Captain’s Log, May 2023 – Cunard Careers
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Captain’s Log, May 2023

As the countdown to one of the most eagerly anticipated ships of the century edges closer, we’ll be giving sneak peeks of Queen Anne’s progress… from the person who knows her best, Captain Inger. 

In the second blog of the series, read about Captain Inger’s ever-increasing excitement, as she watches the development of Queen Anne first-hand. 

THERE have been many milestones in the building of my new ship Queen Anne. 

I have been fortunate enough to witness key moments with my own eyes.  

For others, video clips and stunning images pinged around the world using the technology we take for granted, have kept me both up to date and excited by progress at the shipyard. 

One day firmly anchored in my diary for a long, long while, an occasion I was determined not to miss, was the Float Out. 

As well as being hugely symbolic, I think the moment the completed hull of a new vessel initially meets water is incredibly moving. 

Call it a seafarer’s romantic notion, but this process, when water floods into a previously dry dock, raising the hull of the new ship for the first time, is immensely powerful.   

It’s that transition which sees the complex jigsaw of huge, assembled steel blocks meet water which, I believe, turns a hull into a ship. 

Hours before the dock valves were opened, I descended to the dry floor of the huge construction site at Fincantieri’s Marghera shipyard near Venice. With the flood of hundreds of thousands of litres of water imminent, the dry dock had been cleared and was looking shipshape. 

It was a striking experience to see Queen Anne’s sophisticated azipod propulsion system beneath her stern. 

I walked the 300-plus metre length to the bow, covering the entire distance underneath the hull. There, above my head, were the vast spaces assigned to house all the technical kit and other installations required to keep the ship on the move. And above all this were the 13 passenger decks with the luxurious accommodation and sumptuous public rooms which will become the hallmarks of the 249th ship in our Cunard fleet. 

I stopped my awe-inspiring stroll at the huge bow thrusters – the units which will put such incredible power and manoeuvrability at my fingertips on the bridge. 

Forward of the thrusters, the long, elongated form of Queen Anne’s bulbous bow stretched towards the head of the dock.  

Within a few hours, all of this would be covered in water, the ship assuming her natural state. 

With the immense scale of what will be the second largest Cunarder in the fleet towering above me, and taking in so much of the technical detail of her design and build, it was easy for a moment to lose sight of the fact that Queen Anne also promises to give our guests an unrivalled experience at sea. 

Even before the Float Out, the fitting out of her spectacular public rooms has been continuing at a pace, and two things surprised me since my last visit to the shipyard.  

The first is just how quickly progress is being made. The second is in the astonishing quality of both the design and installation of so many features which I know will become firm favourites of our guests on board – the lounges and bars, the spa and wellbeing complex, the restaurants, the theatre (a truly stunning space) and, perhaps most impressive of all, the Grand Lobby. 

In the coming months these too will come to life, just as the hull did at the Float Out. 

Our partners at Fincantieri have vast skill and experience in the complex processes of modern shipbuilding. Their techniques have transformed the way ships are built. 

It is these new methods which have done away with the conventional launch of the ship’s entire, assembled hull down a slip way. In place of this often-magical moment has come the Float Out. 

Filling a vast dry dock with water is not the work of a few moments in the way sending a hull down a slip way used to be, but our Italian friends certainly made sure the event was both memorable and spectacular. 

Taking centre stage for the ceremony was Queen Anne’s madrina or godmother, Roberta Mundula who was selected for her contribution to ship deliveries at Fincantieri during her almost thirty years of service, and she appeared to be truly thrilled and humbled by her role on the quayside. 

Together during those few hours at the shipyard, we shared many moments reflecting on the honour we both have in being centre-stage as the next chapter of Cunard’s 183-year history is being written. 

And together, we cannot wait to share many more historic moments with you during Queen Anne’s maiden season in 2024. 

Afloat for the first time, our new ship truly is where she belongs.” 

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