Maritime history to be made in Liverpool

THERE will be two special events in 2015 to be held in Cunard’s spiritual home of Liverpool in celebration of thecompany’s 175th anniversary.  

Cunard established the first scheduled service across the Atlantic in1840 and every year since Cunard vessels have crossed and re-crossed the Atlantic without fail.  Cunard will celebrate its historic anniversary in style with the first-ever three Queens meeting on the Mersey on 25 May 2015 and the Cunard flagship, Queen Mary 2, will sail from Liverpool on 4 July 2015 recreating the original voyage of Britannia from Liverpool to Halifax and Boston which set out on 4 July 1840.

Cunard's Three QueensOn 24 May 2015 Queen Mary 2 will arrive at the Liverpool Cruise Terminal and will stay overnight. The next morning, her sister-ships Queen Elizabeth and Queen Victoria will also arrive on the Mersey, creating an unprecedented three Queens spectacle in Liverpool. The three ships will be close to the famous Cunard Building on the Pier Head, Cunard’s Headquarters from 1917 to 1967, for a once-in-a-lifetime event that will make maritime history.

When QE2 arrived in the Mersey for the first time in 1990 more than a million spectators turned out to see her and the 15 visits made by Cunard Queens since then have always received warm and enthusiastic welcomes by the people of Liverpool. Having three Queens together on the Mersey is an event that will live long in the memories of all who witness it. Details of the cruises that feature the Liverpool calls will be announced shortly.

On 4 July 2015, 175 years to the day when Britannia departed on her maiden transatlantic voyage, Queen Mary 2 will also sail for the New World on a 10 night voyage calling at Halifax, Boston and New York. For the first time in over 50 years passengers, will be able to board a Cunard ship in Liverpool and sail for the United States. Details of the voyage will be announced shortly.

Angus Struthers, Cunard Director, says:

“Liverpool is the spiritual home of Cunard. Until 1967 the company was based in Liverpool, and it was from Liverpool that Cunard’s first transatlantic crossing was made.  We are therefore delighted to celebrate our 175th anniversary in 2015 with two historic events in Liverpool: a meeting of our fleet of Queens on the Mersey in May 2015 and a repeat of the original transatlantic crossing to Halifax and Boston on 4 July 2015. We look forward to announcing more details over the coming months.”

Mayor of Liverpool, Joe Anderson, adds:

“To have the three Cunard Queens back in their spiritual home on our beautiful waterfront will be nothing short of majestic. This will be an unmissable spectacle which will attract worldwide attention and draw massive crowds. It is particularly fitting given our plans to bring the Cunard Building back into use as a Cruise Liner Terminal and I am absolutely delighted by this news. Liverpool is once again making its mark as a great maritime destination.”

Background information on Cunard

On 21 November 1787 Samuel Cunard was born in Halifax, Nova Scotia. After seeing an out-of-date advertisement in The Times newspaper Samuel travelled to England and won the contract from the British Admiralty to carry the Royal Mail. In 1839 he established the British and North American Royal Mail Steam Packet Company – known from the outset as the Cunard Line – and the service began on 4 July 1840 when Britannia left Liverpool for Boston. And in every one of the 173 years since Cunard ships have crossed and re-crossed the Atlantic, in peace and war, without fail. By the time of his death in 1865 Samuel Cunard had created a legend in maritime history and had received a Baronetcy from Queen Victoria. And over 900 ships, across 139 associated companies, have proudly flown the Cunard flag. Some of these ships have been the most famous in history: Mauretania, Aquitania, Queen Mary, Queen Elizabeth and QE2 while today’s fleet – Queen Mary 2, Queen Elizabeth and Queen Victoria – are not only the largest ever built for the company they are the most famous sailing today. Queen Mary 2 is the largest, longest, tallest, widest and grandest ocean liner ever built and is the only ocean liner in the world today as well as being the fastest passenger ship afloat.