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QM2 HAM-001Today, 23 May 2013, Queen Mary 2 arrived in Hamburg at lunch time (13.30 CET to be precise) which was a good opportunity for me to grab some of the live webcam footage. The journey from Cuxhafen to Hamburg at the leisurely pace of approximately 10 knots is a beautiful passage along small towns, ports, greens, marinas and islands in the stream. Sailing up the River Elbe, the ship requires two tugs, one at the stern and the other at the bow.

I will talk about the passage from Cuxhaven to Hamburg in more detail in a separate post, here I am uploading 3 short video clips I grabbed from 3 webcams in Hamburg which provide a superb view of Hamburg’s port.

Webcam AET Partners
L
ocated at Van-der-Smissen-Strasse 1, Altona Cruise Center
QM2 is passing Altona Cruise Center, Altona Fish Market and Blohm & Voss Docks.

Webcam Empire Riverside Hotel
Overlooking the stretch from Blohm & Voss Dry Docks to Landungsbruecken.

Webcam St Michaelis Kirche (Church)
Distance approximately 1km, takes a few seconds to start.
The footage gives a great impression of the size of the ship compared to her environment. Museum ship Cap San Diego looks like a dwarf against the black hull of QM2.

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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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…. 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.

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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
http://www.thelandmarktavern.org/

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:

http://www.cunard.com/About-Cunard-Line/News-Room/Cunard-News/?art=6545

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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