Three Cunard Line Queens Sail In Formation From Lisbon

PICTURES BY JAMES MORGAN/CUNARD

PICTURES BY JAMES MORGAN/CUNARD

The most famous names in shipping history were photographed together,  lined up side-by-side on Tuesday, May 6, 2014 following their departure from Lisbon, Portugal.   It marked the first time the entire fleet of the current Cunard Line were photographed at sea together.  The three ships are all en route to Southampton, England for the Royal Rendezvous celebrations honoring the 10th anniversary in service of the QUEEN MARY 2, which will take place on Friday, May 9th.  The QM2 will have a true Royal visitor that day as HRH Prince Philip, The Duke Of Edinburgh will come aboard for a luncheon and inspection of the liner.   The extraordinary Australian-based photographer James Morgan has been capturing some incredible images for Cunard Line recently.

PICTURES BY JAMES MORGAN/CUNARD

PICTURES BY JAMES MORGAN/CUNARD

The following is from a press release published by Cunard Line:

PICTURES BY JAMES MORGAN/CUNARD

PICTURES BY JAMES MORGAN/CUNARD

Cunard’s magnificent Queens line up three abreast for the first time in a dramatic photoshoot as the fleet sails for Southampton to mark flagship Queen Mary 2’s 10th anniversary.  [The three Queens were photographed] at sea as part of a shoot that took months of meticulous planning. Queen Mary 2 is on the final leg of her World Cruise and her sister ships were on hand to escort her home in style.

PICTURES BY JAMES MORGAN/CUNARD

PICTURES BY JAMES MORGAN/CUNARD

Photographer James Morgan took to the skies in a helicopter to capture these iconic shots of the three ships sailing abreast of one another. And while it may look effortless they are the result of a long planning operation in which the safety of the vessels and the thousands of people upon them was paramount.

PICTURES BY JAMES MORGAN/CUNARD

PICTURES BY JAMES MORGAN/CUNARD

The centrepiece of the shoot was Queen Mary 2 herself, the only Ocean Liner in service today and still the fastest passenger ship afloat ten years after she was named by Her Majesty The Queen in 2004.  The ship measures 1,132 feet in length – longer than the Shard in London is tall – and stands 236.2 feet in height. She also weighs in at an impressive 150,000 gross tons.  Since entering service Queen Mary 2 has sailed 1.5 million nautical miles on over 400 voyages including 213 Transatlantic Crossings. She has called at 182 ports in 60 countries and carried over 1.3 million guests.

PICTURES BY JAMES MORGAN/CUNARD

PICTURES BY JAMES MORGAN/CUNARD

The 90,900 ton Queen Elizabeth is the newest member of the Cunard family, having been named by Her Majesty The Queen in 2010, and measures 964.5ft in length.

PICTURES BY JAMES MORGAN/CUNARD

PICTURES BY JAMES MORGAN/CUNARD

Rounding off the trio is Queen Victoria, named in 2007 by HRH The Duchess of Cornwall, and (just) the smallest of the Queens at 90,000 gross tons and measuring 964ft in length.

PICTURES BY JAMES MORGAN/CUNARD

PICTURES BY JAMES MORGAN/CUNARD

James said: “Most of the work in this type of photography is actually in the preparation beforehand. You don’t just happen to go up in a helicopter and take a great shot. Months of preparation go into planning these things for that one moment”. Part of this planning was a logistical meeting with the captains and crew of the three ships to schedule down to the minutest detail how this photoshoot would come about.

New_DSC_1650

PICTURES BY JAMES MORGAN/CUNARD

It took the three ships around an hour to sail out of Lisbon to the site of the shoot.  All shipping in the area had to be totally cleared for the three Queens to ensure absolute safety for the technical manoeuvre.

Cunard Director Angus Struthers said: “This is the first time all three Queens of the Cunard fleet have been seen together anywhere outside Southampton or New York, and the first time these magnificent ships have been seen together at sea.”

PICTURES BY JAMES MORGAN/CUNARD

PICTURES BY JAMES MORGAN/CUNARD

James Morgan said: “It’s all about orchestrating the manoeuvre in advance. When you are dealing with the largest Ocean Liner in the world, you can’t sit in a helicopter asking if it can go left a bit or right a bit because it doesn’t work like that.  A three ship formation like this has to be finely coordinated and choreographed ahead of time.  It’s not like directing traffic – this is more like ship ballet.”

New_DSC_1697

PICTURES BY JAMES MORGAN/CUNARD

Shawn Dake

Shawn Dake

Shawn J. Dake, freelance travel writer and regular contributor to MaritimeMatters, worked in tourism and cruise industry for over 35 years.  A native of Southern California, his first job was as a tour guide aboard the Queen Mary.  A frequent lecturer on ship-related topics he has appeared on TV programs.  Owner of Oceans Away Cruises & Travel agency, he served as President of the local Chapter of Steamship Historical Society of America.  With a love of the sea, he is a veteran of 115 cruises.
Shawn Dake

Latest posts by Shawn Dake (see all)

8 Comments

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

MENU
login

Warning: Unknown: write failed: Disk quota exceeded (122) in Unknown on line 0

Warning: Unknown: Failed to write session data (files). Please verify that the current setting of session.save_path is correct (/tmp) in Unknown on line 0