It’s the newest and grandest of cruise liners so of course Queen Elizabeth had to stop off at Gran Canaria on it’s maiden voyage. So just a week after HRH The Queen launched Cunard’s 90, 400 ton, 16 deck giant in Southampton it glided into Las Palmas greeted by a flotilla of small boats and hundreds of well wishers on the quayside.

The spirit of luxury is alive and well on the new ship, the decor reflects the use of the Queen Elizabeth name on 2 previous ships and press cuttings and memorabilia fills many wall cabinets throughout the lavish restaurants, lounges and galleries. The Royal Arcade is the main shopping area on an upper floor with a games lounge below next to The Golden Lion bar. Further in the Royal Theatre is a large comfortable hall for the ships west end inspired musical spectaculars. A library with wood and glass protected shelving covers 2 floors with a tight polished wood stairway dividing it into quiet alcoves to relax and read. The Grand Lobby is a spectacular central feature, sweeping stairways converge as they twist on their way down 3 floors and the Dent clock sits at the bottom of the stairs keeping time with a precision created by the company that maintains Big Ben.

Many of the 2,092 passengers were taken out to explore Gran Canaria during the day but they all returned to see the big send off as the ship left port in the evening. Hundreds lined the quayside and a fleet of classic cars added to the event beeping their horns as the crowd clapped and fireworks filled the sky. The Queen Elizabeth will not forget Gran Canaria in a hurry.