Good morning, afternoon, evening,

I hope most reading this managed to get a break from Zoom over the long weekend. I didn’t. But I did switch from Zoom work mode to Zoom social mode and continued living in front of the camera, just a different set of faces.

So QM2 is back in Southampton. Hoorah! She’s in City Terminal, so makes great viewing from the office… were any of us able to be there. In lieu of that, see the photo below (courtesy Vicky Summers who clearly lives way too close to the office). QM2’s a magnificent ship and I can’t wait to be back on board. Plus, it’s hard to believe, but I almost felt nostalgic seeing the office in the pic!

The very first thing I did this morning was to pick up the phone to check in with Captain Aseem Hashmi – it was a fantastic moment when he reported that QM2 was indeed in Southampton and that all was well with Guests and crew. As we spoke, Guests were disembarking and heading off to their homes. The majority are UK residents but for a few there are further travels, some to the USA, others to further flung parts of Europe. Captain Christopher Wells now takes over as Master of the ship but only after being in isolation onboard for 14 days… so not quite over for Captain Hashmi as yet – our great thanks to him and all the team on QM2 for sailing back the long haul from Australia, with enough adventure along the way to last a lifetime.

QV is still in Southampton and is facing a challenging time right now. As mentioned last week, we’re worried about some of the crew who have fallen ill and we’re doing our very best to make sure they receive the appropriate care. Our thoughts are with them for a speedy recovery. Rest assured they’ll be getting our full support throughout this period.

I can reveal that QE is heading north from Australia towards Manilla and should arrive around Sunday. We’ll be trying to reunite as many Filipino team members back with their families as we possibly can.

More generally, our priority right now is to get crew members home with their families. We’ll have only essential crew remain onboard during our pause in operations to look after the ships and ensure they remain safe.

Furlough has begun for a number of UK based team members, which I’m sure will be strange for both those on furlough and those still working. Do remember to include those team members on furlough in update communications and online social activities.

Congrats to Yvonne for winning the wine last week and thanks to everyone who had a stab at a very tough question. Gary Anslow gets the wooden spoon with his shocking guess (wrong ship, wrong location, wrong event … I think he’s pitching for more time on the ships). This week, a different take … check out the pic below: which ship, what year, where was she and what are we looking at? I think this might be a bit easy, so you’ll have to be quick. Wine is of course the prize!

Do hang in there and I look forward to seeing the UK and German teams on our Friday Zoomathon which Josh will be joining, so wheel out your most tricky questions 

Stay safe and all best wishes

Simon Palethorpe
President, Cunard

Read all of Simon’s updates here

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