A Reply From Cunard

Adam Went

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Apr 28, 2003
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Hey all,

There's recently been discussion on another thread about the possibility of Cunard planning a special cruise to the Titanic site for the centenary in 2012. I e-mailed them about it and had been waiting for a response, and today received one. This is what they had to say:

"Dear Mr Went

Thank you for your email.

I am not aware of any specific celebrations concerning the anniversary of Titanic's maiden voyage however, I am sure that this will be noted in someway on-board.

Generally on all transatlantic crossings, the location of Titanic is recorded on the ships navigational map which is displayed for guests to watch the daily progress. As a mark of respect our ships always deviate around slightly and never cross the exact location.

Your comments will be passed to our Marketing Department for their information.

I hope this information has helped to answer your enquiry and we look forward to welcoming you on board soon.

Kind regards

Lesley Cardy
Cunard Administration Team
Carnival UK"

So not a bad response. I do hope they decide to do something a bit more original and special closer to the time though.
 

Jerry Nuovo

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Adam,There are 2 other cruise lines already taking reservations for voyages out to the Titanic wrecksite on the 100th anniversary in 2012.I think that it is best that any of the 3 Cunard Ships that are in the area of the Titanic wrecksite on or close to the 100th Anniversary just do what was done aboard the now retired QE2 when she was in the area of the Titanic wrecksite in 2008.And that is just have a simple memorial ceremony in which a wreath is tossed onto the North Atlantic. Regards,Jerry
 

Ernie Luck

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Nov 24, 2004
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My wife and I have just returned from back to back transatlantic voyages 2 & 3 2010 on the QM2. We were advised the time the ship would be nearest to the Titanic wreck site and on the return journey to the UK we were 30 miles north of the location at 9.00pm on Saturday evening. It was interesting to note that the water temperature plummeted to zero centigrade as we approached the Grand Banks of Newfoundland
 

Adam Went

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Apr 28, 2003
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Hey Jerry and Ernie,

Thanks for the info. Interesting to see what their way of going about it is. I agree that a simple ceremony on board the ship that is nearest at the time would be great as well, but given that it will be the centenary and therefore a very special occasion, perhaps something different needs to be done, like actually altering course slightly to be at the wreck site at the time of the sinking to hold a remembrance service there. It would definitely be eerie, and not for the faint of heart, but if it was especially planned, many of those who would sail would be Titanic buffs anyway. Having said that, anything would be better than nothing!

Anyway, Cunard and White Star were of course major rivals back in the day....maybe old rivalries die hard. ;-)
 

Jason D. Tiller

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I was aboard the QM2 in April 2004, during her maiden transatlantic voyage and on the fourth day out, we were advised that we were 90 miles northwest of the wreck site. A bunch of us, including Ken Marschall held a memorial service at the stern and a wreath was thrown into the ocean. The memorial service was organized by us as a group, not by the ship's crew. It was simple and very moving.

Due to time constraints, since they are on a tight schedule they can't stop at the wreck site. Other than mentioning it on the ship and a possible memorial service, I doubt that they will do anymore than that.
 

Ernie Luck

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Nov 24, 2004
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Hi Jason

Cunard have now added a day to the transatlantic journey, six days instead of five; an economy measure as the gas turbines are very heavy on fuel. The average speed was about 18-22 knots. she is capable of 30 knots with the gas turbines brought into use. The Commodore gives a daily report just after midday and he mentioned that last year was a bad one for icebergs and they had to take a longer circular route. He said we were 200 miles from the nearest Iceberg which was reassuring. For a charity they auction the map used for plotting the route on each voyage and the Titanic wreck site is marked on this. It sold for $750 on both trips.

People are getting fed up with air travel and all the various problems which are prevalent these days. I can see transatlantic liners coming into their own again. I was fingerprinted on arrival at New York and I only wanted a cup of tea. (joke). Actually we enjoyed a coach tour of the highlights concluding with a visit to the site of the Twin towers trade centre.
 

Jason D. Tiller

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Hi Ernie,

quote:

Cunard have now added a day to the transatlantic journey, six days instead of five
I think I saw that recently, in one of the brochures that Cunard sends to me. It's great for the passengers, as they get to enjoy another full day at sea.

quote:

I can see transatlantic liners coming into their own again.
I agree, it could very well happen, especially with the world as it is today.

quote:

I was fingerprinted on arrival at New York and I only wanted a cup of tea. (joke).
LOL!

quote:

Actually we enjoyed a coach tour of the highlights concluding with a visit to the site of the Twin towers trade centre
Sounds like some good sightseeing. I take it you made the return trip on board QM2 later that day?​
 

Ernie Luck

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Yes Jason, It was a very brief visit, arriving about 6.30am and leaving at 5.00pm. Sailing into New York was the highlight of the trip. On departure there was a strong wind blowing the ship towards Brooklyn Pier and two tugs were needed to get sufficient clearance; an unusual event apparently.

There were 370 passengers on board who did the return trip - a very good deal was on offer in February. It was almost as cheap as sailing one way and flying home. Rather ironic that the Volcano problems created a 1000 strong waiting list in the end. Quite a lot of passengers who arrived at Southampton on the Queen Victoria transferred to the Queen Mary 2 for the return trip to New York; Cunard obviously gave them priority for any vacancies. Boarding was delayed due to cancellations and late bookings which stretched resources although we left on schedule in the end.
 

Adam Went

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Apr 28, 2003
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Definitely agree that cruise ships are starting to come back into their own once again, which is fantastic to see. The novelty of flying and getting to your destination much quicker is gradually fading away for your average holiday passenger. It's quite funny that travelling by ship these days would be considered quite a lot safer than travelling by aeroplane as well.
 
Dec 2, 2000
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>>The novelty of flying and getting to your destination much quicker is gradually fading away for your average holiday passenger.<<

I think the crowds at the airports, the security checkpoints and proceedures which border on the suffocating, the flying sardine cans people find themselves packed into for long flights and your luggage disappearing down some black hole in the fabric of space/time...never to be seen again...just might have something to do with that!
wink.gif
 
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Michael, You are funny!
I sense that humanity in general maybe just wants to slow things down a little here and there. The Concorde is gone, with no SST replacement, and you are SO right on about the "flying sardine cans". I am 6'6" and I absolutely despise flying in an airliner. Especially when the 5"6" guy in front of me feels that it is necessary to recline his seat right into my "personal bubble" of head space. I would opt for a slower and more old-fashioned mode of conveyance every time.
 

Adam Went

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Aside from all of the points you've already mentioned as well, don't forget that on board a ship these days is much like a floating hotel. You can go shopping, gaming, swimming - whatever, whereas in a plane, you have none of this. The extent of what you can do is pretty much walk up and down the aisle or watch a movie. Not thrilling, especially for a long journey.

I know a lot of the success for our major cruise ship line down here, the TT Line, comes also from the fact that people can take their cars on the trip with them. And one of our major airlines, Ansett, went bankrupt probably about a decade ago now.

Flying is a 20th century novelty, travel by boat has been going on since just about forever.
 

Jason D. Tiller

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quote:

It was a very brief visit, arriving about 6.30am and leaving at 5.00pm.
Ah, okay.

quote:

Sailing into New York was the highlight of the trip.
It always is. I'll never forget the first time sailing into New York, aboard the QE2 in July 2002 at 6:30 am. I had just come out on deck and the first thing I saw was the Statue of Liberty. I quickly pulled out my camera and took a shot. What a thrill.​
 
Dec 2, 2000
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>>The Concorde is gone, with no SST replacement, and you are SO right on about the "flying sardine cans".<<

Unfortunately, the Concorde wasn't that much of an improvement in terms of space. That was one of the tradeoffs which came with designing a plane which could fly at supersonic speed without so much drag that it would need a warp drive to bludgeon it's way through it.

The upside being that in a Mach 2 aircraft, you didn't have to tolerate it for more then a couple of hours.
 

Adam Went

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The fact that the old Boeing's are still in service is testament to the fact that sometimes simpler is better, and technology doesn't always provide a good solution to everything!
 
Jan 28, 2003
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Simpler may be better for everyday stuff, Adam, but it might not be better for real technical progress. Concorde wasn't an example of progress exactly, because it was the ultimate in its time - and beyond. I expect its designers and engineers thought that something better would be forthcoming fairly rapidly - but they were wrong. The future was mass travel, not fast travel.

At the time, however, it was not that clear.

It was still the loveliest aircraft though, and totally unsurpassed by any other in terms of performance. It was also declared redundant on the basis of a safety record quite unsurpassed, save one accident in decades.
 

Jim Kalafus

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> the fact that sometimes simpler is better

Hmmmm.....

....well.....

The original DC-10 cargo door locks were as elegantly simple as a lock can get. And so, too, were the doors, which opened outward. None of those newfangled doors that swung inward, pressure sealing shut and impossible to open in flight.

The latch had a minor problem- it could occasionally read as being engaged when, in fact, it wasnt.

During the DC-10 testing period, a plane was pressure tested on the ground. The cargo door blew out, and the cabin floor above the cargo hold collapsed.

Should have been a red flag.

ca 1972, a DC-10 was climbing, after takeoff from Detroit. The latch wasnt engaged, and when the plane hit the 10,000 foot level, internal air pressure blew the door off. The cabin floor collapsed, and suitcases plus a dead person being shipped in a coffin, rained down on Windsor Ontario. The plane's controls, routed under the cabin floor, were not entirely destroyed, and the cockpit crew managed a safe landing. No one was killed.

The problem was allegedly dealt with at that point.

However, 18 months later, the cargo door blew off a DC-10 when it reached the 10,000 foot mark while taking off from Paris. The cabin floor, once again, collapsed. This time, six passengers were ejected from the plane into a ten thousand foot free fall, and all of the control cables were severed. The 340 people still on the flight endured a 77 second event, which saw an almost vertical plunge at the ground. At the end, the bow had come up and the plane was on close to even keel as it crashed into a forest, killing everyone on board.

The point is, SIMPLER ISNT ALWAYS BETTER. Particularly in aviation. There is nothing more simple than a door that swings outward. And the latch was a model of simplicity, too. It took the destruction of at least three planes, and the deaths of 346 people, to drive home the NOT A GOOD IDEA lesson.
 

Jim Kalafus

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The fact that old planes are still in service is scary, not reassuring.

Tim and I were just discussing the fate of ALOHA AIR flight attendant Clarabelle Lansing. She was the one who was blown out of an aging plane when its passenger compartment ruptured and the roof blew off.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aloha_Airlines_Flight_243

In a similar incident, several passengers were blasted out of an aging jet when its hull failed. In that case, engine stall was induced by human remains impacted into the rotor. Translation...at least one ejected passenger was sucked into a rear engine.

There were a couple of other hull ruptures around this time, 1988-mid 1990s. Bad publicity, and subsequent heightened public awareness, saw the phasing out of older planes.

If I am boarding a flight, and see the plane is a Reagan-era relic, I dont feel reassured and think "They sure built 'em well back then." I think of hull stress, explosive decompression, and the fact that the unfortunate Ms. Lansing may have caused the entire roof to blow off that plane when she became wedged in the initial small hole, forming a partial plug.
 

Adam Went

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It doesn't matter how old or new the technology is, things can still go wrong. There have been plenty of reasonably new planes which have encountered problems in recent times as well, it's far from being a problem which plagues older aircraft only.

I watched a docco the other day where they stated that Werner Von Braun's Saturn V rocket is still the best, most useful one designed for NASA.....that's more than 40 years old! Yet it got man to the moon.

I'd be much more inclined to put my faith in something built 20/30 years ago than something brand new. Old school all the way for me!