Remastering The MARY, Part Two

Peter Knego’s latest Sea Treks continues with a visit to the QUEEN MARY 2 on the eleventh of her twenty three day, multi-million dollar transformation at the Blohm and Voss Shipyard in Hamburg with rare images of the ship being rebuilt, both inside and out. It also includes a visit to the preserved Hamburg Sud cargo liner CAP SAN DIEGO and a Hamburg harbor cruise.

Cunard Line

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All photos by and copyright Peter Knego 2016 unless otherwise noted.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016, ctd.

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Princess Grill rendering courtesy of Cunard Line.

Both the Queens and Princess Grills on aft Deck 7 are getting completely rebuilt. Although we did not get a chance to visit the Princess, the renderings are quite promising, with a Regency-inspired look that recalls the work of Jean Monro and ships like the TRANSVAAL CASTLE or, perhaps, Cunard’s most recent CARMANIA and FRANCONIA..

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Queen’s Grill, facing aft in 2006.

I actually liked the original design of the Queens Grill but agree with most Cunard fans that it was too similar to the Princess Grill.

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Queen’s Grill, facing aft in transition.
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Totally Random Queen’s Grill Carpet Shot.

During our visit, the Queens Grill transformation was well underway and the changes were already tangible with metal vitrines/screens and carpeting in place.

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Queen’s Grill, facing aft. Rendering courtesy of Cunard Line.

The final renderings represent a very rich looking space that is now easily distinguished from the Princess Grill.

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Towering textiles in the Queen’s Grill Lounge.

The exclusive domain of Queens Grill guests, the Queens Grill Lounge will remain unchanged but during the refit, it took on a new function as a textiles workshop.

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Upholstery remastered in the Queens Grill Lounge.

Original chairs that were not being jettisoned were getting their lives extended with new upholstery.

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The Royal Court Theater before.

The setting for QM2’s production shows, concerts, enrichment lectures from the likes of the one and only “Mr. Ocean Liner” Bill Miller and more, the Royal Court Theater will also not be immune to a major makeover.

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The Royal Court Theater during.

Among the changes to the double deck venue spanning Decks 3 and 2 will be the addition of a 22-foot LED screen behind the stage.

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Captain Oprey in the Royal Court.

As we paused in the Royal Court, Captain Oprey, who clearly has a lot on his plate helping to oversee the transformation, greeted us.

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Veuve Clicquot during.

A few steps away on Deck 3, the Veuve Clicquot champagne bar was getting its soft fittings renewed.

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Sir Samuel’s carpentry shop.

A bit farther aft, at Sir Samuel’s specialty coffee bar, carpenters cut panels and insulation for a new block of six cabins that have replaced the port side photo gallery on Deck 3.

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Carving out a Large Single Oceanview.

These new Large Single Oceanview (Category KC) cabins will measure 178-square-feet and will feature large, round picture windows.

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KC Cabin rendering, courtesy of Cunard Line.

Here is a view of what a Category KC Cabin will look like when completed.

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The Golden Lion under wraps.

From there, it was down to Deck 2, past the “wrapped up” Golden Lion, where it’s all about the fish and chips.

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Empire Casino, facing forward.

Across the way, the Empire Casino was being halved to make way for nine new KB Single Oceanview cabins.

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KB Single Oceanview Cabin during.

During our visit, these new staterooms were mere shells of what they would soon become.

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KB Single Oceanview, rendering courtesy of Cunard Line.

Here is a rendering of a finished KB Single Oceanview.

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Sealed in protection.

It was nice to see such care taken to preserve artworks, railings and other potentially damageable surfaces throughout the ship.

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Britannia Restaurant, facing aft from Deck 3 iscaffolded.

On the way out, we passed through the upper level of one of the loftiest dining rooms at sea, the Britannia Restaurant, in a sea of scaffolding.

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The Britannia Restaurant, facing aft from Deck 3.

And, for some perspective, here is the same view prior to the refit.

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Britannia Restaurant under scaffolds, facing starboard from Deck 2.

On Deck 2, as crew and contractors took a short lunch break in the wings, more scaffolding obscured the scale and scope of the handsome Britannia Restaurant.

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Refreshing towel.

After some ninety minutes, our tour of QM2 had come to an end. What a privilege it was to have been able to experience this historic makeover in person.

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QUEEN MARY 2 3/4 view at Blohm and Voss.

We surrendered our security passes before being granted a few moments to take in the view from the dock, itself.

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Hoisting a new cabin aboard QM2.

As we worked our way towards the ship’s massive nose, a cabin unit was being hoisted up to Deck 13.

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Scaffold face.

No surface on the ship would be spared a good scraping and painting, including the marvelously contoured “face” or forward superstructure.

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Blades on the dock.

Spares for her massive pods, the “blade gardens” on the Deck 7 foredeck had come down to dock level for a complete buffing.

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Bottom of the dock.

With approximately 29.5 feet to spare on either side at the QM2’s widest point, the floor of the dock was filled with anchor chains, supplies and cans of paint, some 2,721 gallons of which would be used during the remastering.

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Accessing the thrusters.

As part of the mechanical overhaul, the ship’s thrusters were also being tuned up.

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MARY’s bulb.

Thanks to her extensive bulb, the 1,132 foot long MARY only had 19 feet of clearance in the 1,151 foot long drydock chamber.

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Rainy days and Tuesdays.

Just after we filed back onto the coach, the skies of Hamburg opened up.

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MV CAP SAN DIEGO 3/4 stern.

As our media group enjoyed a nice lunch at a harborside restaurant, my colleague Valarie D’Elia and I headed off to catch a harbor cruise for some final shots of the QM2. We had a few minutes to spare, so paid a quick visit to the gorgeous, pristine CAP SAN DIEGO, the preserved 12-passenger cargo liner/hotel ship built in 1962 for Hamburg Sud’s South American service.

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The CAP SAN DIEGO was designed by the renowned Georg Manner, who would later design the German Atlantic Line flagship HAMBURG of 1969, which last sailed as the MAXIM GORKIY.

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The CAP SAN DIEGO has some stunning architectural features, such as her rounded forward superstructure, which seems to have been inspired by George Sharp, creator of some remarkable ships like the AQUARAMA, the DEL NORTE trio and the nuclear powered SAVANNAH.

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MV CAP SAN DIEGO Lounge, facing forward.

For 8 Euros, we took a self-guided tour, which encompasses everything from the still functioning engine room and cargo holds to the gorgeous lounge and bar overlooking the bow. The CAP SAN DIEGO even had a pool and lido deck, which is now used as a beer garden.

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MV CAP SAN DIEGO Wheelhouse, facing port.

After a quick stop in the wheelhouse, we reluctantly made our way off the CAP SAN DIEGO to join our harbor cruise ship.

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For the next hour or so, the little JAN EHLERS buzzed the Hamburg waterfront and circled the island of Kuhwerder, where Blohm and Voss is situated.

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At the far end of the yard, the newly arrived SAGA SAPPHIRE, which is the former German flagship EUROPA of 1981, was undergoing an overhaul.

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Of bulbs and Voss.

At one point, we crossed under the massive bulbous bow of a tanker in an inconceivably huge floating drydock.

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MV CAP SAN DIEGO bow shot.

Although the harbor cruise didn’t yield the best shots of the QM2, it did provide a nice vantage of the CAP SAN DIEGO, whose bow extends well past her landing stage moorings.

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Stern view from the landing stage.
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3/4 stern view from the landing stage.

Back on terra firma, we walked along Hamburg’s landing stage, once the starting point of so many transoceanic voyages and now filled with shops and restaurants, for some stunning views of the MARY 2.

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Maiden New York arrival.

On June 21, the world’s most celebrated ocean liner is scheduled to return to Atlantic crossings with a ten night sailing to New York via Southampton.

End of QUEEN MARY Remastered

Special thanks: Jackie Chase, Valarie D’Elia, Meryl Press

Peter Knego

Peter Knego

Having documented over 400 passenger ships and taken more than 200 cruises, MaritimeMatters’ co-editor Peter Knego is a leading freelance cruise writer, a respected ocean liner historian and frequent maritime lecturer both on land and at sea.  With his work regularly featured in cruise industry trades and consumer publications.  Knego also runs the website which offers MidCentury cruise ship furniture, artwork and fittings rescued from the shipbreaking yards of Alang, India.  He has produced several videos on the subject, including his latest, The Sands Of Alang and the best-selling On The Road To Alang."
Peter Knego

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