Got my calendar and checkbook out. Hoping to book a Cunard cruise for the 175th Anniversary Celebration when the cruises go on sale March 13.
Of course, none of us were alive back when Cunard first began sailing the oceans. But I love the depiction of Cunard Line’s iconic Transatlantic Crossing which the company pioneered in 1840.
I’m posting an image depicting the Britannia back then when she made the famed crossing and today’s Cunard flagship Queen Mary 2. The Britannia is on the left in the image and the Queen Mary 2 is on the right.
Surprisingly, Cunard continues to be the only cruise line offering regularly scheduled crossings between New York and Southampton, England.
“Cunard history reads like no other,” David Dingle, CEO of Cunard Line, said in a news release. “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.”
The special voyages include a momentous celebration on May 3, 2015, when all three Queen cruise ships – Queen Mary 2, Queen Elizabeth and Queen Victoria - will meet in Southampton. The event will offer an unprecedented sight of all three Queens together at Cunard’s “spiritual home" of Liverpool, England, on May 25, 2015. It will be the first time the entire fleet will have been together on the River Mersey.
Liverpool was Cunard’s birthplace and home to the Line’s main office from 1839 to 1967. Located on Pierhead, the Cunard Building is now a World Heritage site and significant facility for the city. For even more record setting, the Queen Mary 2 will arrive in Liverpool on Sunday, May 24, 2015, and will be berthed in sight of the Cunard Building for the ship’s first-ever stay in Liverpool.
The following morning, the Queen Mary 2’s sister ships will sail into the city. Then all three Queens will line up on the Mersey. Oh, how I would like to be there to photograph that.
When the Queen Elizabeth 2 sailed into Liverpool for the first time in July 1990, more than a million people turned out for the event. I can imagine how many will show up for all three Queens. Will be quite the celebration.
On Monday, May 25, 2015, Queen Mary 2 will take her leave and sail out of Liverpool. Queen Elizabeth will follow that evening.
For a really fascinating cruise, I’m looking at the one that travels to Ireland on May 7, 2015, to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Cunard’s Lusitania.
The British ocean liner RMS Lusitania, primarily ferried people and goods across the Atlantic Ocean between the United States and Great Britain. On May 7, 1915, the Lusitania was torpedoed by a German U-boat and sunk. Of the 1,959 people on board, 1,198 died, including 128 Americans. The sinking of the Lusitania enraged Americans and hastened the United States' entrance into World War I.
During World War I, Cunard lost 22 ships, including the Carpathia, which had rescued survivors of the Titanic. A special tribute will be given for the Cunard crew members, passengers and ships that were lost in the First World War.
“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,” Dingle said.
For more information: Contact Cunard (800) 728-6273 or visit www.cunard.com.