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Forever Cunard

Commodore Rynd on 175 Years

February 17, 2015


Posted in: Forever Cunard, Forever Cunard

This year we are celebrating our 175th Anniversary. Over the coming weeks, we will share our history with you in a series of blog posts. Our first post is Commodore Rynd on 175 years…

Being a Cunard Captain is something very special and being a Cunard Commodore is indeed a privilege.

Cunard ships have crossed and re-crossed the Atlantic every year, in peace and war, since 1840 without fail. That is reason enough to celebrate 175 years of service. But Cunard is about so much more when you consider such important historical achievements such as its involvement in emigration, how its very existence helped Liverpool and indeed the United States prosper and the times it has answered the call of Great Britain in war.

Celebrating its achievements at significant anniversaries has not been easy for Cunard and it was only really able to bask in deserved glory during its 150th anniversary in 1990.

It’s true a dinner was held on board Etruria in Liverpool in 1890 to mark the first 50 years. But in 1915 with war raging and Lusitania having been sunk in May there was no interest to mark 75 years. In 1940, when Queen Elizabeth – the biggest liner ever built should have entered service – war again meant the centenary came and went. And in 1965 Cunard was fighting for survival and had just started to build a ship (QE2) everyone outside the company said would be a “disaster” so limited enthusiasm for the company’s 125th anniversary!

It is perhaps important to point out that Cunard has never formally celebrated anniversaries of its founding in May 1839 choosing instead to mark the 4 July departure of Britannia. Not only did that ship inaugurate the first scheduled service across the Atlantic she changed the face of ocean travel forever and firmly connected the Old World with the New.

And that’s why 4 July is as important to Cunard as Independence Day is as important to our American friends.

In 1990 just one Cunard Queen, QE2, performed the official duties on behalf of the company. In 2015 all three Cunard Queens will represent Cunard and its triumph of a great tradition!

I and my fellow Captains are looking forward to next year’s celebrations but before they get underway I invite you to enjoy this tribute to Cunard in this series of blog posts.

Commodore Christopher Rynd

  1. Thomas Bozek says:

    I am indeed glad to see that the blog posts have once again been activated. Please continue to share these posts. We enjoyed, in the past, the coverage of events on the ships as well as information, up to date photos and the latest news and information about refits etc.

  2. Elisabeth Saporiti says:

    It is really a fascinating history… I shall confess that one of my dearest dreams is to travel with you one day…

  3. Annemarie O'Donnell says:

    Congratulations to you, Captain, and all of your team! I’m very happy that all of your hard work and years of services have brought you to this point.

    Many more happy and successful years to all of you!!


  4. David O'Grady says:

    Thank you Commodore Rynd for such an interesting and concise overview, in preparation for the Cunard 175th Celebration. How appropriate that Liverpool Port will host the three ships, in remembrance of those early days of struggle and vision. What, above all though, struck me from the Commodore’s review, was how much suffering, human and financial, had marred those possible earlier celebrations. We are so fortunate now, 2015, to be able to party and freely rejoice in this Cunard tri-ship event, free from man’s war against man and secure in financial guardianship and development with Carnival. We shall be in Liverpool in May. As well as enjoying the ‘show,’ we will remember the hardship overcome to reach here.

  5. Jorge Rojas-Chacon says:

    A very interesting life…….

  6. My husband and I are once again booked on board Queen Mary 2 for her trip to Halifax Nova Scotia, Quebec etc in September this year. We cannot wait. She also calls into Boston where our daughter lives and works so we will catch up with her also and at the end sail into New York early morning a sight not to be missed. Our daughter is driving down and picking us up and then we will spend a week with her. Brilliant. Cannot wait to see if Executive Chef Nicholas Oldroyd’s delicacies match those of his twin Executive Chef Mark. Cunard ships are the best in the world. Looking forward so much to renewing our love of everything Cunard as we have sailed on QE2, Queen Victoria, Queen Elizabeth and Queen Mary 2 andhave had some wonderful, memorable experiences. James and Moira Fergie from Edinburgh, Scotland.

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