March 5, 2014
Posted in: News
Next year is set to be a special year for Cunard Line, and we are excited to have released the long-awaited details of our much-anticipated celebratory voyages that we have been planning for 2015 to mark the 175thanniversary of our first ship, Britannia, setting sail in July 1840.
Britannia inaugurated the first-ever regularly-scheduled service across the Atlantic and every year since then Cunard ships have crossed and re-crossed the Atlantic, in peace and war, without fail. Cunard history is like no other. For so long the heartbeats of Cunard and Britain have been as one and Cunard intends to celebrate this landmark anniversary in grand style. These special voyages have been planned over many months to commemorate key dates in our history with all who wish to be part of Cunard’s special and unique heritage.
The 175th Anniversary Crossing
Our flagship Queen Mary 2 will recreate history when she sails from Liverpool on 4 July 2015, following in the wake of Britannia which left the city 175 years earlier to the day. This will also be the first time since January 1968 that a Cunard ship has departed from Liverpool for America. The 10-night crossing from Liverpool will call at Halifax and Boston just like Britannia, and will conclude in New York on 14 July 2015. The full voyage begins in our home port of Southampton on 2 July 2015 with guests embarking in Liverpool on 4 July before Queen Mary 2 sets sail across the Atlantic.
There has been intense excitement about this voyage since it was initially announced and demand is expected to be high. Whether joining in Southampton or Liverpool, passengers will be taking part in the signature celebration of the company’s 175 years and will themselves become part of our illustrious history.
A Salute to Liverpool
Cunard was founded in the city of Liverpool and our Head Office remained there for 128 years until 1967. Today the magnificent Cunard Building forms one third of the World-Heritage-listed ‘Three Graces’ on the Pier Head. It is fitting, therefore, that 175 years after the inauguration of our Transatlantic service from Liverpool, the current fleet salutes the company’s ‘spiritual’ home. From 24 to 26 May 2015, Liverpool will play host to the three largest Cunard ships ever built in a once-in-a-lifetime, history-making and head-turning three-day event.
Queen Mary 2 will arrive in Liverpool on Sunday 24 May and make her first ever overnight stay in the city, berthed in sight of the Cunard Building. The following morning, on Monday 25 May, Queen Elizabeth and Queen Victoria will sail into the city and for a time all three ships of the Cunard fleet will line up on the Mersey in a spectacle that is expected to draw huge crowds. Over a million people saw QE2 sail into Liverpool for the first time in July 1990.
Queen Mary 2 will then take her leave and sail out of Liverpool late morning on Monday 25 May as Queen Elizabeth berths at the landing stage, where she will remain until late that night. Queen Victoria meanwhile will anchor in the Mersey. Late in the evening of Monday 25 May, Queen Elizabeth will set sail and Queen Victoria will then take the berth and remain there overnight, and for the following day, Tuesday 26 May.
The 25 May three ship event features as a highlight of three very different cruises:
Queen Mary 2: 10-night ‘British Isles – Liverpool Salute’
17 – 27 May 2015 - This ‘lap-of-honour’ by the Cunard flagship leaves Southampton and calls at Cobh, Dun Laoghaire, Greenock (where celebrations to recognise the 125 Cunard ships built on the Clyde since 1840 will take place), Oban, Liverpool and St Peter Port before returning to Southampton.
Queen Elizabeth: 16-night ‘Baltic – Liverpool Salute’
11 – 27 May 2015 - Queen Elizabeth departs Southampton on 11 May for her Baltic cruise calling at Oslo, Copenhagen, Stockholm, Tallinn, St Petersburg, Warnemunde, Kirkwall and Liverpool before returning to Southampton on 27 May.
Queen Victoria: 6-night ‘Liverpool Salute’
22 – 28 May 2015 - Queen Victoria will depart Southampton on 22 May for St Peter Port before an overnight stay in Liverpool on the 25th. She returns to Southampton on 28 May.
Let the Party Commence – Southampton, 3 May 2015
Cunard’s 175th celebrations will start in earnest at its homeport of Southampton on 3 May 2015 when Queen Mary 2, Queen Elizabeth and Queen Victoria will sail into Southampton together and depart later that day in formation.
After the three ship meeting in Southampton, Queen Victoria will depart on her seven-night ‘Lusitania Remembered’ voyage, Queen Mary 2 will head for New York and Queen Elizabeth will set sail on an eight-night Northern Europe cruise calling at Hamburg and Amsterdam where she will continue our 175th Anniversary celebrations.
100 years ago, on 7 May 1915 while en-route from New York to Liverpool, the Cunard flagship Lusitania was torpedoed and sank approximately 14 miles off the old Head of Kinsale in Ireland. In all, Cunard lost 22 ships during the First World War, including Carpathia which had rescued all of the survivors of the Titanic.
This special seven-night cruise by Queen Victoria will commemorate the loss of Lusitania and of Cunard crew and ships in WW1 more generally. Queen Victoria will call at Cobh (formerly Queenstown) on 7 May 2015, 100 years to the day since Lusitania was lost. A special service ashore will be held, to which all passengers on Queen Victoria will be invited, in addition to a number of other tributes that will be made that day. Sailing from and back to Southampton 3-10 May 2015, Queen Victoria will call at St Peter Port (Guernsey), Le Havre, Cobh and Dublin.
For more information on our 175th Anniversary voyages, visit our website by clicking here.