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And the Queen's on her way.

THESE amazing pictures show the captain of the world's biggest ocean liner as never before - standing precariously on the giant ship's bulbous bow a few inches above the ocean.

In this never before attempted idea, Capt Kevin Oprey uses the small area above the waterline of Cunard Line''s flagship RMS Queen Mary 2 as a platform to stand beneath the soaring hull.

The liner was anchored a mile off the coast of Bali, Indonesia, last weekend during her round world voyage to celebrate 10 years in service.

The bulbous bow is a torpedo-like underwater projection to streamline the ship's movement and minimise the bow waves as she cuts through the sea when underway.

Queen Mary will inaugurate the first Cunard Liverpool-New York transatlantic voyage since 1968, when she makes a special sailing from the Mersey on July 4, 2015.

This is part of Cunard's 175th anniversary celebrations of being founded in Liverpool which in May 2015 also involves all of its three Queen liners being present in the Mersey together for the first time.

Photographer James Morgan who came up with the idea, backed by Cunard, to put Captain Oprey on the bulbous bow said safety was paramount, with two safety craft standing by during the photo-shoot, but he remained sure-footed throughout.

Mr Morgan said: "When I suggested we photograph the captain standing on the bulbous bow, they all looked at me like I was a tiny bit mad, but the fact it hadn't been done that was why we had to do it.

"For me, the lines, the shapes, the curves of the Queen Mary 2, make her the most amazing ocean liner in the world."

He was at home in Sydney, Australia when he was told conditions in Bali were perfect for the shoot. But once at the island conditions worsened and he spent a "nervous five or six hours on the bridge", until it calmed and the captain was safely placed on the bulbous bow.

For Captain Oprey it was an experience he will never forget and Mr Morgan said: "The captain was very, very, very excited to be part of it.

"It's somewhere he's never been; he's always 12 storeys above conducting his team from the bridge.

"I talked to him afterwards and he told me he felt very alone and very isolated being where he was."

At 151,200 gross tons, Queen Mary 2 accommodates 2,620 passengers and 1,253 crew and in her first 10 years has sailed more than 420 voyages including over 200 transatlantic crossings.

She is the longest, tallest, widest ocean liner ever built and the fastest passenger ship in operation today.


BALANCED: Captain Oprey surveys the scene from the top of Queen Mary 2's bulbous bow

PRECARIOUS: Captain Kevin Oprey stands beneath the soaring hull of Cunard's flagship
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Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Geographic Code:9INDO
Date:Mar 8, 2014
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