The legendary Cunard Queen Elizabeth 2 on the Hudson River in New York City, October 16, 2008, as she departs for the final time.

03 September, 2009

Captain Chris Wells Appointed Master of New Queen Elizabeth

Cunard has announced the appointment of Captain Chris Wells as Master of the new Queen Elizabeth, currently under construction by the shipyard Fincantieri in Italy.

While I am deeply disappointed that QE2 Master Captain Ian McNaught was not chosen, I am beginning to understand why this appointment was made by Cunard.  While from a public relations standpoint, it would have made complete sense for Captain McNaught to assume command of the new QE3 (I just have a hard time calling it simply QE) and act as a figurative bridge from old to new, the job of the Master during construction will involve overseeing construction in the yard in Italy, and no time at all at sea and no interaction with passengers.  Captain Wells was involved with the construction of QM2 and perhaps is better suited for this role. 

Captain McNaught has been at the helm of Queen Victoria at times since the retirement of QE2 to Dubai.  In fact, I believe he was at command of the Queen Victoria when she called on Port Rashid, Dubai, and tied up right at the stern of QE2.  For those former QE2 crew now on QV, that must have been very difficult to see the ship once again.

I have to admit that this bit of news takes some of the excitement out of the 2011 QE Maiden Tandem Crossing with QV that we have a deposit on.  I was absolutely certain that Cunard would capitalize on Captain McNaught's overwhelming popularity with QE2 fans to lure us unto a new ship.  In fact, I have 2 rooms on deposit on QE for this historic Maiden Crossing and Maiden Call to NYC.  I have time to reconsider either switching ships or canceling altogether.  Perhaps, in the big picture, eventually, Captain McNaught will be back in command of a true liner, the Queen Mary 2.  Time will tell where he lands, but I am of the utmost certainty we shall sail with him once again.

Captain McNaught and my son Ryan, Newcastle, UK, October 8, 2008

No comments:

Post a Comment