QM2 on birthday lap of honour

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Here in the office, we have an unofficial group called The Society for Unsustainable Facts, to which members get “elected” when they start telling tales which are dubious at best, and quite often, downright nonsense.
I’m thinking of nominating Cunard for membership, for their claim that the round-Britain cruise which Queen Mary 2 sets out on tomorrow from Southampton marks the ship’s fifth birthday.
The Cunard flagship is said to be celebrating the anniversary with a maiden call at Liverpool next Tuesday, October 20. Strange, that, when you consider the ship made its maiden voyage in January 2004.
There will be lots of parties, fireworks and hullabaloo throughout the cruise, set out in four separate announcements on Cunard’s website.
The first details a ceremonial sailpast towns on the east coast of England on Friday, when the ship will be off Scarborough at 2.45 pm, Whitby at 3.00, Hartlepool at 4.15, Sunderland at 5.00, and arriving at Tynemouth 1t 5.30. I hope the weather is kind and there’s no sea fret to spoil the view.
The second declares that on Monday the ship become the biggest ever to enter the Clyde, where 120 Cunard ships have been built over the years – though not, of course QM2 herself, which was built in France.
Then there’s the Liverpool visit, described as a double celebration because this year marks the 170th anniversary of the founding of the Cunard line, which for many years had its headquarters on the banks of the Mersey.
The liner then visits Cobh in southern Ireland, the port from which 2.5 million people emigrated to America during the 19th century, and the last port of call for the Titanic.
While in port, QM2’s master, Commodore Bernard Warner, will attend a ceremony at the memorial for the Lusitania, a Cunard liner which was torpedoed in 1915 off Kinsale Head and sank with the loss of 1,119 lives.
Despite the hyperbole, I’m sure the voyage will be a memorable occasion for the passengers on board and for the thousands who will turn up to see the magnificent vessel at each port of call.
And despite my cynicism, I have to agree with Cunard president and managing director Peter Shanks, when he says: “This voyage will see her make maiden calls to ports which have a binding and historic connection with Cunard. I would encourage as many people as possible to come out and wish Queen Mary 2 well during the course of this ‘lap-of-honour'”.

By | 2009-10-14T12:15:49+00:00 14 October 2009|Cruise Destinations, Cruise News, Cruise Ships|1 Comment

About the Author:

John Honeywell is a travel writer specialising in cruise ships and cruise travel. Winner of CLIA UK's Contribution to Cruise award 2017.

One Comment

  1. Anonymous 15 October 2009 at 4:21 pm - Reply

    There’s always 1 padantic cruiser who thinks they know it all, when they quite clearly don’T!!

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