Posts Tagged ‘Queen Mary 2’

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
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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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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Today’s a big day for  the House of Windsor and an even bigger one for the media. Will you be watching the Royal Wedding or did you decide to skip it? If you thought Transatlantic voyage on Queen Mary 2 was the ticket to get away from it all, you will be disappointed.                                                                    

Well, Cunard won’t let their passengers down and has been busy preparing for the grand celebrations: Champagne, wedding cake, special decorations, and a commemorative Royal Wedding dinner will ensure their passengers are getting their slice of the wedding celebrations. 

Queen Mary 2 will be plowing through the Atlantic Ocean while William and Kate exchange their wedding vows; but passengers can follow the event live on satellite TV and toast to the newly weds with a special cocktail created for this event.

If you feel like raising a glass or two, here’s the receipe:

Royal Princess Cocktail

4 strawberries, plus one for decoration
3 raspberries

5ml (1 tsp) raspberry eau de vie Framboise Sauvage (a clear, raspberry brandy, substitution: raspberry kirsch)

10ml (2 tsp) Crème de Mure (blackberry liqueur, substitution: crème de cassis )

20ml (4 tsp) Armagnac (similar to cognac)

Champagne to top (

1. Prepare a champagne glass by adding a sugar rim.

2. Slice strawberries into cubes, remove the tops and muddle with the raspberries, Framboise Sauvage and Crème de Mure.

3. Shake over ice and double strain into the prepared glass.

4. Top with champagne and decorate with the remaining strawberry.

5. Add the Armagnac last to preserve the sugar rim.

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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

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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For the first time after relocating to Red Hook Pier 12 in Brooklyn in April 2006, Queen Mary 2 docked up the Hudson River at Manhattan’s West Side Pier 90, Birth 4, West 50th Street and 12th. The move was necessary after one of the two gangways at the Red Hook pier was damaged during a  Caribbean Princess docking in strong winds. It appears it will be a couple of months before Queen Mary 2 can return to the Red Hook pier. I am sure there will be quite a few travelers who are happy with the temporary arrangements. Although the terminal at Pier 90 isn’t as modern and spacious as the new Brooklyn terminal, the location so close to Manhattan makes up for it. Brooklyn is a bit offsite and at least a 45 minute drive from downtown which can turn into a long trip during rush hour.

Queen Mary 2 arriving in Manhattan
(webcam movie from youtube ©Jeremy (10jem)


Queen Mary 2 sticking out into the Hudson river, her bow in New York and her stern in New Jersey.


My friend Tee was up early and managed to get some great shots from Hoboken, NJ. Watch out for the next issue of Steamboat Bill, Issue 274, there should be alt least one of these shots.

Mighty Mary leaving Manhattan

Tee posted more photos on his Videoboss Smugmug website. Click here to see all photos from the Manhattan sail away.


Queen Mary 2 leaving Manhattan
(webcam movie  from youtube ©Jeremy (10jem)


My first personal encounter with QM2 in Manhattan was on April 24, 2004 when she docked after her Maiden Westbound Crossing. Together with a friend I was booked on the Maiden Eastbound Crossing, which was a tandem crossing with the QE2. When I saw the QM2 for the first time in her birth, all I could do was rub my eyes and look. She was so big!!! She arrived  around 6am on the 24th. A grand welcome party was hosted onboard in the evening. The next evening QM2 and QE2 departed New York together for their first joint crossing. The send-off was overwhelming with thousands of people watching them sail down the Hudson, stopping by the Statue of Liberty for a great display of fireworks. It was a memorable departure, just wished it hadn’t been so freezing cold.

QM2 at Pier 90 after her Maiden Westbound Atlantic Crossing, April 24, 2004

Mighty Mary & Tiny Lizzie”
Embarking on her historic Maiden Eastbound Atlantic Crossing, April 25, 2004

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