Recently, Cartagena was graced with the presence of the Cunard cruise ship Queen Victoria and although it has visited previously, it is always good to see vessels of this famous line here.

Many of us will well remember two great Cunard Liners; Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth and my pictures include miniature original paintings of each. The former liner Queen Mary sailed primarily on the North Atlantic Ocean service from 1936 to 1967 and is preserved as a hotel and museum in Long Beach California.  I would recommend anyone not having visited previously to do so, as it is a wonderful example of cross Atlantic opulence during that era. There is a video online at https// giving the history, a must watch, being second best to actually visiting and boarding the ship in California.  I have boarded twice and never tire of this wonderful experience of maritime history.

I am demonstrating my age, but am pleased that I observed both Mary and Elizabeth, the two ships operating the cross-Atlantic service on a number of occasions; the last was during the seaman’s strike in May 1966 – a truly demoralising sight –  these two vessels together with MANY others temporarily out of service, seen by myself at Southampton,

The second well known Cunarder, Queen Elizabeth, operated the cross-Atlantic service in tandem with Mary on a weekly luxury liner service between Southampton and New York via Cherbourg.

On the ‘net’ there is a detailed history of this second great liner following withdrawal from service and tragically destroyed by fire in Hong Kong harbour when there were plans to convert into a university.

Today there are three Cunard ships now cruising (as opposed to previously operating a cross Atlantic liner operation) – Queen Mary 2, Queen Elizabeth and Queen Victoria.  All three have visited Cartagena previously with the latter, Queen Victoria, being here recently and my main pictures feature this ship’s call; pictured firstly with harbour cruise Turistico Barco in the foreground and on subsequent departure.

Of my flag possessions on departure as a farewell, wishing bon voyage, thanking for the visit, from my position I displayed the Cunard House flag, together with the Spanish and Red Ensign banners – the latter that, though the ship, as the other two vessels in the fleet, are registered in Hamilton Bermuda, Cunard, is a British American line based in Southampton, England. The familiar red and black funnel is an extremely welcome visitor to Cartagena and long may these visits continue.

As a footnote, Samuel Cunard, founder of the Line was born in Halifax,  Nova Scotia, Canada,  November 1787 and subsequently moved to the UK 1838, passing away in London April 1865.

I would like to take the opportunity to wish ALL an extremely Happy New Year and anyone taking a cruise during 2020 – ENJOY. As mentioned in last month’s publication, I booked a 7 day Med Christmas cruise, on a brand new large Italian vessel MSC Grandiosa which departed from Barcelona on 19th December, so fingers crossed I will be in a position to take pictures for next month’s publication AND NOT JUST SHIPS!