Queen Mary 2 Holds Court In Tenerife

Was it Carnaval time again in Tenerife? The streets of Santa Cruz were bristling with people, police and Unipol cars were visible on all corners and there was even an eye in the sky in the police helicopter. Anyone would think royalty had come to call, well it had in the majestic form of Queen Mary 2, tucked in behind fellow cruise liners Voyager Of the Seas and Liberty Of The Seas on the far quayside. Heading into the flow of dissembarking passengers I headed down the ramp at the ferry station to gaze across at the illustrious visitors.

Security was tight on QM2’s maiden voyage call seven years ago but now it was tighter than ever, glued to the phone earlier in the week neither the Tenerife port authority, Cunard in Southampton or their various press and PR agencies were offering a close up and personal tour. The previous day the port carried out a bomb threat simulation around the Costa Deliziosa to test security but the Fred Olsen cruise ship Balmoral was parked up on the near pier so at least I got to cozey on up to that, no mean ship itself with 1,750 crew and passengers.

Queen Mary was undoutedly the star and even at a distance she was attracting a large fan club, I headed down to the old jet foil station for a closer look from their small jetty. Small fishing boats seemed to be looking up in awe at their regal visitor and I’m sure the Fred Olsen ferry’s blast on the horn as it passed had a tone of respect about it. At this point maybe I should fire a few QM2 stats at you. At 1,132 feet (345 metres) long the QM2 covers 3.5 acres, weighs 151,400 tons and has 17 decks making it as high as a 23 storey building. At full stretch she can do 30 knots and on this visit brought 2,200 passengers and 1,100 crew.

Despite only being seven years old and having had a few minor touches done in Greenock before this cruise, the QM2 is heading to Blohm in Germany for a refit after taking in Gran Canaria,Lanzarote, Lisbon, Vigo, and dropping off back in Southampton. Bringing a healthy boost to Santa Cruz the four cruise ships between them carried 10,550 passengers and 3,400 crew – ker ching went those tills. There was no respite for the port, the next day four more liners were due, Marco Polo, Adventure Of The Seas, Thomson Destiny, and Costa Mediterranea. Never a dull moment.