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Author Topic: Queen Elizabeth 2, Maiden Round the World Voyage 1975  (Read 24553 times)

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Online Lynda Bradford

The Maiden Round the World Voyage of QE2 – 4 January 1975 to 6 April 1975

I recently bought a promotional brochure for QE2's maiden World Cruise which is a lovely item with interesting photos and information.  I am not sure if I can scan because of the size but if I can I will do.  However I thought you may be interested in some of the facts.  

QE2 visited 23 Ports in 92 Days on her maiden World Cruise in 1975.  Cunard’s promotion brochure states “Because QE2 is faster than the average cruise ships you spend more time in port. “  

Of the 23 ports of call there were eleven where the ship stay overnight or longer.  I do not know how this compares with later World Cruises!  Does anyone know?

Overnight stays in port:

New York
Rio de Janeiro
Cape Town
Durban
Mombasa
Bali
Kobe
Honolulu


Longer stays in port:

Bombay, India  – 11 to 15 February
Hong Kong – 27 February to 2 March
Yokohama, Japan – 7 to 10 March


The costs of the 1975 World Cruise

It was necessary for a fuel charge to be added to the cost of the cruise (some things do not change).  It was stated that the price rises were caused by the price rise caused by oil producing states and also by a World shortage of fuel oil.  Now that brings back some memories of the oil crises in the 70’s.  I seem to remember being issued with coupons for petrol but these were never used.  

I will scan the price sheet and post for information.  The range was as follows:

Singles

From grade WN deck five:  inside - £3395  
to grade OE deck one:   outside - £5250

Doubles

From grade U: inside on deck 5 five £2360
To grade A: outside on signal deck £9580
I was proud to be involved with planning QE2's 50 year conference in September 2017 in Clydebank
www.qe2event.com

Online Lynda Bradford

Brochure ports of call (differ slight to actual ports of call) for the Maiden round-the-world voyage of Queen Elizabeth 2:

January 1975
Saturday 4 January:         Depart Southampton at 1200.  Arrive Cherbourg 1900. Depart Cherbourg 2030
Thursday 9 January:        Arrive New York 0900
Friday 10 January  :         Depart New York 2100
Sunday 12 January:         Arrive Port Everglades 1300;  Depart 1700
Wednesday 15 January:   Arrive Curacao 0800; Depart 1800
Monday 20 January:         Arrive Salvador, Bahia 0800;  Depart 2359
Wednesday 22 January:   Arrive Rio de Janeiro 0800
Thursday 23 January:      Depart Rio de Janeiro 2359
Wednesday 29 January:   Arrive Cape Town 0800
Thursday 30 January:       Depart Cape Town 2359

February 1975
Saturday 1 February:       Arrive Durban 0800
Sunday 2 February:         Depart Durban 1600
Wednesday 5 February:    Arrive Mombasa 0900
Thursday 6 February:       Depart Mombasa 1800
Saturday 8 February:       Arrive Mahe Seychelles Depart 1700
Tuesday 11 February:      Arrive Bombay 1400
Saturday 15 February:     Depart Bombay 1900
Monday 17 February:       Arrive Colombo 0800 Depart 1900
Thursday 20 February:    Arrive Singapore 0800 Depart 1900
Saturday 22 February:    Arrive Bali 0800
Sunday 23 February:      Depart depart Bali 1900
Thursday 27 February:    Arrive Hong Kong 0800

March 1975
Sunday 2 March:             Depart Hong Kong 2359
Wednesday 5 March:       Arrive Kobe 0800
Thursday 6 March:           Depart Kobe 1900
Friday 7 March:               Arrive Yokohama 1300
Monday 10 March:           Depart Yokohama 1900
Saturday 15 March:         Arrive Honolulu 0800
Sunday 16 March:           Depart Honolulu 0700
Thursday 20 March:        Arrive Los Angeles 0800; Depart 1900
Sunday 23 March:           Arrive Acapulco 0800; Depart 1900
Wednesday 26 March:     Arrive Balboa 0600 in brochure but did not call there in actual WC
Wednesday 26 March:     IN TRANSIT PANAMA CANAL
Wednesday 26 March:     Arrive Cristobal 1700; Depart 1800 in brochure but did not call there in actual WC
Thursday 27 March:        Arrive Cartagena 0800; Depart 1400
Friday 28 March:                      Jamaica
Saturday 29 March:        Arrive Port Everglades 1700; Depart 1900
Monday 31 March:          Arrive New York 0900; Depart 2100
Saturday 5 April:             Arrive Southampton






Quote
Source:  Cunard Brochure/Booklet

« Last Edit: Jan 26, 2017, 12:29 PM by Lynda Bradford »
I was proud to be involved with planning QE2's 50 year conference in September 2017 in Clydebank
www.qe2event.com

Online Bob C.

Re: Queen Elizabeth 2, Maiden Round the World Voyage 1975
« Reply #2 on: Jul 07, 2013, 01:04 PM »
I remember being extremely excited about this voyage being very much into my QE2 fanaticism at this point with 5 transAtlantic crossings under my belt.  I tracked her every port on the above schedule and this was well before internet and AIS!

baltaogc

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Re: Queen Elizabeth 2, Maiden Round the World Voyage 1975
« Reply #3 on: Dec 30, 2013, 05:01 PM »
I was on this Maiden World Cruise as a 19yr old in the bakers shop. I will relate a few of the impressions that I remember in various posts. I will start with Yokohama.

We docked and very shortly a queue of Japanese developed on the pier where a long long , very orderly, line about 6 persons wide would slowly walk and take photos of the ship. They were absolutely in awe of the ship and its crew and would shyly return our waves with a giggle and covering their mouths.

I went ashore with some friends the 2nd day bit late and took a few old printed menu's to give away. Before I knew it they were handing us money in exchange. They all wanted a souvenir. Anything from the ship with QE2 on it was highly desirable so we went back on board and scoured for anything that was available and returned to the Pier and took about 30 mins to dispose of everything. We went into town and soon realized nobody at all spoke English nor were there any English letters to be seen anywhere. We walked into a shopping center and saw a team promoting (warm) sake which we had never had before. Using sign language and plenty of laughing we started on the free samples..having got the taste for it we wanted more so when they finally indicated politely no more freebies we brought out some of the money we got earlier and started to binge for about 2 hours. During this time we found a Japanese who had attached to us and we indicated that we were looking for dancing and pretty girls and eventually he wrote something on paper for the taxi driver . 

Off we went about 5pm and found the place in about an hour. 1950's tea dance in a community hall where the youngsters ..overdressed in Sunday best and girls and boys sitting on opposite sides of the room was the scene. They were absolutely shocked to see foreigners in their space and in almost total silence looked at us as if we were aliens from another planet and after 3-4 mins nothing was changing so we left before they all did and in the absence of finding any entertainment Western style we somehow managed to get back to the ship now the Sake was starting to take effect.

The queues for viewing continued day and night unrelenting. We had never seen anything like this at any other port of call. The next day a few of us jumped on the "bloods" tourist bus ( totally ok in those days in any port) and did the city tour including temple..gardens and the Tower http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yokohama_Marine_Tower  so saw a bit of Japanese culture. Ate in a small resto by pointing to plastic shiny models of the food and paid with our collected Yen ..more sake :)

Next day finally found the entertainment area (Edit..  which was a train ride to Tokyo..Yokohama is the nearest Port and there's not much there. It was actually a Tokyo visit for the passengers) and we were all young fit lads and a big hit in the area. Passed thru a pachinka parlour , the fist place where they took no notice of a foreigner, and stayed briefly in my first ever Love Hotel which was another eye opening experience of how they really look after/pamper youin a quiet slow and respectful fashion.

Last day and the line is still there. we start blowing kisses and we get a call in the bakers shop from upstairs ( highly ..highly unusual but I suppose the officers were also amazed at the reponse the ship and crew were receiving) that a Japanese has fallen in love and wants to contact the boy that was blowing kisses. As a lot of us were, it was hard to tell which one it was so naturally we all claimed it but had no idea what the girl looked like nor any inclination for contact, being "men of the world" lol

This was a truly exceptionally unique experience so therefore I have started with this one. More to follow.


This looks like the 1st day and the queue just built up continuously. hover over image to enlarge.

EDIT.. Beneath the photo it actually states this is the 2nd arrival in 2 yrs and 200,000 people came to view so you can imagine how many more came on the 1st arrival :)


http://www.ebay.com/itm/Press-Photo-Queen-Elizabeth-II-Yokohama-Tokyo-Harbor-/370683539904

This video is later (as its in colour lol)  but is the same side of the pier we berthed in 1975
« Last Edit: Jan 08, 2014, 01:02 PM by Gary Baltao »

baltaogc

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Re: Queen Elizabeth 2, Maiden Round the World Voyage 1975
« Reply #4 on: Dec 30, 2013, 06:44 PM »
Seychelles

One of the most beautiful clean beaches and Ocean I have ever experienced.

We arrive in town and I pass the post office to send 4 or 5 commemorative  covers        http://stampwants-stamps.bidstart.com/Seychelles-1975-Ocean-Liner-QEII-Visit-MNH-Sc-323-326-/25699442/a.html with a special frank which we had to queue to get, back to the UK. Jumped on a mini bus in search of beaches. On a 30min ride through narrow winding road with lush vegetation and large leafed tropical plants and trees on both sides we arrive at some upmarket hotel. We enter and have a bit of resistance initially with the staff as we are not guests. After assuring them that we will spend money on drinks and explaining we are from the QE2 we are allowed to use the beach and the beach furniture's.

WOW.  So clear water..beautiful light paradise blue and perfect temperature and feel to the sea. White sand, not too powdery that your foot sinks and makes it hard to walk nor too grainy that it is rough of the soles and between the toes as Goldilocks would say .."just right"

As the water would lap the shore there were small white shells about an inch across that would open and as the water receded they would close again in a rhythmic calm and soothing fashion. We saw a large green sea turtle on a nearby but inaccessible beach half in the sea.

I have no idea what the food is like there as the whole day it was swim / snorkel and  planters punch served in a coconut which is one of the best I have tasted. We kept getting "punched"until we were almost knocked out..as usual. This is/was one of the best places on earth for peaceful existence and in harmony with nature. I do not know if it has changed as it became flavour of the decade in the 80's for upmarket UK tourists but at that time it was close to heaven on Earth.

EDIT

I have just amazed myself and remembered the name of the Hotel, searched it and am 100% spot on, I immediately recognized . The Coral (Beach before) Strand  and here it is

http://en.seyvillas.com/hotel-coral-strand

https://www.google.com.ph/search?q=coral+reef+hotel+seychelles&client=firefox-a&hs=a9C&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ei=V1bIUq2FKPG7iAfUh4D4DA&ved=0CAkQ_AUoAQ&biw=1280&bih=917#q=coral+strand+hotel+seychelles&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&tbm=isch

:)

Although one  site says built in 1980 they are wrong. I remember the beach view and 4 story white rooms in 1975 clearly.
Thanks to the digital age I can now take you there


« Last Edit: Jan 05, 2014, 03:47 AM by Gary Baltao »

baltaogc

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Re: Queen Elizabeth 2, Maiden Round the World Voyage 1975
« Reply #5 on: Jan 04, 2014, 08:49 AM »
Bali

We were getting short 1 day stops in a number of the ports. Bali, which at that time was not over developed for tourists, was one of those 8am to 6pm visits so what do you do in the short time?

We had made a lot of beach visits so this time we decided to rent motorbikes which were on offer where the launches were offloading  to tour as much as we could. About 9 am we were all set and off we went.

Most of the views were rice fields and greenery

https://www.google.com.ph/search?q=salvador+bahia&client=firefox-a&hs=ZXi&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ei=AcHHUobdNoTYigfp3YDADA&ved=0CAkQ_AUoAQ&biw=1280&bih=917#q=Bali+rice+fields&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&tbm=isch

as opposed to beaches

https://www.google.com.ph/search?q=salvador+bahia&client=firefox-a&hs=ZXi&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ei=AcHHUobdNoTYigfp3YDADA&ved=0CAkQ_AUoAQ&biw=1280&bih=917#q=Bali&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&tbm=isch

This started to be fun.. There was hardly any traffic so it was off to the races for the 5 of us and we were joined later by more crew who had rented .  The highlight of the day was encountering a young lady bathing in the river. We did not understand yet that nudity in Asia, particularly in poor areas ( and Japan) was not taboo like the Victorian Western view we held so as we stopped to view and were exchanging waves and smiles rather than the girl running off it was entertaining.

We  did find a beach and swam for a while near some old style Balinese wooden houses but there were almost no facilities nearby for food or drink so back on the bikes more racing  . we stopped a few times by pagoda/ temples but I honestly cant remember which ones now. These are typical and could well have been the ones we saw.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Balinese_temple

The last events were I came off the bike without injury on a wet corner but lost the cover of the speedometer. On returning the bike this was noticed and a noisy claim was made by the owner for $10 then $5 as compensation.  As my pockets were empty I bartered to give my wet socks I was carrying which he accepted but asked for more as I hurriedly boarded the launch to return to ship. I never saw Bali again but I did see on the news the massive development that followed (and the bomb blast) . The rapid development was similar in speed to  Pattaya ( another story) which I first visited in 1968 with my brother when there was not a single Hotel or Bar. When I returned in 1983 on the QE2 it was throbbing and seedy and we left at least 2 crew members behind (one went through a plate glass window on his rented bike). I was woken up to catch the last launch.

« Last Edit: Jan 04, 2014, 09:03 AM by Gary Baltao »

Online Isabelle Prondzynski

Re: Queen Elizabeth 2, Maiden Round the World Voyage 1975
« Reply #6 on: Jan 04, 2014, 10:17 AM »
Thank you, Gary! I love those memories -- beautiful places and the camaraderie of the crew.

Thank you also for the images, which make it easier to imagine the landscapes.

It must have been extraordinary to be in all these places for the first time. Presumably there were very few (or even no) ships at the time making world cruises, so you saw these places before they were flooded by "if this is Tuesday, it must be Bali" style tourists. And so, you saw that lovely young lady enjoying her bath in the river and giving you a friendly wave. No doubt, her daughters and granddaughters no longer do the same thing...

I wonder how the decision came about to send QE2 off on a world cruise? It must have involved tremendous preparations...

baltaogc

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Re: Queen Elizabeth 2, Maiden Round the World Voyage 1975
« Reply #7 on: Jan 04, 2014, 12:59 PM »
Dear Isabelle
 It is a pleasure to write a little and recall some of the experiences. Another part of the reason is to be able to inform my 9 children of what life and work was like at that time and in those circumstances. Communication is difficult in today's busy lifestyle so I am able to produce a permanent record thanks to this site and send them a link to view when they have some time.

Due to the Western influence (accompanied with adverse experiences most probably) her daughters in Bali would no longer act in that innocent and unashamed fashion. However, I am a frequent visitor to Mindanao and there are still areas which are "backward" ( or forwards/unspoiled, depending on your opinions) and farmers families would act in a similar manner even today. I suspect that areas of Borneo and Africa may be similar.  It is strange that education in some cases modifies behavior repressively. The Japanese in particular have not succumbed to this to a large extent.

The World Cruise was certainly a triumph in logistics. I did a little search and Cunard claim to have the first World Cruise by the Laconia in 1922

http://www.cunard.com/cruise-types/world-cruises/

We are famous for our World Cruises having completed the first cruise in 1922 and are known for offering the best and most authentic World Cruise.

But there were a few ALMOST world cruises as early as 1891

http://thecruisepeople.wordpress.com/2013/08/04/the-first-world-cruises-from-1891-to-1923/

Contrary to what most sources say, world cruising did not start with Cunard Line’s Laconia in 1922, but actually got its start way back in 1891 when Canadian Pacific took delivery of the first of three new Empresses, the 5,920-ton Empress of India.


Cunard Line’s claim that its 19,680-ton Laconia made the first world cruise in 1922-23 is correct only insofar as this was the first complete circumnavigation of the world by a cruise ship, something that obviously could not be done before the Panama Canal opened in 1914. The first full circumnavigation by Laconia thus left New York in November 1922, took 130 days and called at twenty-two ports on her way around the world.

From the point of view of young crewmen in 1975 who were lucky enough to be able to tour at almost every Port ( thanks to the old guys..been there done that ..let the youngsters go ..attitude) It was a life changing experience. It would be a good idea to send 100 youngsters to work their passage every trip to broaden their outlook , but that's not going to happen . sadly.

I wonder how the decision came about to send QE2 off on a world cruise?

Due to Jets and Jumbo jets the passenger/transatlantic market was under pressure and vacation cruising filled the gap. The World Cruise concept was the advertising/propaganda vehicle to provide impetus to the now multi billion Cruise market industry. 

http://www.hillmanwonders.com/cruise_history/cruise_history.htm

« Last Edit: Jan 04, 2014, 01:15 PM by Gary Baltao »

Online Michael Gallagher

Re: Queen Elizabeth 2, Maiden Round the World Voyage 1975
« Reply #8 on: Jan 04, 2014, 03:41 PM »
QE2 undertook 25 World Cruises and 10 ‘extended’ voyages in her career (total 35). Her ‘rivals’ for the World Cruise crown were Rotterdam (1959), Canberra and Saga Rose (ex Sagafjord).

While I don’t have exact (nor the breakdowns between world cruises and extended voyages) the statistics established for these ships are:

      Saga Rose      44
      QE2         35
      Rotterdam      29
      Canberra      ??

The nearest Cunarders to QE2 was Franconia (1923) which was a prolific world cruiser before the Second World War and Caronia (1949) which undertook 13 such voyages in the 1950s and 1960s.

While QE2 did not undertake her first World Cruise until 1975 there were initial discussions within Cunard in January 1967 about sending her on such a voyage at the end of January 1969. The Passenger Director was keen for her to go world cruising as the revenue potential was very high but on the understanding that any voyages before that would be strictly for non-revenue passengers to ensure a smooth shakedown period for the ship and to gain maximum impact from the World Cruise, and from subsequent North Atlantic voyages.

There was some discussion as to the advisability of scheduling a World Cruise so early in the ship’s operational service, the Technical Director underlined the risks not so much of a mechanical breakdown during the cruise, but as of a similar breakdown causing a public postponement or cancellation of the cruise. The Managing Director pointed out, however, before the World Cruise starting at the end of January 1969, then ship would have been at sea for 38 days, of which 24 would have been in effect as a passenger ship. Captain Warwick was in favour of such a cruise, and it was agreed that, particularly if the speed were limited, as would be required for the necessary ports of call, such a cruise was a reasonable proposition.

Given the fact that QE2’s January to May 1969 programme had to be cancelled in the end the fact a World Cruise was not planned was probably a good thing!

Cunard’s placement of QE2 into the World Cruise market was only a matter of time given the fact that in 1969 the Atlantic liner United States undertook 39-day cruise from and to New York to Rio de Janeiro and Cape Town (23 January – 3 March) and it was planned to send United States on a 55-day Pacific voyage in 1970 – this did not take place as the liner was taken out of service in 1969. Even France, QE2’s nearest competitor was sent on a World Cruise in 1972 and 1974.

Cunard announced in May 1973 that QE2 would undertake her first World Cruise in early 1975.

Nigel Thompson, Cunard’s Managing Director, stated: “We think QE2 is the best ship afloat for this type of cruise.”

Such a massive undertaking required a colossal amount of logistical planning, and to this end Robin Woodall (a future QE2 Captain) was despatched with “a folder full of tickets, a fistful full of dollars, and a case of charts” to visit 28 proposed ports and report back on all aspects of their facilities, including their ability to handle the 1,000 tons of rubbish the ship would unload. All told, Captain Woodall travelled 38,000 miles in 52 days.

Prior to her first World Cruise proper QE2 had undertaken long cruises to the Mediterranean (her first cruise there being a Southampton to Southampton trip, 22 April – 7 May 1970) and the Israeli Charter which lasted from 14 April to 13 May.

First Extended Voyage

Her first extended voyage was probably her first time to Cape Town in 1970 and back but this does not count in terms of World Cruise and Extended Voyage history due to the time of year it was undertaken.

      23 October 1970      New York
      28 October 1970      Las Palmas
      30 October 1970      Dakar
      3 November 1970      Luanda
      7 November 1970      Durban
      8 November 1970      Durban
      10 November 1970      Cape Town
      11 November 1970      Cape Town
      12 November 1970      Cape Town
      17 November 1970      Rio de Janeiro
      18 November 1970      Rio de Janeiro
      20 November 1970      Dahia
      25 November 1970      Curacao
      26 November 1970      St Thomas   
      29 November 1970      New York

QE2 did undertake other extended voyages in the April – December period.

World Cruises, or its equivalent in time, the Great Pacific Cruise, provided useful employment for QE2 during three months of the year at a time of the year when crossing the Atlantic was not desirable.

Online Isabelle Prondzynski

Re: Queen Elizabeth 2, Maiden Round the World Voyage 1975
« Reply #9 on: Jan 04, 2014, 04:13 PM »
Thank you very much, Gary and Michael, for your amazing replies! I am in awe of your expertise and your willingness to share it. Never had I realised that world cruising had started so early...

Puzzled too by the fact that "extended voyages" are only counted as extended voyages if they take place at a certain time of year! That long transatlantic cruise to Cape Town must have been a eye-opening adventure...

Online Lynda Bradford

Re: Queen Elizabeth 2, Maiden Round the World Voyage 1975
« Reply #10 on: Jan 04, 2014, 04:25 PM »
Garry thanks for adding your story to this topic, which really brings to life QE2's first World Cruise. It must have been amazing to cruise the world in 1975 when everything was not so commercialised and I look forward to hearing more of your memories. 

 I was so impressed that you are writing the story so that your family will have a record of your time at sea. I know what you mean about family not appearing to be interested but at some point in time they will wish they had asked more questions and will be glad that you have had the foresight to write this record. 

Thanks also to Michael for delving into the historical records to give us the additional information. 
I was proud to be involved with planning QE2's 50 year conference in September 2017 in Clydebank
www.qe2event.com

Offline Alan Snelson

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Re: Queen Elizabeth 2, Maiden Round the World Voyage 1975
« Reply #11 on: Jan 04, 2014, 05:27 PM »
I am loving this thread.

World cruises were always my favourite voyages on QE2, the ones I was on were all enjoyable for various reasons. I was fortunate enough to have done four of them 79, 80, 81, and 82, but to have done that very first one must have been amazing. All those maiden visits, especially to places where large scale tourism had not yet spoiled them.

Thanks Gary for bringing it to life with your memories and thanks Michael for all the background information, fascinating stuff.
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Online Peter Mugridge

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Re: Queen Elizabeth 2, Maiden Round the World Voyage 1975
« Reply #12 on: Jan 04, 2014, 09:29 PM »
Puzzled too by the fact that "extended voyages" are only counted as extended voyages if they take place at a certain time of year! That long transatlantic cruise to Cape Town must have been a eye-opening adventure...

Similarly, I have to ask the corollary question of why it only counts as a World Cruise at certain times of the year as well?

Surely if a ship carries out a circumnavigation with paying passengers, it logically is a World Cruise whether it sets off in January or June?

In the case of October to November 1970, QE2 appears to have stayed within the bounds of the Atlantic so I would agree that one would not be a World Cruise, however.
"It is a capital mistake to allow any mechanical object to realise that you are in a hurry!"

Offline CAP

Re: Queen Elizabeth 2, Maiden Round the World Voyage 1975
« Reply #13 on: Jan 05, 2014, 09:57 AM »
Similarly, I have to ask the corollary question of why it only counts as a World Cruise at certain times of the year as well?

Surely if a ship carries out a circumnavigation with paying passengers, it logically is a World Cruise whether it sets off in January or June?

In the case of October to November 1970, QE2 appears to have stayed within the bounds of the Atlantic so I would agree that one would not be a World Cruise, however.

I agree, a circumnavigation at anytime is still a round the world expedition.  However, in the context of QE2 the post-New Year/pre-easter slot was her time for undertaking any full circumnavigation. It was not uncommon for the early Cunard vessel pioneers of World Cruising to embark on voyages of 6 months or so, departing in or around October! 

However, I consider the definitions of what constitutes an extended cruise to be less clear and therefore open to interpretation.  My definition is not one of geographical location or indeed calendar, I simply refer to the duration of the voyage.  For my data project I have arbitrarily assumed anything longer than 30 days is an extended cruise, provided of course it is not a circumnavigation.  Again in the context of QE2 I have so far only found one year in which she embarked on a full World Cruise and also an extended cruise (as per the definition), 2004.
« Last Edit: Jan 23, 2014, 11:50 AM by CAP »

Online Michael Gallagher

Re: Queen Elizabeth 2, Maiden Round the World Voyage 1975
« Reply #14 on: Jan 05, 2014, 10:32 AM »
CAP explains it much better than I did!


baltaogc

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Re: Queen Elizabeth 2, Maiden Round the World Voyage 1975
« Reply #15 on: Jan 08, 2014, 10:00 AM »
Bombay  (Mumbai)  like Peking is Beijing..probably too many gin and tonics when they related the name for British listeners.

The first impression was the poverty....beggars everywhere and lots of them. Not only beggars but they looked rough,sickly, thin,  ragged clothing, super dirty  with the accompanying smells of tramps on meths up the West End in the 60's/70's. These people were in need.  As we walked out of the port they crowded round, Women offered babies to take back to the ship ( in search of a better life). This was culture shock to us young first time travelers.

https://www.google.com.ph/search?q=bombay+beggars+1975&client=firefox-a&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ei=Tg_NUqz_AaXtiAexj4GoDA&ved=0CAcQ_AUoAQ&biw=1280&bih=917#q=bombay+street+beggars+offers+child&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&tbm=isch


It was easier to ignore than engage so that's what we did and made our way to the Hanging Gardens "tourist " spot. Well it looked nothing like the clean pictures I googled today and the entrance was crowded with ..more beggars. It was just a garden and of little interest save for the story that it was called the Hanging Garden as it was a popular place to commit suicide by ..hanging. I have not see this story on the internet so it could have been just a tale, but we were told that 2 days before there had been one found.

I have attached a picture from google that depicts what the streets were like at that time, crowded  bustling and its pretty close as the vehicles in the picture are typical of those in 1975 Bombay.

We moved on to the swimming club but it was run down so we wanted to swim in the nearby sea. Not a good idea we were told as there were sharks ( probably they meant the human variety) so not much else happened that day.

Another strange sight was cows in the street amongst the traffic. This was when I learned the Hindu religion regards cows as sacred and they get priority in traffic..ergo no steaks

https://www.google.com.ph/search?q=bombay+beggars+1975&client=firefox-a&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ei=Tg_NUqz_AaXtiAexj4GoDA&ved=0CAcQ_AUoAQ&biw=1280&bih=917#q=bombay+cows+in+traffic&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&tbm=isch

In summary.. an area of the world which at that time was a throw back to Colonial Rule with extreme poverty and hardship. This is mixed with a totally non western suppressed cultural melting pot  of predominantly Hindus .

Thankfully there has been rapid growth in India and Mumbai is the financial center and major beneficiary. The pictures I googled show a far cleaner, modern and orderly City with (outwardly) few signs of the 1975 impression of abject poverty for the majority of the population. Poverty obviously still exists but not on the scale of 1975

The attached picture was found here..thanks to frontline india

Documenting Bombay: In "Arrival" (1980) by Mani Kaul.

http://www.frontline.in/arts-and-culture/cinema/narrating-actuality/article5186111.ece#test
« Last Edit: Jan 08, 2014, 12:34 PM by Gary Baltao »

baltaogc

  • Guest
Re: Queen Elizabeth 2, Maiden Round the World Voyage 1975
« Reply #16 on: Jan 08, 2014, 11:51 AM »
Colombo (Ceylon) Sri Lanka

NICE...Just a day trip but really nice..relaxed no begging after coming from Bombay. Good weather.

We dock and there is a Band welcoming us in. Smiling faces and flower Lei's for passengers disembarking (I got one too)

We enter the town which at that time was undeveloped with little traffic and no sky scrapers and see elephants bathing ( pay for photo with them option) which probably wont be seen often nowadays, We jump in and"auto rickshaw' (tut tut in Bangkok) and say beach.

A short ride and we arrive. When we alight we are approached and offered gem stones wrapped in plain white paper, black tigers eye, sapphires, purple/ yellow /green ..we are not in the market ( particularly if they are fake)  There is a path up to a colonial style wooden  building which had a lot of black wooden railings and windows frames. At the top there was a fantastic view as far as the eye could see of a long stretch of beach, down we go to the beach and swim. Not the calmest water we've been to so quite a work out.

Back to ship.. Band Plays us out and we sail for Singapore.

baltaogc

  • Guest
Re: Queen Elizabeth 2, Maiden Round the World Voyage 1975
« Reply #17 on: Jan 09, 2014, 04:48 PM »
Singapore

Short stop once again. I have decided to fly to Manila from HK (with permission) in a few days to see my Dad and siblings so I need to find a travel agent to get a ticket.

We disembark and there are red rickshaws which are of the tourist photo OP type and and some of the crew hire for the experience and to mess around..taking turns to sit or pull it which puzzles the onlookers. I jump in a yellow top taxi (yellow top/black body) and give  the address of the travel agent. The ride shows clean  streets , orderly traffic and no jay walking. I arrive at the travel agent, book and pay for the ticket but am told to return after lunch to collect it so I have time on my hands. Outside the agents there is a narrow alley, I take a look and see it is stalls selling goods. Watches , umbrellas, radio's , sun glasses. I look at the watches..pretty average ( naff) and chuckle to myself when I see Rolex on some of them. First time I had seen "knock offs" and they were so unlike the real thing that only a twit would be fooled .

What to do now for a few hours?  Well some mates had said they were going to find the Kai Tai's at Bugis St so I took a taxi there and found a lot of the crew already drinking and laughing  and this is what we found..(black and white pics are closest to the time period)

https://www.google.com.ph/search?q=kai+tai%27s+at+bugis+st&client=firefox-a&hs=3Re&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ei=e8nOUoPbL6mBiQeej4GACQ&ved=0CAkQ_AUoAQ&biw=1280&bih=917

Some of the crew had no problems flirting and having them sit on knees. It was the first time I had seen such open behavior from (transgenders/ cross dressers )  The beer was super cold and it was just as well as it was a hot steamy clammy day in the City. As recommended I had the favorite noodles http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Char_kway_teow which were good (oily but tasty) and went well with the beer.  A commotion started and people crowded round what turned out to be an impromptu show by some of the Kai Tai's. I wasnt overly interested so didn't take much notice but I now see that it was a regular thing and tourist attraction http://victorkoo.blogspot.com/2010/05/peep-peep-bugis-streetpeep-peep-bugis.html.

about 2pm I return to the travel agent to pick up the ticket via yellow top cab from where I dropped earlier. So the taxi driver attempts to charge me 3 times what I paid when going to Bugis St. Not going happen..I tell him what it cost earlier  he's not having any of it and raises his voice waving his hands . The girls from the Agent are now looking out the window..I am insistent that this is what i paid earlier and give him the money which he takes and still insists on what he asked originally. I ignore him and turn to go to the Agent, he grabs my arm.. big mistake..I lift him up and put him over his black bonnet holding his neck.. then throw him to the pavement..step back and ready to boot  but don't follow through as he runs to the Taxi nips in, locks the door (coz I tried to open it) and speeds off. I enter the Agents and the girls clap  hahahaha.. I suspect they guessed he was trying to rip me off and got more than he bargained for. So Singapore was not as orderly as I originally thought as its the only place visited on the QE2 I've ever had a violent incident except in Jamaica (another story)
My last stop was Raffles hotel as that was known...not impressed .. walked in to lobby looked walked out and returned to ship. Years later, after it had a multi million pound refit I went back and had a drink in the bar..Its now worth a visit :)
I have been back to Singapore a few times and each time cleaner ..more orderly more skyscrapers more traffic and less open space available.  Another unusual experience and I surprise myself at how many of these long forgotten episodes flood back so clearly after 38 years; once I start to remember a couple of things the others pop up to the point where I can even picture clothing , faces and views in my minds eye.

Online Isabelle Prondzynski

Re: Queen Elizabeth 2, Maiden Round the World Voyage 1975
« Reply #18 on: Jan 09, 2014, 04:59 PM »
Thank you so much, Gary, for those fascinating memories! I was on a World Cruise segment in 2002 and stopped at several of these ports -- but my, how life in these cities had changed by then...

But then, of course, you also saw parts of these ports that fee-paying excursion-booking passengers would never get to see  ;) !

Your story brings back memories of my first and best Singapore Sling, in the bar of the Raffles Hotel on one such excursion... after which, my Mum and I had a Singapore Sling once on every QE2 cruise, just for the sake of remembering that very first time!

baltaogc

  • Guest
Re: Queen Elizabeth 2, Maiden Round the World Voyage 1975
« Reply #19 on: Jan 09, 2014, 06:05 PM »
I hope it gives a flavour of the experience from the crews perspective. The passengers usually had a quite different experience and some of us were lucky enough to join in on occasion so got to see both. In South Africa passengers went on wild life tours..crew drank Castle beer without a glimpse of a wild animal :)  Please continue to indulge in a Sling as a little regular drink thins the blood and is healthy ( allegedly )
« Last Edit: Jan 09, 2014, 06:07 PM by Gary Baltao »

 

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