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Celebrating 175 years in 2015

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.

‘Lusitania Remembered’

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

  1. Bill Bradbury says:

    Great news might be on the QM2 crossing having been to all three ports of call a few years ago-really loved Boston and a Brewery at Halifax 50 yards from the berth!! or I may decide the Elizabeth Cruise-we enjoyed a previous one on the Victoria up the Baltic and haven’t been on this cruise ship the Victora being my favourite!) but as Liverpool is only 10 miles away will be there (or on the Elizabeth) when 3 ships arrive as will be approx. 1m people watching?

    Interesting to note that by the time of the celebration the old Cunard Building around the corner from the Central Cunard building of the “3 Graces” will be opened as a hotel as currently the workmen are in and there was an open day last week where locals saw the opulent decor which we hope will be maintained. This building is of similar design to Scotland Yard London and where the crowds assembled over the Titanic disaster. Only a 10 min. walk from the berth.

    Carry on up James St. 200yards and turn left and the Beatles Cavern is there (Mathew St.) with the White Star pub 100yards lower down a haunt for all Norwegans and Cunard crew (and Captain I am told by the land-lady) Can’t wait!

  2. judith says:

    Looking forward to it, will be on Queen Mary 2. Should be quite a spectacle, will we get the Red Arrows this time? We missed them on Jubilee celebrations trip, because of the bad weather.

  3. Tod Terry says:

    In 1945 after serving in WWII my Grandfather returned home on the Queen Mary, I met my wife to be on board the Queen Mary, proposed to her on the deck of the Queen Mary, and we are holding our marriage on board as well this September. The Queen, and Cunard hold a special place in our hearts, and families as we become united. My bride to be and I are looking forward to being able to celebrate such a special occasion for all three Queens, as well as Cunard. Without Cunard our lives would be much different, and we may have never meet. As soon as we are able we are making plans to take the Transatlantic crossing to Southampton to be a part of the celebration for our Honeymoon.

    “Cheers” to Cunard.

  4. Diane Warren says:

    Thanks for the info Bill. Interesting about the Hotel.We too are in the process of making up our minds which Cruise to book for the Historic Liverpool Cunard Celebrations. Like you Judith, we are wondering if the Red Arrows have been booked, particularly as we had the disappointment of the weather preventing them from displaying at Southampton. Of course we have to rely on the weather but it would be good to know if Cunard have booked them wouldn’t it?! We are going to be on Queen Victoria on May 9th this year when all 3 Queens will be at Southampton again to mark QM2′s 10th Birthday but cannot find any details of what the Celebrations are going to be. Does anyone know? Cunard seem to be keeping these things from us since the change of Management but really wish they would give us more advanced information for occasions like these. We are now trying to find out where QV will be sailing after ‘She’ returns to Southampton on May 11th 2015 but cannot seem to get this information anywhere. Whilst writing this we have just received a really lovely booklet (in a Celebratory gold coloured envelope) advertising the Anniversary Cruises for 2015 for all 3 Queens. This is really special and definitely another Souvenir to add to our collection! There are lovely pictures of QM2 and QV in the booklet but where is QE?! Will now go and study the Cruises and prepare for booking soon!

  5. Diane & David says:

    Yes, we too are really looking forward to the Celebrations in Liverpool in May 2015.
    We will hopefully be on Queen Victoria so will give you a wave Judith!

  6. Helen Gaskell says:

    We love Cunard and we will get to enjoy a unique experience as Queen Mary 2 recreates history when she sails from the iconic Liverpool waterfront on the 4th July 2015.

    Deposit paid a Cunard booking reference and I get my lifelong wish and that of my late Father to embark a Cunard at Liverpool bound for New York….it will be the culmination of our own “Four Queen’s ex-Liverpool” celebration as we get to complete the trilogy thus far embarking Queen Victoria this May.

    It’s so exciting…roll on Cunard and the 175 Anniversary Celebrations….

  7. Beryl Moss says:

    A very exciting 11 March booking our Queen Mary celebratory cruise andl like Judith fingers crossed we will get the Red Arrows

  8. Lynne Schulze says:

    My husband and I have just completed the circumnavigation of Australia on QM2. We have always enjoyed the sail aways from port but the one from Freemantle will remain forever etched in our memories. We were moored stern to stern with P&O’s Arcadia at Freemantle Dock and as they were also celebrating sail away there was much good spirited interaction between both ships. Huge crowds had come out to see the ships sail and the river banks were full of cars and people. Vibz were playing as usual when they suddenly stopped and the PA system took over. As the world’s greatest ocean liner made her way out of Freemantle wonderful renditions of Jerusalem, Rule Britannia and We are Sailing were played at full volume. there wash’t a Brit on board who was not singing at the top of their voices and I saw quite a few tears shed. It was a nautical version of Last night at the Proms. I am not English but I was a very proud Cunarder during this stirring performance. Well done Queen Mary 2. Could we see this more often?

  9. Philip says:

    Congratulations to Cunard on marking a mile stone in ocean travel of 175 years of excellence. There will never be another line to compete with such quality and standards delivered by Cunard. May you sail the oceans for another 175 years. Cunard a true hallmark of Great Britain.

  10. Diane & David says:

    We are looking forward to Cunard’s Celebrations in 2015. It is a very Special Year for Cunard and as ‘Cunard Fans’ we hope to be joining in the Celebrations. Just wish we could be on all 3 Queens!

  11. Diane & David says:

    Really looking forward to Cunard’s Celebrations in 2015 and also the Special Cruise on Queen Victoria to Liverpool in May of this year when the Maiden Voyage of Aquatania will be Celebrated.

  12. judith says:

    Lets hope we get a repeat of the sailout from Freemantle music wise (as experienced by Lynne ) when we leave Liverpool on Queen Mary 2, in May 2015. Cunard always make it so special.Perhaps we will get Beatles tunes!!!
    When we sailed out of Geiranger fiord on our first trip to Norway we had Greigs music playing on deck, that was wonderful too.
    The Jubilee sailout from Southampton was wonderful too, despite the weather, the atmosphere etc. everyone enjoyed it.

  13. Jane & Norman says:

    We are fortunate enough to be on the whole 20 day round trip on QM2 leaving Southampton on 2nd July 2015. I’m from Liverpool and absolutely loved sailing in on the QM2 when she made her first visit back in October 2009 and this one promises to be even more special. Look forward to seeing you all on board :)

  14. Bill Bradbury says:

    Was in Liverpool on May 31st. and saw the Victoria on which we will be in October. We decided eventually on the Elizabeth as we enjoyed our Victoria Baltic cruise some years ago so that is what we will be on next year in Liverpool. Could get off and go home!! (But no, need another day of indulgence) I overheard a conversation that Liverpool is one of the few ports where you can walk off the ship straight into the city, plus two museums and a a shopping centre within 10 minutes walk. (The cavern and Art Gallery, Science Museum and St.Georges Hall no more than a 30 minute slow walk. Counting down to next May!!

  15. Kay Fall says:

    As I have said on facebook now we have booked on the 175 anniversary trip (round trip) look forward to being able to purchase my “Annie” teddy bear to go the my other 7 Cunard Bears Whatever you call Teddy it will be Annie (anniversary) to me :-)

  16. Myself, three friends and partners, will be on board QM2 for the May Celebrations. The ‘girls’ all met when we started at Liverpool Girls College in 1956. We are all thrilled to be sailing up the Mersey to our home town and anyone who hasn’t visited Liverpool before has a real treat waiting for them. The whole experience promises to be spectacular and I, too, join a previous poster in hoping that appropriate stirring music is played as we sail in and out of Liverpool. Two of our friends are ‘Cunard Newbies’, myself and the other friend, and partners, are Cunard veterans. Only one little niggle in the pipeline, I am so far very unimpressed by the guests booked for this cruise when compared with other cruises later in the year. Still, counting the days………………

  17. Derek Robinson says:

    My wife and I spent a very enjoyable two weeks on the QE’s 16 – 30 June cruise.
    I am particularly impressed with the 175 years logo that appears extensively on the your ships and have been trying to find out who the designer is… can that be revealed?
    Thank you,
    Derek Robinson

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