January 15, 2011
We Are Cunard
Welcome to a very special Blog featuring the first pictures from Thursday’s historic event, as Cunard’s three Queens met in New York. It was a truly magical day that I know all of us felt privileged to have witnessed. The day started very early as all three Queens arrived in New York in the early hours of the morning. Queen Mary 2 arrived at her berth in Brooklyn, while Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth docked at Pier 88 and Pier 90 respectively in Manhattan.
On Queen Elizabeth we were lucky enough to have Maritime Historian Bill Miller on the bridge from 4.45am, giving a wonderful commentary from the bridge as we passed under the Verrazano Bridge and along the Hudson River to our Berth. Having grown in Hoboken, New Jersey, just opposite where all the great liners docked in the heyday of transatlantic travel, there was no one better to talk about the dramatic sail in.
All three Queens were docked by 6.30am, with dawn breaking over the Big Apple a little later; and what a beautiful day it turned out to be. Although it was very cold with remnants of snow still on the ground, there was glorious sunshine all day, so I couldn’t resist taking some photos of the early morning sun. Queen Elizabeth was docked next to the USS Intrepid, and what a wonderful view it was looking towards the New Jersey Shoreline.
Looking ahead of the ship the sun started to make its way through the fabulous Manhattan skyline;
Of course in the next berth to Queen Elizabeth was her sister Queen Victoria, and this was the closest the two sisters have ever been together.
It was an amazing day, as we greeted many new guests and visitors to Cunard’s latest Queen, but as sunset approached it was time to prepare for the evening’s excitement. The light was superb, so I couldn’t resist another great picture of Queen Victoria basking in the early evening sunset.
While Queen Mary 2 left her berth in Brooklyn, Queen Victoria was the first to back out of pier 88, to get ready for the historic rendezvous.
Queen Elizabeth followed, and I was lucky enough to be on the bridge where I had a stunning view of the Empire State Building which had been turned Cunard red in honour of this amazing day.
As we made our way towards our rendezvous point, Queen Victoria led the way with Queen Mary 2 just making her turn in the distance, ready for the line up and the grand fireworks display.
While we were enjoying the terrific view from the Queens, and New Yorkers gathered along the shoreline, Cunard had arranged for a helicopter to take some photographs from the air, and I have to say a massive thank you to Jonathan Atkin who took these beautiful photos.
As the Queens took up their places with Queen Mary 2 followed by Queen Victoria and then Queen Elizabeth, the fireworks began.
What a spectacle it was as the truly impressive fireworks lit New York Harbour.
The Queens all looked majestic lined up in formation for the very first time, with the flagship, Queen Mary 2 leading the way.
Being Cunard, of course there was a lot of red in the display to pay tribute to the proud history between the company and the city of New York. Here are all three Queens being guided by the Harbour Police boats with their blue lights, enjoying the beautiful red glow with the Manhattan skyline providing the backdrop.
This last impressive picture sums up the day, with the Empire State Building to the left of the photo, the three Cunard Queens against the city of Manhattan and the Statue of Liberty in the foreground.
It’s difficult to sum up a day like Thursday, but I can guarantee those who witnessed this piece of Cunard History will never forget it.
We’ll be back next week with a special President’s Blog from Cunard’s President and managing Director, Peter Shanks as he reflects on this incredible day. Cheers for now, Alastair