On May 9th 2014 we we're lucky enough to witness Cunard's Three Queens arrive into Southampton together. In the evening we watched the spectacular fireworks display as the Three Queens departed Southampton in convoy.
I do hope that you will enjoy reading this Special Blog as well as taking the time to look through our many photos in the slideshows.
Finally I would like to thank our loyal supporters and followers for their continued support. Thank you!
President & Managing Director
Dream Designs Colchester
THREE QUEENS ARRIVAL
* Queen Elizabeth * Queen Victoria * Queen Mary 2 *
We arrived at Town Quay at around 04:30. Although still very early there was a fair amount of people waiting for the Three Queens to arrive. Before long we got our first sight of Queen Elizabeth as she became visible behind the Queen Elizabeth II Terminal.
As Queen Elizabeth approached the Port of Southampton, she slowed before turning 180 degrees and to berth alongside the Queen Elizabeth II Terminal at her temporary berth. Queen Victoria would then berth in front of Queen Elizabeth bow to bow at the Queen Elizabeth II Terminal. As Queen Elizabeth carefully maneuvered we got a great view of her side on.
Once Queen Elizabeth was almost alongside we got our first sight of Queen Victoria, peering around the bow of Queen Elizabeth. As Queen Victoria continued her approach to her temporary berth in front of Queen Elizabeth the crowd at Town Quay continued to grow.
Queen Victoria slowly but surely approached the Queen Elizabeth II Terminal and as she neared the berth, bow to bow with Queen Elizabeth, between the two sisters we spotted the fire tugboat and then the bow of Queen Mary 2! It made for some good photos of Queen Mary 2 between her two small and younger sister ships, especially when her iconic funnel came into view between Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth.
And then there she was, the birthday girl herself, Queen Mary 2! As my favorite ship it is always a great joy to see her, but to witness her arrival on such a special occasion was quite something. Her flared bow and towering forward superstructure became visible, followed by her iconic funnel again.
Before long Queen Mary 2 was fully visible, having passed the stern of Queen Victoria. It was truly spectacular to see the Three Queens together and they all looked stunning, especially Queen Mary 2! Slowly following her fire tugboat escort, Queen Mary 2 approached her sisters, slowing further as she as alongside them for the three bow formation.
Of course Happy Birthday was also played on the ship's whistles. The sound was a little obscured by the noise of passing boats, the wind and the two helicopters flying nearby, which was a little disappointing.
As Queen Mary 2 maneuvered alongside Ocean Terminal, Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth became visible again. Queen Victoria had began to leave her temporary berth at the Queen Elizabeth II Terminal and started to make her way towards us, to berth alongside City Cruise Terminal.
Once the Three Queens had almost approached their final berthed for the day we decided to make our way back to the hotel, as although the sun was shinning it was still quite cold and very early.
THREE QUEENS SAILAWAY
* Queen Mary 2 * Queen Elizabeth * Queen Victoria *
10th ANNIVERSARY FIREWORKS CELEBRATIONS
Just after 20:00, Queen Elizabeth and Queen Victoria began to move. Queen Elizabeth moved slowly along the Queen Elizabeth II Terminal, where Queen Victoria had temporary berthed in front of her in the morning, only facing outwards ready for the departure. Queen Victoria carefully turned, aided by a tugboat close by before passing Town Quay where the crowd had dramatically increased in size.
Not only had the crowd of onlookers on Town Quay increased, but the number of small boats and craft on the Solent had too. As the light faded Queen Victoria berthed alongside the Queen Elizabeth II Terminal, this time behind her sister Queen Elizabeth facing her stern.
Once Queen Mary 2 was in position and perfectly on time the first firework lit up the sky, water and Queen Mary 2 herself. The ten minute display was truly spectacular and Queen Mary 2 was so close to Town Quay we could her the music playing on board! The grand finale was incredible and the crowd cheered and applauded. The Three Queens then saluted each other on their whistles.
Harry Cotterill, President & Managing Director, Dream Designs Colchester, said:
"We were felt thrilled and honoured to be part of Queen Mary 2's 10th Anniversary Celebrations and to witness the arrival of the Three Queens into Southampton, along with the spectacular fireworks display. It was truly magnificent!!!"
"We are so enormously proud to have such a close connection with Cunard Line and to have our drawings displayed aboard each of the Three Queens. We looking forward to celebrating the 175th Anniversary of Cunard Line next year."