May 15, 2015
Posted in: Forever Cunard
Doing what’s right. As I walk around Queen Victoria as we head towards Cobh in Ireland to commemorate the sinking of the Cunard ship Lusitania 100 years ago, these three words continue to resonate. They resonate with me, the ship’s crew and importantly our guests.
Billing a cruise, “Lusitania Remembered” is to some rather a specialist, even sombre way to promote a cruise. But, when we take a step back, we see that this is the only way it should be. The tragedy of Lusitania changed perceptions in the Great War and ultimately led to the United States entering the fray. Why? Simply, she was a civilian carrying vessel, sunk by a German torpedo, with the loss of 1,195 lives, many of whom were women and children. It was an act that caused outrage and one that immeasurably changed the lives of the families of those who died, those who survived and those in and around Cobh. And Lusitania was one of twenty…yes, twenty ships that Cunard lost in World War I. As one guest said to me, “It’s important we remember”.
We have many guests on board who have booked just because this is Queen Victoria and because of this itinerary. We have those that shall be on each of the Queens over the next three weeks in our 175th year. We also have relatives of those affected by the events of 7 May 1915. But for all, the mood on the ship is honestly great….all our guests are experiencing the best of Cunard. All are positive and in particular the relatives have an immense pride at being part of this very special voyage. Without exception, they are grateful to Cunard for doing this. Pictured left to right are George Harrison, former second engineer on Queen Mary 2 and the great grandson of one of the Lusitania survivors, and Eric Sauder, whose collection of Lusitania artefacts is currently on display on board.
Sometimes, when managing a brand, we do things not because they’re exciting news announced with fanfare. Sometimes, we do things because it’s doing what’s right. And we do it properly.
The fanfare can wait a week or so – just wait until the end of the month when the three Queens gather in Liverpool!