White Star Service logo


Cunard Wins Queen’s Trophy in the 122nd Pasadena Tournament of Roses Parade

January 20, 2011

We Are Cunard

Posted in: Updates

Thank you again for such an incredible response to the Blogs Peter Shanks and I posted about the Royal Rendezvous in New York. It’s wonderful to hear from readers all over the world, and exciting to read how much you enjoyed the event as well. It was a truly magnificent occasion and a day none of us will forget in a hurry.

We had another special event two days later in Fort Lauderdale when Queen Elizabeth and Queen Victoria were again berthed next to each other, and enjoyed a wonderful send off. I’ll post details of that terrific day on Friday. Before we go back to New Year’s Day in Passadena, here’s this week in Cunard’s History for the week of 20 to 26 January:

20 January 1950 Caronia crosses the equator for the first time travelling south to Brazil.
21 January 2008 Queen Victoria makes her maiden transit of the Panama Canal
22 January 2004 Queen Mary 2 makes her maiden call to Barbados, on her 14 day Maiden Voyage to Fort Lauderdale.
26 January 1856 The Persia begins her maiden voyage from Liverpool to New York as Cunard’s last but one paddle steamer.
26 January 1986 QE2 makes her maiden call to Callao, Peru
26 January 2010 Queen Mary 2 makes her maiden call to Muscat, Oman


Just when you thought we had forgotten about it, I am pleased to confirm our Vlog and pictures from the 122nd Pasadena Tournament of Roses Parade presented by Honda, are now ready to post. In case you didn’t see the previous posts on the preparations that went in to this great day, you can click on the links below.



As regular readers know Cunard made its inaugural debut on the streets of Pasadena, California on New Year’s Day, and won the prestigious, and most appropriately named, Queen’s Trophy for best use of roses.

Cunard’s float themed, A Grand Celebration at Sea, depicted the Cunard fleet of three Queens, flagship Queen Mary 2, Queen Victoria and the latest addition to the fleet, Queen Elizabeth.

The float illustrated the ultimate sense of occasion experienced on a luxury voyage aboard Cunard, including Veuve Clicquot champagne toasts, the Royal Court Theatre, ballroom dancing and big band music.

Peter Shanks, Cunard’s President and Managing Director told me:


“The floral detail of our float truly depicted the elegance and grandeur of Cunard Line. We celebrate the honour of the Queen’s Trophy with our designer Raul Rodriquez, builder Fiesta Parade Floats and floral designer Jim Hynd, our employees shore side and at sea, and the hundreds of volunteers who helped decorate our float.”



This year’s Rose Parade theme was Building Dreams, Friendships and Memories and perfectly connected to the legacy and heritage of Cunard liners. For almost two centuries since the company’s first paddle-wheeled steamer, Britannia, crossed the Atlantic in 1840, the Cunard name has been synonymous with fulfilling dreams and creating lifetime friendships and memories.

Special float riders included Cunard Commodore travel agent June Longpre from New Wave Travel in Toronto, Canada, and Mim Strickler from Around the Globe Travel in Orange County, California, as well as World Club members Jo and David Murray from Long Beach, California.  Today, Jo continued a family Rose Parade tradition, as her mother rode on a Rose Parade float when she was a child.

From bow to stern, A Grand Celebration at Sea florally portrayed signature hallmarks found on a Cunard liner, including the Grand Lobby staircase where an oversized floralgraph of Cunard’s three Queens took centre stage, a reference to the youngest fleet at sea and the Cunard Royal Rendezvous that took place last Thursday in New York.

In floral and architectural celebration of Cunard’s rich tradition of elegance and grandeur, the float stood at 24 feet high, 18 feet wide and 55 feet long as it made its way down the parade route. A big band orchestra and ballroom dancers animated the line’s famed Royal Nights Themed Balls. Representing Cunard’s hallmark brand of service, eight White Star Bellmen walked alongside the floral liner. A whistle sound from the new Queen Elizabeth completed the Cunard float.

Black Magic roses, purple phalaenopsis orchid sprays, green cymbidium orchids and hypericum, and white Casablanca lilies bordered the float, while more than 45,000 red Opium roses carpeted the steps and floors. Layers of black onion seed and crisp white sweet rice accented the distinctive shape of Cunard’s elongated bow, while shimmering deep brown flax seed replicated the rich texture of hand-polished mahogany woods throughout the architectural features. White roses, dendrobium orchids and phalaenopsis orchids swept over oceans of light and dark blue iris, delphinium and hydrangea blossoms to create the water waves of the high seas.


And now here’s the Vlog that captures the magic of that special day:

Congratulations again to everyone in involved in this huge success, and thank you Eric for the great Vlog. I’ll be back tomorrow with a special blog recapturing the excitement of Queen Elizabeth’s maiden call to Fort Lauderdale as she was joined by her sister Queen Victoria. Next week we’ll have more news from around the fleet including Cunard’s latest stars and the 2011 World Voyages. Cheers for now, Alastair

  1. Kenneth Eden says:

    Priceless pictures – close up, and personal.

    Cunard hit one oput of the park with the float – wish I had been there for the parade.

  2. Geoffrey Palmer says:

    Hi There Alistair
    What a fantastic Cunard float in Pasadena. Cunard does it again “Nothing but the best” just like their 3 great ocean liners.
    We are getting over the floods in Queensland Australia and continuing to get back to normal. You would have seen the pictures on television I’m sure. Keep up the good work on the reports – always great to read them. See you in March (only 8 weeks to go!)
    Regards from Aussie land. Geoff Palmer

  3. Mark says:

    Hello Alastair,

    I have never posted on here but I am a regualar reader of your wonderful blog.
    This particular even holds a very special meaning for me as I have been a life long fan of Cunard and I am from and live in Pasadena!

    The parade and especially Cunard’s float, was beautiful! The float seemed to be one of the most popular, even with people who didn’t know Cunard! I hope Cunard is planing on making this a regular thing…I would love to see them in next years Rose Parade!

    You’ll be happy to know that some of the roses from Cunards float have been preserved!


    Heres my personal account with the Cunard float…

  4. Gavin Tippet says:

    Hi Alistair
    Great photos of the parade in Pasadena.
    As a resident from Queensland Australia in one of the biggest WETS for many years, we are getting back to normal. In four weeks, I embark on the Queen Elizabeth in Sydney to cruise to Singapore. 6 months of waiting and watching the progress of the Queen Elizabeth.
    Look forward to meeting you on board.
    Regards Gavin Tippet

  5. Robert - Hunter Valley says:

    Echo Geoffrey’s reflections. Now, a challenge for Sydney, Melbourne and Freo (Perth). If we have survived the floods and the Ashes, anything is possible. Marvellous foresight by Cunard.

  6. Judith Sayers says:

    Wonderful pictures of the float and excellent Vlog.It captured the Cunard experience, which we will be enjoying again in April.Lovely flowers, any chance of a selection of the varieties used on the float, being used on board the ships in the gorgeous flower arrangements we see in the Grand Lobby etc?, just so we can see them close up when we are on board?

  7. Beryl Moss says:

    Fantastic phtographs along with the video. Congratulations to all involved with the Cunard float. As always the dedication to detail shows and makes us feel proud to sail with such an iconic name in cruising.

  8. Chris & Margaret Rose says:

    Hi Alistair,
    Well here we are on Queen Elizabeth.
    Our anticipation has only been exceeded by our pure excitement of being “on board”.
    What a marvellous departure from Fort Lauderdale, along with Queen Victoria.
    Having watched and participated in so many of your blogs during the building, naming and maiden voyage of Queen Elizabeth, we just pinch ourselves that we are now part of her Maiden World voyage.
    It was a real pleasure to meet with you and discuss both your blogs and some of the history of Cunard.
    It is truly a very “special” Company.
    It is such a pleasure and indeed a privelege to experience “on board” with so many fabulous crew.
    Thanks so much and as always very best regards

  9. Hi we are just back from a wonderfull cruise on QM2 NYC to CPT did not want to leave her as usual Love the photos of QM2 and RMS St Helena where can I get copies as I was on deck 13 enjoying the sight. Thanks again all on QM2. Hope to do CPT to SYD next year!
    Regards Pam

Leave a Comment