QUEEN ELIZABETH Float Out Ceremony

All photos by and copyright Maurizio Eliseo 2010 unless otherwise stated.
January 5, 2010: QUEEN ELIZABETH Float Out Ceremony

Profile of new QUEEN ELIZABETH supplied by Maurizio Eliseo.

“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.”

The exquisite cover of the limited edition, deluxe booklet to commemorate the ceremony, rendered by Maurizio Eliseo.

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.

Ephemera from the Paolo Piccione and Maurizio Eliseo collections for the QUEEN ELIZABETH's Heritage Trail.

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.

Ephemera from the Paolo Piccione and Maurizio Eliseo collections for the QUEEN ELIZABETH's Heritage Trail.

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.

Peter Shanks shows off the three coins to be welded beneath the QUEEN ELIZABETH's mast for good luck: a half crown dated 1938 (the year the first QUEEN ELIZABETH was launched), a sovereign dated 1967 (the year QUEEN ELIZABETH 2 was launched) and a sovereign dated 2010 (to acknowledge the new QUEEN ELIZABETH being floated out in 2010).
Mr. Paolo Capobianco demonstrates how the cord can be severed to launch the bottle.
After the coin ceremony, the new Cunard cruise ship was blessed and a bottle of Italian prossecco was smashed against the hull by the honorary Madrina who launched the bottle by severing its cord with a small axe.

Peter Shanks, Cunard Chairman and CEO, Fincantieri's Monfalcone yard director, Mr Paolo Capobianco, Maurizio Eliseo and Dennie Farmer (honorary godmother).
Water enters QUEEN ELIZABETH's graving dock for the first time.

Special thanks to Maurizio Eliseo, Paolo Piccione, and Peter Knego

Click here for next QUEEN ELIZABETH page: QUEEN ELIZABETH Transfer January 9, 2010

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