Cunard have announced more details of Liverpool’s role in the celebrations to mark the company’s 175th anniversary.
The company was founded in the city in 1840 and the company’s Head Office was located at the Pier Head in the world-famous Cunard Building until 1967.
From 24-26 July 2015, Liverpool will play host to the three largest Cunard ships ever built in an historic three-day event.
Queen Mary 2 will arrive on Sunday 24 May at 1400hrs and stay overnight at the Cruise Liner Terminal, berthed in sight of the Cunard Building.
On Monday 25 May, Queen Elizabeth and Queen Victoria will sail into the city at 1000hrs and all three ships will line up on the River Mersey. Queen Mary 2 will then sail out of Liverpool at 1100hrs, as Queen Elizabeth berths at the landing stage where she will remain until she departs at 2300hrs.
Queen Victoria will be anchored in the Mersey throughout the day and evening, and will then take the berth when Queen Elizabeth sets sail.
Queen Victoria will set sail on Tuesday 26 May at 2300hrs.
VIDEO: Mayor Joe Anderson and Angus Struthers from Cunard announce the plans for 2015
On 4 July, Queen Mary 2 will recreate history when she sails from Liverpool bound for New York via Halifax and Boston – just as the inaugural Britannia sailing did 175 years before. It will be the first time since January 1968 that a Cunard ship has departed from Liverpool for America.
Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson said: “2015 will be a huge year for Liverpool and its maritime heritage. Liverpool and the Cunard are integrally linked – the city was home to the world headquarters until the 1960s and the legendary vessels Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth were designed here.
“It’s a huge honour that Cunard will be marking their 17th anniversary in their spiritual home.
“Anyone who knows me knows I have a personal affinity with the sea and am hugely passionate about our maritime history having spent many years in the merchant navy. I’m proud to be Mayor of a city that is hosting such a prestigious, international event and know that many others in the city with a similar background will deel the same.”
“The majestic sight of the three Queens on the Mersey will attract many thousands of people to the waterfront and will shine a spotlight on Liverpool and its increasingly important role in today’s cruise industry.”
Angus Struthers, Cunard Director, said: “Liverpool is the spiritual home of Cunard so I am delighted to have the city play a key role in our celebrations next year.
“Together, both have shared so many historic moments but what we have planne in May and July next year will surely be among the most special.
“They will be days that will live long in the memory of those who will be there to witness the events – whether on board our ships or along the Mersey.”
Also unveiled today was the official portrait to commemorate the 175th anniversary, created by renowned maritime artist Robert Lloyd (pictured). It depicts a fictional meeting between the company’s first ship Britanni and today’s flagship Queen Mary 2 on the River Mersey.