shot from a plane, thus offering a splendid bird’s eye view of Hamburg and Queen Mary 2. It’s not a view you often get to see.

I was among the spectators too, positioned with my own camera at the stern of the paddle steamer ‘Louisiana’ which is visible in the video. On occasions like this I prefer the paddle steamer to the little barges simply because of the elevated stern which gives a much better view of the QM2. Still, you feel like David looking up at Goliath…

This year, Hamburg will be celebrating from May 11-13, 2012 and Queen Mary 2 will be in port on Sunday, May 13. For more information in German go to this link, for information in English click here.

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The year 2010 just came to a close and looking back it was an exciting year for die-hard Cunarders who had been waiting in anticipation for the arrival of the new Queen. Since her naming ceremony on October 8 she completed her Maiden voyage and started a regular schedule of cruises. In the New Year she will embark on her first World Cruise with fantastic first port calls (see WC schedule). Not long now and she will set off for her Maiden Atlantic Crossing and calling on New York for the first time on January 13, thus opening the year 2011 with another highlight for the Cunard family and ship lovers.

On January 13 the three iconic Cunard Queens will make a historic ‘Royal Rendezvous’ in New York Harbour: Queen Mary 2, Queen Victoria, and Queen Elizabeth. It will be the 2nd family reunion after 2008, when on the exact date Queen Mary2 and Queen Victoria were reunited with Queen Elizabeth 2. The latter will be sadly missed! I am really looking forward to this as I missed out on several opportunities to see Queen Elizabeth the younger. Her looks have been subject to quite controversal debate, for every favourable comment there seems to be at least one negative. I prefer to make my own judgement and form my own opinion so January 13 will be judgement day!

 There is a festive arrangement of fireworks and fanfare to celebrate the three Queens.Nothing brings out spectators like a visit from a new ship and when there is an opportunity to see the entire Cunard fleet together, you can expect a crowd. 2008 was a great event and I don’t expect 2011 to be any less.

A group of liner lovers and ship nuts has agreed to get together for this memorable occasion. Most of us have met on Facebook and communicated throughout the year without having ever met in person. Some of us realised that we’ve been travelling on one or more occasion without meeting on the ship (notably that would be QE2 or QM2). So we agreed the rendezvous is the perfect occasion to put names to faces and move from virtual friendship to a personal encounter.

We set up a group and an event on Facebook, follow the link below if you are a Facebooker.

But don’t worry, if you do not socialize through networking platforms, you will find all details in this post.

1. Pre-Rendezvous Dinner on January 12

We will get together for a Pre-Rendezvous Dinner on January 12.
The Landmark Tavern
626 11th Avenue (on 46th Street)
New York, NY

We already made a cut off for the table reservation. If you wish to join us, please use the contact form (top right corner of the blog) and confirm your attendance by January 3.

2. Boat trip going out with the Queens on January 13 

South Street Seaport has arranged for a boat to sail out with the 3 Queens. This is a great opportunity to get close to the ships and watch the rendezvous, fireworks and departure of the three ships. The boat is sold out but you can put yourself on the waiting list: Give South Street Seaport a call on: 212.748.8786. $40 Members / $50 Non-Members 212.748.8784. Tickets are 40$ for members and 50$ for non-members. This does not include food or drinks. There will be a concession stand open to sell snacks and drinks but you can bring your own food and wine. Bring a bottle of fine bubbly, the Queens deserve it!

3. Post-Rendezvous Drinks

Members of the The QE2 Story Forum have organized a location for drinks and food after the fireworks/boat ride at Bongo at 395 West St, New York, NY 10014-2816. The restaurant is located half way between downtown and midtown. If you would like to confirm attendance, please use the ‘Contact Me’ form. Facebook users can use the link shown above to confirm.

Some ship-spotting advice:
You decided to come out and watch either the arrival or the departure, or you want to snap some photos while the ships are at the piers. Dress warmly. It will be cold, especially on the waterfront.

If you want to watch the ships’ arrival in the early morning hours you will have to make up your mind:
– Queen Mary 2 will dock in Red Hook, Brooklyn
– Queen Elizabeth will dock at Pier 88 and Queen Victoria at dock Pier 90 in Manhattan

At Red Hook, you can get close to the QM2. In Manhattan a very good spot to watch the ships come in is the parking at the Intrepid Aircraft Carrier at Pier 86. Make sure you are there around 5.45 am or so. Better a bit earlier. We have friends on both ships that will text us with their position and I will post here.

A good opportunity to take pictures of QE and QV from a different angle is to take the ferry to New Jersey; the trip is only eight minutes each way.  The ferry to Weehawken, NJ leaves from Pier 79 at West 39th Street.

If you are not going on a boat, Battery Park is a good spot to be for watching the ships sail out. More details on Cunard’s website, see their announcement:


And last but not leave, if you prefer to watch the ships from home, check out the Wired New York Webcam.

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When the new Queen Elizabeth arrived in Southampton for the first time on Oct 8, 2010 she was greeted by a large audience of onlookers, die-hard Cunarders, cruise fans and locals who wanted to be among the first to catch a glimpse of the new member of the Cunard fleet. One of them was Steven Adler who took the time to write down his thoughts about the event. Steven is a former QE2 crew member who likes to stay in touch with his old crew. You can check Steven’s story on Cunard Queens website RMS Queen Elizabeth 2, view his photos in Cunard Queens’ Member Gallery or watch his many video posts on Youtube

Read Steven’s full report here…



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Queen Elizabeth - Royal Arcade

Queen Elizabeth - Royal Arcade

Cunard and the Telegraph announced today a scultpure competition for the new Cunard ship Queen Elizabeth: Entrants are asked to design an art-deco style sculpture for Queen Elizabeth’s Royal Arcade.   

Click here to read article

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 Today’s edition of the Telegraph has another article in which journalist Cassandra Jardine explains how to enter the competition.            


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The MS Queen Victoria  (also called QV) undertook her maiden voyage, a 10 day cruise to northern Europe, on 11 December 2007.  The embedded video contains very well edited footage from the cruise.

Originally destined to be an addition to the Holland America Line fleet, the order for a Vista class vessel put into Fincantieri was soon transferred by Carnival Corporation (parent company to Holland America, Cunard, and P&O) to Cunard with the intent that the vessel would become the MS Queen Victoria.
The Queen Vicotira is of the same basic design as other Vista class passenger vessels, though slightly longer and more in keeping with Cunard’s interior style. At 90,000 gross tons, she is the second largest Cunard ship ever built, after the RMS Queen Mary 2. The QV’s facilities include seven restaurants, thirteen bars, three swimming pools, a ballroom and a theatre.
Unlike many previous Cunard Queens, however, she is not an ocean liner, but rather a cruise ship. Nor will she carry mail and thus will not receive Royal Mail Ship (RMS) status.

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