February 26, 2010


The following press release has been made by Cunard this week:
Following the appointment of Captain Christopher Wells as Master of its new Queen Elizabeth, Cunard Line has selected three more Senior Officers who will be on board the ship when she enters service in October 2010.

Robert Howie, Hotel Manager

Fife-born Robert Howie brings almost 25 years of experience – on land and at sea – to his new post as Hotel Manager aboard Queen Elizabeth. He held the position of Food and Beverage Manager aboard Queen Mary 2 in the ocean liner’s inaugural year and was then promoted to the prestigious position of Hotel Manager on Cunard’s flagship in 2005. Robert was also the first Hotel Manager on board Queen Victoria when she entered service in December 2007.

As Hotel Manager Robert is in charge of all onboard operations covering housekeeping, food and beverage, entertainment and human resources. Prior to joining Cunard, Howie had served in senior managerial food and beverage positions for Princess Cruises – both shoreside and onboard – since 1990.

Alastair Greener, Entertainment Director

Alastair Greener from Marlborough – about as far from the sea as you can get in the UK – has a love of both the sea and stage: characteristics that will serve him well as he prepares to join Queen Elizabeth as Entertainment Director. Alastair has also served as Cruise Director on both Queen Mary 2 and QE2 and was the first Entertainment Director on board Queen Victoria.

Currently he is the face of the very popular ‘We Are Cunard’ blog which is the site to visit for all the latest news on this new Cunarder. He was also asked to represent CLIA (Cruise Lines International Association) as a media tour spokesperson. Alastair is a member of the British Actors’ Union and has appeared in a wide range of film, theatre and television productions, including the BBC’s ‘House of Cards’ and Warner Brothers’ ‘Black Beauty’.

Prior to Cunard, Greener had joined Princess Cruises in 1997 and served on eight ships within the fleet.

Hamish Sunter, Staff Captain

Despite his Scottish forename, Hamish Sunter is proud to be a Yorkshireman. Halifax-born Captain Sunter joined Cunard in 1990 as an officer on Cunard Princess where he remained for three years. He also obtained his Master’s Certificate at this time. In 1993 he was transferred to QE2 as Junior First Officer and left that ship as Chief Officer in 1998. After two years Hamish was keen to go back to sea which he did in 2000 with P&O Cruises and sailed as First Officer on several of their ships. He returned to Cunard as Chief Officer on Queen Mary 2 in October 2005. He rejoined QE2 as Staff Captain in December 2006 and has also served in that capacity on board Queen Victoria.

Colin Black, Chief Engineer

Colin Black, from East Lothian, joined P&O / Princess Cruises in 1990 as a CPO Mechanic on board Royal Princess. He subsequently moved up the ranks to First Engineer prior to being given the responsibility for the newbuild of Princess Cruises’ Dawn Princess, followed by Ocean Princess. In 2001 he was seconded to the Southampton Office working within the newbuild department and in 2002 he moved across to P&O Cruises serving onboard Oriana, Aurora and then the new Arcadia. Colin’s first appointment as Chief Engineer was onboard Tahitian Princess in 2006 and her sister ship Pacific Princess.

In 2007 he was assigned as Technical Fleet Services Project Manager for Queen Victoria thereafter taking over as Chief Engineer.

Peter Shanks, Cunard President and Managing Director, says:

“Our passengers will be delighted to find so many ‘old friends’ aboard Cunard’s newest ship. One of our distinguishing characteristics is the number and frequency of our repeat guests and they will truly appreciate ‘coming home’ to these familiar faces.”

Queen Elizabeth will feature many unique Cunard traditions linking her with her sisters Queen Mary 2 and Queen Victoria, and their predecessors, together with all the modern day luxuries Cunard’s guests have come to expect. There will also be features that will give the vessel her own style and personality.

The first Queen Elizabeth was one of Cunard’s greatest ships, and the new Queen Elizabeth will reflect her predecessor in interior grandeur, d├ęcor and style, but with a modern twist.

From the outside, her distinctive black and red livery will hint at an experience that differentiates a Cunard liner from a modern-day cruise ship. This will be most evident in the ship’s adherence to liner traditions, with elegant double and triple height public rooms on a grand scale, luxuriously endowed with rich wood panelling, intricate mosaics, hand-woven carpets, gleaming chandeliers, and cool marbles. Art Deco features will pay homage to the original Queen Elizabeth, and will allow the new ship to reflect a more civilized era of travel.

Queen Elizabeth will depart on her Maiden Voyage on Tuesday 12 October 2010. This 13-night celebration will leave from the company’s home port, Southampton, and will call at Vigo, Lisbon, Cadiz, Las Palmas, Santa Cruz de Tenerife (overnight call) and Funchal. 

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