Captain Karl Shepherd

Master of Queen Victoria

Today, the 5th November 2023, I had the honour, at the invitation of Captain Karl Shepherd, to sound Queen Victoria’s whistle from the bridge to indicate 12 noon. The Captain then broadcast his daily message to the passengers and crew.

Earlier the Captain had given us a tour and had introduced us to the officers and crew manning the bridge.

Jane was astounded by the amount of navigational equipment!

It was a great occasion for me, because I first sailed on a Cunard ship, the Queen Mary, in 1965. For the last 20 years, after our children grew up, Jane and I have been at sea with Cunard for 675 nights and this was our first invitation to the bridge.

I have to say that I am not the first member of my family to do this. In September of this year, my sister Liz Cracknell was on Queen Victoria for her second Cunard cruise and she was invited to sound the 12 noon whistle. She beat me to it!

You will appreciate that these occasions have arisen because our father was a Cunard Captain back in the sixties and seventies – Captain George E Smith. He was one of only 3 Captains who were Masters of both the original Queen Elizabeth and Queen Elizabeth 2 (QE2). He was the second ever Captain of QE2. In addition, during his career with Cunard, he was also Captain of Mauretania, Franconia, Saxonia, Ivernia and Carmania.

Captain George E Smith

With Captain Karl Shepherd, Master of Queen Victoria

My thanks to the Captain’s secretary Crystal for setting up this visit for me, Jane and our companion/carer Kim. Our thanks also to the bridge team and of course to the Master of Queen Victoria, Captain Karl Shepherd our thanks for giving up his valuable time. It was a great pleasure meeting him.

The head too big or the cap too small?

8 Replies to “Captain Karl Shepherd”

  1. Excellent stuff, “blowing your own horn” again. A great treat and clearly not before time. Did you get to see some Northern Lights? They have been visible from the UK these last nights!!
    Catch up when you are back — Steve

  2. Well done, Cunard. Costs so little but means so much. Pity there wasn’t a cap with ‘scrambled egg’ on the peak!

  3. These are lovely photos and specially seeing Christel too before her retirement.
    Hoping that QVs whistle worked well- congrats for giving it a blast!
    Happy Christmas and hoping that you both enjoy ship life in the New Year too.

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