I must admit that I don’t read very often, I usually keep my designated reading time for sea days as I am just too busy when on dry land to try and keep up to speed with a book. I have been reading one now since last August! Occasionally, however, I come across one that I open and simply can’t put down – that happened recently!
I give you ‘QM2 A Photographic Journey’ by Chris Frame and Rachelle Cross.
As the title suggests, the book is a visual look at the Queen Mary 2 from bow to stern – literally! It is packed with some wonderful interior images, information on every public space and more, and some quirky little facts. Actually, let me share some of the facts with you now.
Did you know?
The Sliding glass roof above the Pavilion Pool is called a Magrodome
The Britannia Restaurant can cater for up to 1,200 people in a SINGLE seating!
Queen Mary 2 is the largest, longest and most expensive ocean liner ever built
The Galley team are supported by a team of eighty-five dishwashers, pot washers and Galley cleaners who work around the clock!
Queen Mary 2 is the fastest merchant ship currently in service
The books foreword was provided by Commodore R.W. Warwick and reads as follows:
In April 1998, after months of speculation, the Carnival Corporation acquired Cunard Line, and, within a few weeks of doing so, the new owners announced their proposal to build an ocean liner. This ship soon became known as the Queen Mary 2.
After years of Meticulous research and planning, a contract was signed with Chantiers de L’Atlantique, Saint Nazaire, to build the biggest ocean liner the world has ever known. From then on construction progressed with thousands of tons of steel and machinery being delivered to the builders of the ship assigned the yard number G32. On 3 July 2002, exactly 162-years to the day of the maiden voyage of the paddle steamer Britannia, Samuel Cunard’s first ship, I had the honour of giving the order to lay the first keel section of my new ship, the Queen Mary 2.
Several months later I set up residence in Saint Nazaire and watched the vessel grow at a very rapid pace. It was exciting to see the architects’ and designers’ visions of grandeur and elegance becoming a reality. On the Bridge and in the Engine Room the latest in maritime communications technology was being installed to make this new ship the most advanced ocean liner of our time.
On 22 December 2003, eighteen months after the keel was laid, the ship was formally handed over to Cunard Line, and, with only the crew on board, we bid farewell to Saint Nazaire and set sail for Vigo, Spain. For the next few days the crew and I had the ship totally to ourselves to carry out an intensive series of trials and tests. We docked the ship several times and turned her around in her own length using the azimuth-podded propulsion system and bow thrusters. The mooring arrangements, watertight doors and gas turbines were tested. The gangways and tender platforms were rigged. Lifeboats and tenders were launched. The anchors were lowered and emergency drills were carried out. Meanwhile, the Hotel Department were busy preparing cabins and testing the culinary facilities. The Britannia Restaurant was ‘tested’ by 1,000 crew members as we sailed across the Bay of Biscay on Christmas Day, bound for our maiden arrival at Southampton.
These few days of dedicated service by an incredibly proud and enthusiastic crew laid the foundations to introduce the magnificent Queen Mary 2 to the world, and to perpetuate the reign of Cunard Liners on the North Atlantic.
In the ensuing five years, Queen Mary 2 has travelled the world, sailed over 800,000 nautical miles and carried many thousands of passengers. Among those passengers have been Chris Frame and Rachelle Cross. I commend Chris and Rachelle for their dedication in celebrating the first vie years of the QM2 by recording this occasion for maritime history in pictorial form.
This really is a great book, especially for all the ‘Cunader’s’ out there!
Why not drop by Chris’ official Facebook page where you can find out more about everything that is Cunard!