There are just over four weeks to go until maritime history is made on the River Mersey.
For the first time, the Three Cunard Queens – Queen Victoria, Queen Elizabeth and Queen Mary 2 – will sail into Liverpool together as part of the One Magnificent City celebrations, marking the 175th anniversary of Cunard.
This unforgettable spectacular, which is a salute to the company’s spiritual home, will take place during the May bank holiday. The three ships will only be together for a short time on Monday 25, but activities will take place across the weekend.
Schedule (Please note, all the times are approximate and, particularly in relation to the movement of the Three Queens, are subject to change. www.onemagnificentcity.co.uk and @OMCLpool will have the most up-to-date information throughout the event)
Saturday 23 May
10pm – Amazing Graces – state-of-the-art projections on the Three Graces exploring the spirit of Liverpool.
Sunday 24 May
9am – Queen Mary 2 arrives in the city and berths at Liverpool Cruise Liner Terminal
10pm – Amazing Graces projections
10.30pm – Firework display
Monday 25 May
10.45am – Queen Mary 2 leaves the berth to greet her two sisters at Brazil Buoy (on the river between Crosby Beach and New Brighton)
12pm to 2pm – Three Queens meet and sail in formation past the UNESCO World Heritage Site and south towards the Liverpool Echo Arena, and then will head north along the Mersey
2.10pm – Queen Mary 2 leaves the city, Queen Elizabeth berths at the Cruise Liner Terminal and Queen Victoria anchors in the middle of the Mersey
10pm – Amazing Graces projections
10.30pm – Firework display, after which Queen Elizabeth leaves the city and Queen Victoria berths at the Cruise Liner Terminal
Tuesday 26 May
4.30pm – A special musical sail-away performance to say goodbye to Queen Victoria
Across the weekend it is anticipated huge numbers of people will head to the city to be part of the celebrations, with the main focus being on Monday 25 May, when hundreds of thousands are expected to flock to both sides of the Mersey to experience a bit of maritime history.
Transport partners are encouraging people to start planning their journeys to and from the event, regardless of how far they’re travelling, and maybe think differently about which mode of transport to use.
Due to the anticipated massive demand on the transport network:
Travel updates and alerts will be posted on merseytravel.gov.uk, or if further help is needed in planning a journey before or during the event, call Traveline on 0151 236 7676 or 0871 200 22 33. You may also want to follow @Merseytravel on Twitter and look out for #3queenstravel.
If you’re local, consider staying local. The Three Queens will be a full waterfront and coastal spectacle with opportunities to view from Liverpool, Wirral and Sefton. Walking and cycling may be the fastest and easiest way to get to and from the event.
If you live in the Liverpool City Region, consider using public transport as services will be strengthened.
Mainline train services from Manchester, Wigan and Crewe directions will be particularly busy. If you live in the area and normally take the City line into Liverpool, you may want to consider taking the bus.
Be prepared. As this is an event of national and international significance, it goes without saying that it will be extremely busy and there will be queues. Plan ahead, leave plenty of time to get where you want to go and please be patient.
If you’re visiting from further afield or have mobility issues, car parking will be available.
A one way system will be in place at Liverpool Lime Street on Monday 25 May to safely manage the high number of people using the station. Please allow extra time to make your journey and be prepared to queue to enter the station to catch your train on Monday night.
Some of the events during the Three Queens weekend will finish late which means significant demand for transport services from 10pm. Don’t leave it too late – allow time to get to the stop or station and for there to be queues when you arrive there. Consider what your alternative options may be in getting home.
Mayor of Liverpool, Joe Anderson, said: “Liverpool is a city well-versed in staging huge events with an international focus, and this May bank holiday weekend will be no exception.
“For months there has been a buzz around the city about the arrival of the three majestic liners on the Mersey. Hotel rooms have been snapped up and people are travelling far and wide to take in this maritime spectacle.
“Although the ships will only be together for a short period of time on the Monday, there is a whole programme of events taking place across the weekend to keep the expected huge crowds entertained. As well as the meeting of the Three Queens the much-anticipated Amazing Graces projections will be a highlight for many as we’ll see the Three Graces in a whole new light.
“Without a doubt it’s going to be exceptionally busy on both sides of the river and our transport network will be put under a great deal of pressure and we want visitors to plan their journeys as much as possible.
“For more than a year we’ve been working with transport partners and Merseyside Police to make sure the city rises to the challenge for what could be one of the busiest weekend’s the region has experienced.
“I have no doubt that Liverpool will shine under the international spotlight and this will be an unforgettable moment in the city’s history for all the right reasons.”
Cunard Director, Angus Struthers, said: “After many years of planning, in just over four weeks Liverpool will host the gathering of our three majestic Queens on the Mersey. The event will provide a spectacle that will live long in the memories of those who attend.
“If the excitement and buzz that there is currently around the city is an indication of the reception the fleet is going to receive over the three-day period then it is difficult to describe the excitement, emotion and passion there will be at the time.
“The Fleet is coming!”
The Three Queens weekend forms part of One Magnificent City – a seven week programme of events celebrating Liverpool’s internationally renowned maritime history and transatlantic links. It begins on Friday 15 May with the cultural celebration that is LightNight and runs until the weekend of the 4th July when Liverpool will host the UK’s biggest Independence Day celebrations under the banner Transatlantic 175. Throughout the seven weeks various activities will be held which mark the 175th anniversary of Cunard.
This summer, Liverpool is hosting a seven week programme of spectacular events all under the banner ‘One Magnificent City’. The celebrations are to honour the city’s internationally renowned maritime history and transatlantic links, and mark Cunard’s 175th anniversary.
One Magnificent City, which will start on Friday 15 May, is expected to bring in up to a million people to the city.
The summer of events will include a historic moment when the three Cunard Queens meet on the River Mersey for the first time on Monday 25 May, as well as the UK’s biggest 4 July celebrations as part of the 175 transatlantic festivities. Events will also include Sound City 2015 which runs from 21-24 May, International Mersey River Festival & Music on the Waterfront on 5 – 7 June, and Rock n Roll Marathon on 14 June.
The entire seven week summer will see a series of art and history exhibitions hosted in Liverpool’s famous museums and art galleries, city-wide photography exhibitions, gigantic audio and visual projections coming to life across the city, as well as tall ships, live music and street performers taking over the waterfront.
Cunard is the most famous passenger shipping line in the world and Liverpool was its headquarters for 127 years. 2015 marks the 175th anniversary of the first transatlantic passenger service from Liverpool to North America – the sailing of Cunard’s Britannia from the River Mersey to Halifax, Nova Scotia and Boston. Liverpool takes centre stage in Cunard’s global celebrations to mark this historic anniversary.
In May 2015 its Three Queens – the largest Cunarders ever built – will stage a spectacular salute to the spiritual home by gathering together in front of the City’s famous UNESCO World Heritage Site waterfront. In July, Queen Mary 2 will recreate the historic 1840 transatlantic crossing from Liverpool. To find out more visit cunard.co.uk/Liverpool