Remarks of Carol Marlow,
Cunard Line President and
Managing Director. at the
13 January 2008
in New York City
QUEEN ELIZABETH 2
QUEEN MARY 2
On 13 January 2008, the entire Cunard fleet - - QUEEN MARY 2, QUEEN
ELIZABETH 2 and QUEEN VICTORIA - - met in New York harbor. In the evening,
they departed as a fireboat shot water into the night sky and a fireworks display
was held near the Statue of Liberty. During the day, Cunard President Carol
Marlow met with New York’s press corps at the newly refurbished Pier 88 along
with George Fertitta, CEO of NYC & Company and New York City Deputy Mayor
for Economic Development and Rebuilding Robert C. Lieber. Among other things
it was pointed out that 43.8 million people had visited New York in 2007 and that
the cruise industry contributed $1 billion in direct spending to the New York
economy in 2006. Ms. Marlow made the following remarks:
We’ve been coming over to New York in various guises and in various ships since
1847. The HIBERINIA was the first ship to come into New York harbor, her first
direct transatlantic crossing from Liverpool over to New York, and we have been
coming ever since.
We thoroughly enjoy bringing our guests here. We are going to be bringing our
ships, whether it is QUEEN VICTORIA, QUEEN MARY 2 or QE2 over here over
30 times in 2008. Of course, every time we bring a ship in, there is a great positive
economic impact on New York. Our guests love to be here, they love to spend
We are here today for two different celebrations: The first being that this is the
maiden call for QUEEN VICTORIA. She was launched back in December, one
month ago. A spectacular naming ceremony - - she was named by her Royal
Highness the Duchess of Cornwall, Camilla, and her husband, his Royal Highness
the Prince of Wales, Prince Charles, was also in attendance. We were delighted to
have them for the very first ship naming ever that they have performed together.
The vessel now is on her very first world cruise and this is the very first call on her
very first world cruise. It is very appropriate that New York should be the
destination. New York is one of 37 different destinations on this voyage. She is
away for 106 days and she is calling in 23 different countries - - a remarkable voyage.
We have about a thousand people actually boarding the ship today. The rest - - she
carries around 2,000 people - - boarded in Southampton but we have about a
thousand coming on board, many of whom will be residents of the local area.
Our second milestone today is that we have all three Queens here in New York.
This is the first time they have all met. In fact, since December, we have had three
Cunard Queens in our fleet, the first time in our 158-year history that we have had
three Queens. We are delighted to have them all here today in New York because
New York is actually the port that Cunard has been continuously for the longest
period of time. We have come continuously to New York more and for a longer
period than we have for Southampton in England, which is their homeport, but also
Liverpool, which was the home of Cunard in the 1800s. So, this really is a very
special place for us.
It is not only special because this is the first time we have had these three ships
together, it is special because it will never happen again. QE2 is leaving our fleet to
go on to pastures new in November of this year and they are not programmed to
meet in any other port between now and then.
So, this is a truly momentous occasion. For the maritime buffs amongst us including
me, it is a spine tingling time and tonight when they leave together they will be just by
the Statue of Liberty for a period of time when we will shoot up some fabulous
fireworks by Grucci and I think everyone will have an amazing time. They came in
together this morning and they are leaving together tonight.
It is particularly meaningful that we have the three Queens having their rendezvous
by the Statue of Liberty because Cunard over the years has brought over two and a
half million emigrants from the old world to the new in the late 1800s and early
1900s. Of course, the vast majority of those people stepped ashore in North America
for the very first time on Ellis Island. So, it is particularly poignant that our three
Queens should meet there.
Of course, nowadays, we are seeing a great revival and a renaissance in the number
of people wanting to travel across the Atlantic by ship. The QUEEN MARY has
been in service doing that run now for the last four years and this is her 80th crossing
that she has recently completed. So, they are bringing more and more people across
the Atlantic by ship.
The journey is a little different now than it was in the 1800s as you can imagine --
still an authentic ocean liner experience but this time in the height of luxury, fine
dining and excellent service. And, if you sail on one of our vessels, for example,
QUEEN VICTORIA, whether it is on one of her transatlantics - - she has just
completed her first transatlantic - - or her world cruise or indeed, her voyages to the
Mediterranean that she is going to be doing next summer, you can enjoy some
fabulous features to the ship: her two deck library with over 6,000 books; her
Cunardia museum, which tells the story, the fascinating story of the Cunard Queens;
or maybe the Royal Court Theater, which is a magnificent theater - - the only theater
at sea with private boxes and the only theater at sea with a royal box officially
inaugurated by Prince Charles and his good wife a month ago. So, she is a
spectacular ship. As you can imagine, when she leaves here she is going to be
carrying about 3,000 bottles of champagne, round about 2,800 lobsters - - all of
which will be used before the end of the month and then she will stock up again. She
does offer the heights of luxury.
The closing remark I should make is that this meeting of the Queens starts the next
chapter in Cunard’s history. We had to wait after QE2 came into service some 37
years before we found our next Queen joining us and that was obviously QUEEN
MARY 2. Now, we have only had to wait three years for QUEEN VICTORIA to
join us and I am delighted to say that it will be less than three years before we
welcome another Queen to the Cunard fleet. That will be QUEEN ELIZABETH, the
new ship that is joining us in 2010. So, again the Cunard fleet continues to grow. Of
course, ladies and gentlemen, New York will be one of the very first major calls that
[In response to a question on QUEEN VICTORIA’s first crossing and the logistics
of arranging the meeting of the three ships, Ms. Marlow stated:] These are ocean
liners and yes, we come across the ocean to our destinations. Yes, we didn’t have
the smoothest crossing across the Atlantic this time around but after the first few days
it did subside a little and the ships were still able to make it on time, in fact they all
came in just a little early. QUEEN MARY 2 came up from the Caribbean.
In terms of the logistics of that, we plan our programs some 18 months to two
years in advance so this has been planned for a very long time. We put together the
schedules and our guests noticed that all of our Queens would be in New York at the
same time and as you can imagine, the sale of these voyages were very strong.
The logistics of all our guests disembarking and going off to enjoy themselves in
New York went extremely smoothly and we were helped greatly by all of the
authorities here in New York, by the Coast Guard and by the Customs gentlemen.
And I have to say it has been an incredibly smooth day so far. We have already
embarked our guests for the next voyage.
[In response to a question concerning the future QUEEN ELIZABETH, Ms.
Marlow stated:] We have not announced too much about her yet because obviously
QUEEN VICTORIA has had her launch and her introduction. QUEEN
ELIZABETH will be most similar to QUEEN VICTORIA than to the other ships in
our fleet but there will be some differences. We will over the next few months be
revealing those, announcing those, as we get the ship construction underway. But
she will be most like QUEEN VICTORIA.
[In response to a question on whether Cunard will build a ship larger than QUEEN
MARY 2, Ms. Marlow stated:] We don’t like to get ahead of ourselves at Cunard.
We make a success of the ships we have and then we look to the future. QUEEN
MARY 2 is certainly an extremely successful ship. She does the transatlantic run
extremely well and very comfortably. We are very happy with her as a ship. As to
whether we go larger or not, we will see.”
[Adding to Deputy Mayor Lieber’s response to a question concerning the impact of
foreign tourists on New York City’s economy, Ms. Marlow stated:] From Cunard’s
perspective, when you come across the Atlantic and then go back again on a ship,
you don’t have a baggage restriction. I can testify to the fact that our guests’ baggage
is getting bigger and bigger.
Ms. Marlow during the press conference.
New York City Deputy Mayor Robert C. Lieber
(left) reads a proclamation issued by Mayor
Michael Bloomberg decalring 13 January 2008
"Cunard Royal Rendezvous Day" in New York
City while Ms. Marlow and George Fertitta, CEO
of NYC & Company look on.
QE2 at Pier 92 as seen from QUEEN VICTORIA.
QUEEN VICTORIA towers over Pier 88
Above: The bows of the three Queens. Left to right: QUEEN VICTORIA; QUEEN ELIZABETH 2; and QUEEN MARY 2.
Below: The lights of the three ships near the tip of Manhattan (left); the silhouette of QE2 against the New York skyline.
Cruise shiparticle - Cunard - Remarks of Carol Marlow - New York January 2008
For an article on the 2008 Royal Rendezvous
For a photo essay on the 2011 Royal