The Royal Family

October 10, 2007 -

John Heald

I remember when I was a young teenager every time I went to Heathrow airport in London, I would not look for the 747s or the big cargo planes, for me there was only one plane worth seeing……………………………………………Concorde.

This was the pinnacle of air travel and just catching a glimpse of this supersonic passport to far off places was something everyone, including myself, wanted to experience.

In today’s world of the cruise industry there is, and I say this with the greatest respect, only one company that still has that magical “Concorde effect” on people and that company is ……………………………………Cunard.

A few months ago the Carnival Freedom was in Barcelona docked along with five other new and shiny vessels. As the people of Barcelona came to view the vessels, they only had eyes for one ship and that was the Queen Mary 2. Even guests from our ship and the other cruise lines would make a point of taking photos of the famous red and blue smoke stack. Once again, the “Concorde effect” had taken place.

Before the Concorde there was the originator of this phenomenon and she was the Queen Elizabeth 2. Wherever she would go and whichever newer and bigger ships were docked with her, we only had eyes for Elizabeth. As you know, she will be retired from the fleet next year, leaving her two sisters the Queen Mary 2 and the soon to be launched Queen Victoria.

Queen Elizabeth 2 will be missed; however, the name Elizabeth will continue to provide the “Concorde effect” for generations to come as I proudly show you the following press release.

Cunard

Southampton: 10 October 2007

CUNARD TO BUILD ‘QUEEN ELIZABETH’
New liner to enter service in 2010

Cunard Line announces that it has ordered a new 92,000-ton liner, to be named ‘Queen Elizabeth’, scheduled to enter service in the autumn of 2010. Cunard, a unit of Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE/LSE: CCL; NYSE CUK) signed an agreement with Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri for the construction of the new 2092–passenger ocean liner, which will be built at Fincantieri’s Monfalcone yard at an all-in cost of approximately €500 million. The vessel will be the second largest Cunarder ever built. In making the announcement, Cunard’s President and Managing Director, Carol Marlow, said: “Cunard already owns and operates the two most famous ocean liners in the world, Queen Elizabeth 2 and Queen Mary 2, and a third – Queen Victoria – is due to be named by HRH The Duchess of Cornwall, in the presence of HRH The Prince of Wales, in December of this year. The decision to order another ship for Cunard Line has been taken as a result of the strong booking response to the new Queen Victoria, and we are extremely pleased that Cunard will once again become a three-ship fleet so soon after the departure of the much-celebrated Queen Elizabeth 2 in November next year. Furthermore we are delighted that Her Majesty The Queen has given her blessing to our calling this new Cunarder ‘Queen Elizabeth’, after our first vessel of that name. ”

The new ship follows a long line of famous Cunard liners stretching back to the company’s inception as the first operator of a timetabled transatlantic service 167 years ago.

Speaking for Fincantieri, Chief Executive Officer Mr. Giuseppe Bono said:“It is a particularly special moment for Fincantieri to have secured a second order from Cunard at a time when we are nearing the completion of “Queen Victoria”. Cunard is the most famous name in passenger shipping and we are honoured to have been chosen to build Queen Elizabeth and to continue the tradition and heritage of that great company”. Queen Elizabeth will offer the very best of Cunard’s values and traditions, blended with every conceivable modern luxury that today’s discerning travellers expect. Through her opulent public rooms and impeccable service, the new ship will reflect the grandeur which has been associated with Cunard ships since the introduction of the Mauretania in 1907; and from the outside, her black hull, gleaming white superstructure and distinctive red funnel will echo the classic characteristics of the company’s distinctive liner heritage. Queen Elizabeth will fly the Red Ensign with her home-port Southampton, as is the case with the other ships in the Cunard fleet.

The agreement is subject to approval by the board of directors of Carnival Corporation & plc. Design details and initial itineraries will be announced in due course.

So, the family is complete once again.

Congratulations to Cunard and God Save the Queen.

John Heald
Cruise Director
M/V Carnival Freedom

Hi, I’m John, and this is my blog. So please don’t mistake my opinions — or those of my dear friends, fans or commenters — for those of Carnival Cruise Line or Carnival Corporation. My apologies in advance for anything I may say that upsets you, but this disclaimer covers Carnival and puts the blame directly on me………….. bugger.