MS Queen Elizabeth

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Not to be confused with RMS Queen Elizabeth or Queen Elizabeth 2.
Queen Elizabeth in Tallinn 7 July 2011.JPG
Queen Elizabeth in Tallinn, 10 June 2011
Name: Queen Elizabeth
Owner: Carnival Corporation & plc
Operator: Cunard Line
Port of registry: 2011–present: Hamilton,  Bermuda
2010–2011: Southampton,  United Kingdom
Ordered: October, 2007
Builder: Fincantieri Monfalcone Shipyard, Italy[1]
Cost: UK£350 million (approx.)[2](US$560 million)[1]
Yard number: 6187
Laid down: 2 July 2009
Launched: 5 January 2010
Christened: 11 October 2010
by Queen Elizabeth II
Completed: October 2010
Maiden voyage: 12 October 2010
In service: October 2010
Identification: Callsign ZCEF2
IMO number: 9477438
MMSI number: 310625000
Status: In service
General characteristics
Class and type: Vista Class cruise ship
Tonnage: 90,901 GT[1]
Length: 294 m (965 ft)[1]
Beam: 32.3 m (106 ft)[1]
Draught: 8 m (26 ft)[1]
Decks: 16 total
12 accessible to passengers[1]
Installed power: 4 × MaK 12VM43C
2 × MaK 8M43C
64,000 kW (combined)[1]
Propulsion: Diesel-electric
Two ABB Azipods (2 × 17.6 MW)
Three ABB bow thrusters (3 × 2,200 kW)[1]
Speed: 23.7 knots (43.9 km/h; 27.3 mph)
Capacity: 2,092 passengers lower beds, 2,547 maximum passengers[1]
Queen Elizabeth outbound from Southampton on her maiden voyage, 2010
MS Queen Elizabeth in Cádiz, 2010
Queen Elizabeth in Tallinn, 2012
Queen Elizabeth in Kobe, 2014
Queen Elizabeth in Kobe, 2014

MS Queen Elizabeth is a Vista-class cruise ship [3]operated by the Cunard Line. She is the second largest ship to be constructed for Cunard, exceeded only by Queen Mary 2, and is capable of carrying up to 2,092 passengers.[2] The ship is running mate to Queen Victoria and Queen Mary 2.

Queen Elizabeth is a modified design and she is slightly larger than Queen Victoria, at 92,000 GT, largely due to a more vertical stern.[2]

The ship's name was announced by Cunard on 10 October 2007. The company now operates three vessels once more (since the retirement of Queen Elizabeth 2 in 2008).[4] The naming of the ship as Queen Elizabeth brings about a situation similar to that between 1940 and 1948, when Cunard's original Queen Elizabeth was in service simultaneously with the Royal Navy battleship HMS Queen Elizabeth. The Royal Navy plans to introduce the aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth into service in 2016, six years after this ship joined the fleet.[5][6]

The first master of Queen Elizabeth was Captain Chris Wells.[7]



Queen Elizabeth is almost identical in design to the Queen Victoria, although because of the steeper stern, her passenger capacity is slightly higher (2,058 to Queen Victoria's 2,014).[8] Also because of this difference, the largest suites at the stern of Queen Elizabeth have smaller balconies.[9][10][not in citation given] At the forward end of deck 11, there is a roof covering the games deck, unlike the sports deck on Queen Victoria though it provides limited weather protection as the canvas covering is not contiguous.[11][not in citation given] The whistle of Queen Elizabeth is a copy of the one fitted to the original Queen Elizabeth.

Also unlike many previous Cunard Queens, Queen Elizabeth is not a true ocean liner as she does not have the heavy plating throughout the hull nor the propulsion system of a dedicated transatlantic liner. However the bow was constructed with heavier plating to cope with the Transatlantic run, and the ship has a high freeboard. During construction Queen Mary 2 had cost approximately $300,000 US per berth, nearly double that of many contemporary cruise ships, so Cunard made the economical decision to base Queen Elizabeth on an enhanced Vista-class cruise ship.


Although having an almost identical interior arrangement to Queen Victoria, the decor is very different. The ship is a tribute to the two previous Queen Elizabeths: the original Queen Elizabeth and the QE2. She also evokes the era of the 1930s, in which Cunard's first Queen Elizabeth was launched, with many art deco interior touches.[12] The ship also features a Britannia Club section of the main restaurant, which is a feature popular on Queen Mary 2, but not available on Queen Victoria. This service allows passengers in the Britannia staterooms to have single seating dining arrangements, without having to upgrade to the more expensive Grills classes.[13] The sliding roof over the Winter Garden featured on Queen Victoria is replaced with a simple glass roof (the space being renamed The Garden Lounge).


Following the ship's construction in Italy from 2007 to 2010, Cunard Line officially confirmed that Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II would name Cunard's new ship.[14] The ceremony was held in Southampton on Monday 11 October 2010 before the ship set sail on her maiden voyage to the Canary Islands the following day.[15] The Queen was also the sponsor of the now-retired Queen Elizabeth 2 in 1967 and Cunard's current flagship, Queen Mary 2, in 2004.[16]

Service history[edit]

On Monday 4 October 2010 Queen Elizabeth was formally handed over to Cunard. She sailed on her maiden voyage from Southampton on Tuesday 12 October 2010, following a naming ceremony with the monarch on Monday 11 October 2010. Her maiden voyage included calls at the Spanish port of Vigo before heading for Lisbon, Cadiz, Gran Canaria, Tenerife, La Palma and Madeira.

The ship made several European cruises until she departed on her first world cruise, leaving Southampton on 5 January 2011 and calling at New York, Fort Lauderdale, Aruba and Limon before transiting the Panama Canal. She would then call at Acapulco, Cabo San Lucas and Los Angeles before crossing the Pacific Ocean to Lahaina, Honolulu, Apia, Pago Pago, Fiji, Bay of Islands, Auckland, Wellington, Sydney, Melbourne, Fremantle, Kota Kinabalu, Hong Kong (thus sailing close to the location where her predecessor RMS Queen Elizabeth caught fire and capsized in 1972). Stops in south-east Asia would include Nha Trang, Ho Chi Minh City, Ko Samui, Langkawi, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur and Penang. She would then cross the Indian Ocean westbound for Kochi, Mumbai and Muscat. This would be followed by a journey westbound again across the Arabian Sea before passing through the Strait of Hormuz to call at Dubai in the Persian Gulf, where she would be berthed close to her predecessor RMS Queen Elizabeth 2 for the first time. After calling at Salalah and Aqaba, the ship would transit the Suez Canal. Westbound Mediterranean calls would be at Athens and Rome, then passing through the Strait of Gibraltar to make a final call at Lisbon before returning to Southampton.

At the end of October 2011 Queen Elizabeth and her fleet mates changed their registries to Hamilton, Bermuda, in order to host weddings aboard.[17]

On 29 June 2012, the ship made her one and only visit to Ny-Ålesund, in Svalbard. The previous scheduled visit in 2011 had to be aborted due to bad weather. She is not scheduled to visit Svalbard in her 2013 schedule. Newly introduced legislation relating to cruise ships visiting the archipelago (applicable from 2014) mean that Queen Elizabeth will never be able to visit again.

On 31 August 2013, British journalist and broadcaster Sir David Frost had been invited to give a speech by Cunard whilst travelling on the ship but died of a heart attack.[18]

In summer 2014 the ship is likely to stay in the Mediterranean Sea to offer cruises from Barcelona and Venice.[19]

Cunard Royal Rendezvous[edit]

13 January 2011:
Two years after the first Cunard Royal Rendezvous, RMS Queen Mary 2 met up with Queen Victoria and the then brand new Queen Elizabeth for another Royal Rendezvous in New York City. Both Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth made an Atlantic crossing in tandem for the event. All three Cunarders met in front of the Statue of Liberty at 6:45 pm for a Grucci fireworks display. The Empire State Building was lit up in red to mark the event.[20]

5 June 2012:
All three 'Queens' met once more, but this time in Southampton in order to celebrate the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.[21]

15 July 2012:
Both Queen Elizabeth and Queen Mary 2 visited Hamburg the first time together.[22]

12 March 2013: Passed the former Cunard ship Queen Mary, currently a hotel in Long Beach, California, for the first time along with fireworks display.

6 May 2014: All three Queens met up for the first time in Lisbon, Portugal in preparation for Queen Mary 2s 10th birthday. All three on departure sailed in a one-line formation to Southampton.

9 May 2014: Both Queen Elizabeth and Queen Victoria led in single file, Queen Mary 2 up the Southampton channel, with both ships docking in a bow to bow formation performing a birthday salute to Queen Mary 2. Later on, all three Cunarders gather for a fireworks display in which Queen Mary 2 led both the Queen Elizabeth and Queen Victoria back down the channel.

The Queen Elizabeth at Liverpool Cruise Terminal, on 25 May 2015, after the Cunard 175 celebration

25 May 2015: The three 'Queens' at Liverpool celebrating 175 years of the formation of the Cunard Line, which was formed and based at Liverpool. At low tide, the three ships stopped in line in middle of the River Mersey, bow to stern, turned 180 degrees in full synchronisation with each other (called a river dance), and then formed an arrow side by side. The Queen Mary 2 was in the centre with its bow in line with the Cunard Building at the Pier Head. The RAF Red Arrows performed a flypast in Vic formation, emitting red, white and blue smoke, over the vessels. An estimated 1.3 million people lined the river banks to witness the spectacle.[23]

Queen Elizabeth first birthday[edit]

On 12 October 2011 Queen Elizabeth celebrated her first birthday in Valletta, Malta. In her first year, Queen Elizabeth visited 108 different destinations and travelled 123,351 nautical miles. As part of her insights programme she has had 78 speakers onboard; some of these celebrities and speakers were Lord Jeffrey Archer, Ruth Scott, Brian Hoey, and Robert Kershaw.



  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "A new queen joins Cunard". 2010-11-01. Retrieved 2011-11-19. 
  2. ^ a b c Cunard Line (10 October 2007). "Cunard to Build "Queen Elizabeth"". 
  3. ^
  4. ^ Cunard - Welcome to the latest news from Cunard
  5. ^ "Work begins in Portsmouth on Royal Navy's aircraft carrier". BBC News. 16 February 2012. Retrieved 6 April 2012. 
  6. ^ "House of Commons Hansard Written Answers for 21 Nov 2011". HM Government. 21 November 2011. Retrieved 6 April 2012. 
  7. ^ "Breaking News – The Master is Appointed For Queen Elizabeth". Cunard Blog. 7 September 2009. Retrieved 14 September 2009. 
  8. ^ Ship facts[dead link]
  9. ^ QE suites
  10. ^ QV suites[dead link]
  11. ^ Games Deck
  12. ^ "Queen Elizabeth Press Launch". Cunard Line - Press Release. 2009-03-17. Retrieved 2009-03-17. 
  13. ^ QE Britannia Club
  14. ^ The Queen WILL name the Queen!
  15. ^ Peter Woodman (11 October 2010). "Queen officially names luxury liner". The Independent. Retrieved 6 September 2012. 
  16. ^ Charles Starmer-Smith (1 September 2010). "Queen to name Cunard's new ship". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 6 September 2012. 
  17. ^ "It's Official: Cunard Re-flags Ships in Bermuda, Launches Weddings at Sea". Cruise Critic. 19 October 2011. Retrieved 1 September 2013. 
  18. ^ "Sir David Frost, broadcaster and writer, dies at 74". BBC. 1 September 2013. Retrieved 1 September 2013. 
  19. ^ Cruise Results
  20. ^ Cunard - Cunard Royal Rendezvous
  21. ^ Cunard Line Announces 2012-2013 Deployment - Cruise Industry News | Cruise News
  22. ^ Hafen Hamburg - "Queen Mary 2" und "Queen Elizabeth" im Doppelpack - Hamburg - Hamburg-Mitte - Hamburger Abendblatt
  23. ^ "Three Queens: Eyes of the world on Liverpool for Cunard's 175th anniversary". Liverpool Echo. Retrieved 29 May 2015. 


  • Dawson, Philip (2010). Queen Elizabeth: a celebration of ocean travel for modern Elizabethan times (2nd ed.). Ramsey, Isle of Man: Lily Publications. ISBN 9781906608224. 
  • Frame, Chris; Cross, Rachelle (2011). Queen Elizabeth: a photographic journey. Stroud, Gloucestershire, UK: The History Press. ISBN 9780752459165. 
  • Thiel, Ingo (2011). Queen Elizabeth: elegance at sea. Bielefeld, Germany: Delius Klasing. ISBN 9783768833226. 
  • Wills, Elspeth (2011). Cunard Queens: the story of the six Cunard Line Queens. London: Open Agency. ISBN 9780954245191. 

External links[edit]