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
Cost: UK£350 million (approx.)[1](US$560 million)
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
Length: 294 m (965 ft)
Beam: 32.3 m (106 ft)
Draught: 8 m (26 ft)
Decks: 16 total
12 accessible to passengers
Installed power: 4 × MaK 12VM43C
2 × MaK 8M43C
64,000 kW (combined)
Propulsion: Diesel-electric
Two ABB Azipods (2 × 17.6 MW)
Three ABB bow thrusters (3 × 2,200 kW)
Speed: 23.7 knots (43.9 km/h; 27.3 mph)
Capacity: 2,092 passengers lower beds, 2,547 maximum passengers
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 [2]operated by the Cunard Line. She is the second largest ship constructed for Cunard, exceeded only by Queen Mary 2, and is capable of carrying up to 2,092 passengers.[1] 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.[1]

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).[3] 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 at the same time as 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.[4][5]

The first master of Queen Elizabeth was Captain Christopher Wells.[6]



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).[7]

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.[8]


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.[9] 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.[10] 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).[11]


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.[12] 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.[13] 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.[14]

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.[15]

At the end of October 2011 Queen Elizabeth and her fleet mates changed their registries to Hamilton, Bermuda, in order to host weddings aboard.[16]

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.[17]

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.[23]

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.[24]

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.[25]

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.[26]



  1. ^ a b c Cunard Line (10 October 2007). "Cunard to Build "Queen Elizabeth"". 
  2. ^ "Queen Elizabeth History - Chris' Cunard Page - The Concept". Retrieved 25 September 2015. 
  3. ^ "Cunard - Welcome to the latest news from Cunard". Cunard. Retrieved 25 September 2015. 
  4. ^ "Work begins in Portsmouth on Royal Navy's aircraft carrier". BBC News. 16 February 2012. Retrieved 6 April 2012. 
  5. ^ "House of Commons Hansard Written Answers for 21 Nov 2011". HM Government. 21 November 2011. Retrieved 6 April 2012. 
  6. ^ "Breaking News – The Master is Appointed For Queen Elizabeth". Cunard Blog. 7 September 2009. Retrieved 14 September 2009. 
  7. ^ "Queen Elizabeth". Cunard. Retrieved 27 September 2015. 
  8. ^ "The History, Construction and Design of Queen Mary 2". Sealetter Travel Inc. Retrieved 4 October 2015. 
  9. ^ "Queen Elizabeth Press Launch". Cunard Line - Press Release. 2009-03-17. Retrieved 2009-03-17. 
  10. ^ "Britannia Club". Cunard. 
  11. ^ "Queen Elizabeth". Avid Cruiser. Retrieved 4 October 2015. 
  12. ^ "The Queen WILL name the Queen! (10556)". Retrieved 25 September 2015. 
  13. ^ Peter Woodman (11 October 2010). "Queen officially names luxury liner". The Independent. Retrieved 6 September 2012. 
  14. ^ Charles Starmer-Smith (1 September 2010). "Queen to name Cunard's new ship". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 6 September 2012. 
  15. ^ "MS Queen Elizabeth naming ceremony highlights". Cunard. Retrieved 26 September 2015. 
  16. ^ "It's Official: Cunard Re-flags Ships in Bermuda, Launches Weddings at Sea". Cruise Critic. 19 October 2011. Retrieved 1 September 2013. 
  17. ^ "Cruise regulations put Svalbard off-limits". The Telegraph. 17 March 2014. Retrieved 4 October 2015. 
  18. ^ "Sir David Frost, broadcaster and writer, dies at 74". BBC. 1 September 2013. Retrieved 1 September 2013. 
  19. ^ "Cruise Result". Retrieved 25 September 2015. 
  20. ^ "Iconic Cunard Line Queens to Meet for Historic Royal Rendezvous in New York Harbour on 13 January". PR New Wire. 8 December 2010. Retrieved 4 October 2015. 
  21. ^ "Cunard Line Announces 2012-2013 Deployment". Retrieved 25 September 2015. 
  22. ^ "Hafen Hamburg - "Queen Mary 2" und "Queen Elizabeth" im Doppelpack". Hamburger Abendblatt. 
  23. ^ "Queen Elizabeth and Queen Mary to meet in first Cunard royal rendezvous". Breaking Travel News. 2 March 2013. Retrieved 4 October 2015. 
  24. ^ "Do you come here often? Cunard's three royal ladies, the liners Queen Elizabeth, Queen Mary 2 and Queen Victoria dock in Lisbon for family portrait". Daily Mail. 6 June 2014. Retrieved 4 October 2015. 
  25. ^ "Pictures of the day". The Telegraph. 9 May 2014. Retrieved 4 October 2015. 
  26. ^ "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]