Southampton crowds watch arrival of the Queen Elizabeth


Hundreds of people gathered along the length of Southampton Water as the new Queen Elizabeth cruise ship made its first arrival into its home port.

Seasoned ship-spotters have seen many cruise ships come and go from Southampton's docks over the years, but a new Cunard ship always creates more than a ripple of interest and those who turned out to see it had mixed views.

Mick Jerome, 53, from Netley Abbey

Image caption,
Mick Jerome was not impressed with the ship's design

Mick Jerome was among the early risers watching the Queen Elizabeth as it made its way up Southampton Water. However, he said he was less than impressed with the design.

He said: "It's too big. The back looks wrong to me - that's my personal opinion, maybe two decks too many, it doesn't look sleek.

"The funnel looks right, but the back looks too square.

"I like all the Cunards, but this one doesn't look like a Cunard to me."

John Brymer, 40 from Portsmouth

Image caption,
John Brymer watched the arrival at Town Quay

John Brymer was in the Merchant Navy for 12 years. He said he had "goosebumps" when he saw the Queen Elizabeth for the first time on Southampton Water.

He said: "She's iconic. She's very sleek and has a lot of character.

"The cruising industry has a huge impact - all the jobs and people it will bring into the area."

Jim Raven, 57, from Southampton

Image caption,
Jim Raven said it was a special moment for the city

Jim Raven is a former journalist from Southampton and he said he had come to see the ship out of curiosity.

He said it was important that new cruise ships continued to build on Southampton's maritime heritage.

He said: "I'm not that interested but it is a spectacle, and there aren't many spectacles about these days.

"People here are expecting to see something special - and I think they have."

Stephanie Webber, 60, from Netley Abbey

Image caption,
Stephanie Webber regularly sees cruise ships pass her dog-walking route

Stephanie Webber was walking her dog and paused to watch the Queen Elizabeth pass the beach at Netley Abbey.

She said: "It's amazing, I feel really honoured to be here. We're just so lucky to have her here.

"I wish I could go on her - I don't think I'll ever be able to afford it though."

Richard Haynes, 20, from Newbury, Berkshire

Image caption,
Richard Haynes was impressed by the size of the Queen Elizabeth

Richard Haynes, 20, is studying biology at the University of Southampton.

He said he had never been on a cruise but often came to watch the ships arrive and depart in Southampton.

He said they always make an "impressive sight".

He said: "I like to see the size of them, and how they glide through the water.

"It's what Southampton survives on."

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