Plans to stage the world’s most spectacular gathering of Cunard’s Three Queens ever seen are well underway in Liverpool.
The meeting of the fleet will take place in May 2015 on the River Mersey in the City that is Cunard’s spiritual home.
Queen Mary 2, the 150,000 ton flagship of the fleet, will be joined by her sisters Queen Victoriaand Queen Elizabeth to stage a stunning salute to the City as part of Cunard’s 175th anniversary.
Liverpool’s UNESCO World heritage Site waterfront, which includes the Cunard Building, will provide a unique backdrop for the “Three Queens, One Magnificent City” spectacular which organisers expect up to one million spectators to attend.
Preparing to accommodate the three Queens requires meticulous and detailed planning.
As well as being the biggest ships ever built for Cunard, the fleet includes the largest passenger ship ever to sail the Mersey as well as two sister ships which each top 90,000 tons.
The complex marine operations plan is being prepared by a team including Commodore of the Cunard fleet Christopher Rynd; Captain Steve Gallimore, the Port of Liverpool Harbour Master; and Mr Chris Booker, Chairman of Liverpool Pilots Limited and the Events River Pilot.
A series of carefully choreographed ship movements will take place in various parts of the Mersey from Crosby and New Brighton to points off Albert Dock and Woodside. The Liverpool Pilots are utilising their sophisticated ship simulator to assist in planning the manoeuvres. .
Commodore Rynd said:
“With the unique backdrop of Liverpool’s world-famous waterfront, and the capacity on both sides of the Mersey to accommodate tens of thousands of spectators, I believe this will be a most spectacular gathering of the Three Queens. I am excited by the prospect of bringing the Fleet to its spiritual home and I am impressed by the level of engagement and collaboration between the partners involved to make it all possible.”
Captain Steve Gallimore said:
“The planning is at a very advanced stage and the sight of the Cunard Queens together off Pier Head and elsewhere in the river will create a striking and lasting impression for spectators and those watching the coverage all over the world. Managing the navigation of ships the size of the Cunard Queens in the Mersey is challenging. This makes the detailed planning and co-ordination involving the Commodore so essential.”
Mr Chris Booker said:
“Meticulous planning by the Liverpool Pilots, involving input from all parties, is crucial to a smooth but exciting performance on the day. It promises to be a once in a lifetime experience for everyone involved including spectators watching the event unfold from either side of the Mersey on 25 May next year.”
Cllr Wendy Simon, Liverpool City Council Cabinet Member with responsibility for Culture and Tourism, said:
“The arrival of the Three Queens in the Mersey next May will be a spectacular and memorable event and one which will present Liverpool’s credentials as a truly world-class cruise port destination with a unique maritime history and heritage to a global audience. The Fleet is coming!”