All photos by and copyright Maurizio Eliseo 2010 unless otherwise stated.
January 5, 2010: QUEEN ELIZABETH Float Out Ceremony
“It is only a little over six months since the keel for this great ship was laid. In that short time, a solitary block at the bottom of the dry dock has, as a result of the skill and discipline of the workforce here at Fincantieri, grown into this awe-inspiring vessel,” noted Cunard Chairman and CEO Peter Shanks.
“Even in her present unfinished state, devoid of the carpets and curtains, furnishings and facilities, paintings and porcelain that we associate with a Cunard luxury vessel, she is awesome. Of our 170 years of history, there has been an ‘ELIZABETH’ in the fleet for more than 70 and this ship – the second largest Cunarder ever built – will take the name far into the 21st Century.”
Special ceremonies at Fincantieri’s Monfalcone shipyard near Trieste, Italy, were held today to mark the float out of Cunard’s newest cruise ship, QUEEN ELIZABETH. Cunard’s President and Managing Director, Peter Shanks, was joined by 79-year-old Florence (Dennie) Farmer, who served as guest of honour at the event. Dennie’s husband, Willie Farmer, joined Cunard in September 1938 and served as Chief Engineer on both the first QUEEN ELIZABETH and QUEEN ELIZABETH 2 until retirement in October 1979. Since her husband’s passing, Dennie has sailed with Cunard many times and her link with the two previous QUEEN ELIZABETHs is unparalleled. In recognition of this, Cunard has bestowed Dennie with the honour, in Italian tradition, of being “Madrina” to the third.
QUEEN ELIZABETH’s maiden voyage, now sold out, will depart on Tuesday October 12, 2010. This 13-night celebration will leave from the company’s home port in Southampton (UK), and will call at Vigo, Lisbon, Cadiz, Las Palmas, Santa Cruz de Tenerife (overnight call) and Funchal. Her maiden season will run from October 2010 to January 2011 and include voyages to the Western and Central Mediterranean and the Caribbean. QUEEN ELIZABETH will depart Southampton on January 5, 2011 on her 103-night epic Maiden World Voyage, which has just opened for sale. This tour will feature 35 maiden calls, including Cunard’s first call ever at Port Denarau (Fiji). In total, QUEEN ELIZABETH will call at 38 ports in 23 countries as she makes her way west around the globe, with maiden transits of both the Panama and Suez Canals and calls at Los Angeles, Auckland, Sydney, Hong Kong, Singapore, Dubai and Lisbon.
She will sail in tandem en route to New York with QUEEN VICTORIA before all three Cunard QUEENs meet in New York on January 13; she will meet QUEEN MARY 2 in Sydney on February 22 and in Civitavecchia on April 13; and she will meet QUEEN VICTORIA again in Aruba on January 19.
Special thanks to Maurizio Eliseo, Paolo Piccione, and Peter Knego
MARTIN COX - Founder and publisher of MaritimeMatters, inspired by maritime culture and technology growing up in the port of Southampton. He works as a photographer in Los Angeles, and his works has been exhibited in LA, San Francisco, New York, London and Iceland. Martin is the co-writer of the book “Hollywood to Honolulu; the story of the Los Angeles Steamship Company” published by the Steam Ship Historical Society of America. The Los Angeles Maritime Museum has commissioned artworks and collected his photographs.