QEandQM_Shearer.jpgThere was much blowing of ships’ whistles in downtown Long Beach, California, last night as – for the first time since 1967 – a Cunard Queen Elizabeth met the long-retired Queen Mary.
The obligatory fireworks also marked the event as the young Elizabeth, nearing the end of a three-month world voyage, set off for the Panama Canal, leaving her venerable ancestor to continue her role as a floating hotel and museum.
A narrative of the two ships by maritime historian Everett Hoard, who also works as retail manager on Mary, was broadcast from the bridge of Elizabeth.
The last meeting of an Elizabeth and Mary took place when both ships passed each other mid-Atlantic on 25 September 1967 with Queen Mary on her final Atlantic crossing and the earlier Queen Elizabeth still a year away from being sold by Cunard.
Queen Mary, launched on the Clyde in 1936, sailed as a Cunard liner for more than 30 years and served as a troopship during World War II. Her influence lives on today as interior design inspiration for the modern Cunard fleet, and continues to be a popular destination for maritime enthusiasts.
QEandQMCorneau.jpgPICTURES by John Shearer (top) and Rob Corneau