Three Queens together in Liverpool and Southampton for Cunard’s 175

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Looks like 2015 is going to be the year of the Britannia. TWO Britannias to be precise.
In the blue corner (as far as funnel décor is concerned) P&O will be putting on a party to mark the christening of their Britannia and will be counting the takings as the newest and biggest ship built for the British market sails from Southampton throughout the summer.
And in the red corner, Cunard will be marking the 175th anniversary of its first ship, Britannia, which set sail in July 1840 to inaugurate the first ever scheduled service across the Atlantic.
Cunard’s flagship Queen Mary 2 will recreate history by sailing from Liverpool on July 4, 2015 – not only marking the anniversary of Britannia, but becoming the first Cunard ship to set out for America from the Mersey since 1968.
The 10-night crossing will call at Halifax, Nova Scotia, and Boston, Massachusetts – just as Britannia did – before arriving in New York on July 14. Although passengers will be able to embark the ship in Liverpool, the voyage actually begins in Southampton on July 2. Fares begin at £2,249.
Cunard Line was founded in Liverpool and the company’s head office remained in the city until 1967. Today, the magnificent Cunard Building is one of the UNESCO World Heritage listed Three Graces at the Pier Head. The city council is planning to revive it as a cruise terminal.
As part of the 175th anniversary festivities, all three Cunard ships will be in Liverpool together in May.
Queen Mary 2 will arrive in Liverpool on Sunday May 24 during a 10-night tour of the British Isles and make her first ever overnight stay in the city.
The following morning, Queen Elizabeth – nearing the end of a 16-night Baltic cruise – and Queen Victoria – on a six-night cruise from Southampton – will sail into the city and for a time all three ships of the Cunard fleet will line up on the Mersey. The spectacle is expected to draw huge crowds, matching the million people who saw QE2 sail into Liverpool for the first time in July 1990.
Queen Mary 2 will then take her leave and sail out of Liverpool late morning on May 25 as Queen Elizabeth berths at the landing stage, where she will remain until late that night. Meanwhile, Queen Victoria will anchor in the Mersey.
Late in the evening, Queen Elizabeth will set sail and Queen Victoria will then take the berth and remain there overnight and for the following day.
The anniversary celebrations will begin in earnest in Southampton on May 3, 2015, when all three ships will arrive and depart on formation.
On leaving Cunard’s current home port, Queen Victoria will be setting out on a voyage to mark another poignant anniversary – 100 years since the sinking of former flagship Lusitania off the Old Head of Kinsale in Ireland. The ship was torpedoed by a German U-boat, with the loss of 1,198 lives.
Victoria’s passengers will be invited to join a commemorative service in Cobh, where a museum pays tribute not only to those who were killed on the Lusitania, but also the Titanic, which made its last stop at the port in 1912.
Cunard CEO David Dingle said: “For so long the heartbeats of Cunard and Britain have been as one and we intend to celebrate this landmark anniversary in grand style. These special voyages have been planned over many months to commemorate key dates in the company’s history with all who wish to be part of Cunard’s special and unique heritage. We look forward to delivering this year of spectacle and celebration to the many people who share the pride we feel in Cunard’s ongoing success on both sides of the Atlantic and beyond.”

By | 2014-03-06T18:25:17+00:00 6 March 2014|Cruise Destinations, Cruise News, Cruise Ships|0 Comments

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

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