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  • Writer's pictureEllen Frazer-Jameson

DAY 17 - The Arabian Sea

27 January 2023

Queen Mary 2 World Centenary Voyage

102 days, 31 ports, 18 countries.

Ellen Frazer-Jameson reporting live from Queen Mary 2

NEXT PORT: 28 January : Salalah, Oman

QM2 is has transited the Bab el Mandeb and Gulf of Aden. This is the area well documented in the world’s media with regard to the threat from piracy...However, the risk to the cruise industry is extremely low. When at sea during the dates 25-27th January we operate at higher levels of security alertness. QM2 sails through an internationally recommended transit corridor and is under the protection of an International Task Force assigned by a United Nations mandate to protect merchant ships from piracy threats.

UPDATE: From January 25th:

The Queens Room – A National Day Celebration


Master of Ceremonies, Robert Howie (Hotel General Manager)

A night out in the Queen's Room celebrating the Life & Works of Scotland’s favourite son. All over the world festivities are held by proud Scots in honour of the poet Robert Burns.

Burns’ Suppers on the anniversary of his birthday in 1759 follow a procedure that has not changed since his death in 1796 when friends gathered and vowed to preserve his world-wide popularity and ensure the acclaimed writer was never forgotten.

The Scottish national dish of haggis, a traditional meat dish (not a three-legged creature that roams the Scottish Highlands) is piped into the gathering and paraded around the room after which a formal address was delivered by guest, John Brotherston. It is a matter of honour that the “Address to A Haggis” is delivered in the original Scottish dialect. There follows the first of many Toasts and the raising of many glasses of whisky.

The wearing of the tartan is traditional and several Scottish male passengers proudly turned out in full ceremonial dress including the kilt. Ladies traditionally wear white dresses with red sashes.

Robbert Burns was the son of a Scottish tenant farmer in Alloway, Ayrshire, he had six brothers. Despite his lowly beginnings he was well educated and over the course of his short lifetime, he died at the age of 37, wrote 550 poems and songs.

Haggis ingredients consist of the sheep’s heart, liver and mincemeat - it is served in a skin made from the sheep’s stomach. A parade of chefs carried in the haggis on a silver salver, piped in to the music of bag-pies playing, Scotland the Brave.

Later, on the dinner menu, the delicacy was offered as an appetiser. There is no record of how many passengers choose to taste it. Or have a second helping!

Following the approved agenda for a Burns’ Supper, QM2’s Scottish Hotel Manager, Robert Howie, delivered a speech to the Immortal Memory and Scotsman Martin Quither, the ship’s Third Engineer delivered A Toast to the Lassies. Robert Burns was known as a heavy drinker and a lover of those lassies. He fathered 13 children by five different women. The Response from the Lassies was delivered by a passenger, Maria McArdle, who also led the lassies in a Ceilidh Dance Class. Maria pulled no punches in her Response, she delivered a saucy, humorous mickey-take of the Laddies. Deck Cadet, Claire MacDonald, sweetened the pill by reading Burn’s enduring love song, My Love is Like a Red, Red Rose.

The evening concluded with a performance by the Royal Court Theatre Company who invited the entire audience of the Queen’s Room to join them on the ballroom floor in a lively Highland jig.

Finally, to complete the festivities, what better way to echo Burns’ words of brotherhood and hope than by the company and guests of QM2 joining hands for an enthusiastic rendition of Auld Lang Syne.

PORT CALL: 27 January 2023(Saturday)

Salalah, Oman


Salalah is the third-largest city in the Sultanate of Oman, and the largest city in the Dhofar Province. Salalah is the birthplace of the former sultan, Qaboos bin Said. Salalah attracts many people from other parts of Oman and the Persian Gulf region during the monsoon/khareef season, which spans from June to September. The climate of the region and the monsoon allows the city to grow some vegetables and fruits like coconut and bananas. There are many gardens within the city where these vegetables and fruits grow.


Salalah was the traditional capital of Dhofar, which reached the peak of prosperity in the 13th century thanks to the incense trade. Later it decayed, and in the 19th century it was absorbed by the Sultanate of Muscat.

Between 1932 and 1970, Salalah was the residence of Said bin Taimur, the Sultan of Sultanate of Oman Sultan Qaboos acceded to his father's throne in 1970, and decided to move his capital to Muscat, the largest city in Oman, where he lived until he quietly left for treatment in Germany. His absence was much regretted in Salalah, where his palace was always kept ready to receive him. His Majesty's last visits were in 2006 to meet influential tribal and local leaders, and in 2010 to celebrate the 40th anniversary of his accession with a massive parade watched for several hours by an estimated hundred thousand spectators.

Despite the Sultan's generally benevolent government running Oman without national taxation thanks to its vast mineral resources, and with all menial work done by Asian labourers, Salalah saw peaceful protests for a few months in 2011 in the domino effect of the Arab Spring. Some Omani protesters requested the dismissal of current ministers, better job opportunities, salary increases, a solution to the increasing cost of living, or the establishment of Islamic banks.



* * * * *

Current position of Queen Mary 2: Under way from Safaga to Salalah

  • Departure was 3 d 21 hrs 6 min ago. (at 23:00 h local time)

  • Arrival will be in 8 hrs 54 min. (at 07:00 h local time)

  • Traveled distance since Safaga: 1,559.89 nm (2,888.92 km)

  • Remaining distance to Salalah: 149.61 nm (277.08 km)

  • Traveled distance since Southampton: 5,338.30 nm (9,886.53 km)

Happy Sailing ...The Journey continues...




  • Salalah, Oman

  • Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

  • Dubai, United Arab Emirates

* * * * *


Photo of the day (from the archives of JD Schwartz)


Further updates will be posted as soon as we get them from Ellen onboard Queen Mary 2.

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