The three Queens of Cunard united to together on Sunday in convoy sailing in and out of their UK homeport, Southampton, marking the start of the cruise lines much anticipated 175th anniversary celebrations.
All three Queens arrived early Sunday morning, returning from their respective world cruises as crowds gathered to welcome their arrival. The event gave the opportunity to the three Captains of the vessels to come together for a photograph on board Queen Mary 2 next to her red funnel, a feature synonymous with Cunard Line ships. Commodore Christopher Rynd, Master of Queen Victoria, Captain Chris Wells, Master of Queen Mary 2 and Captain Inger Klein Thorhauge, Master of Queen Elizabeth and Cunard’s first ever female captain all came together to commemorate the start of the anniversary celebrations.
Crowds continued to gather throughout the day before all three ships sailed down Southampton water and out to sea in convoy followed by a flotilla of small ships along the way.
Commodore Rynd said: “This is the first time that the Cunard ships have been in Southampton since they set off on their world cruises in January, and it’s only the fourth time ever that these three Queens have gathered here in Southampton.”
During the day, a gala reception was held aboard flagship Queen Mary 2 with guests including members of the Southampton port and shipping community. On board, Cunard chairman David Dingle spoke of his admiration of the port and paid tribute to Southampton, the port which has been home to Cunard since 1966. He spoke of the heritage of the cruise line and how Cunard has become “woven into British history.
Passengers then boarded for the memorable sailaway festivities, with Queen Mary 2 heading for New York, Queen Elizabeth to Hamburg and Queen Victoria to Guernsey.
The ships will be reunited again on 25 May 2015 for even greater celebrations as they come together in the cruise lines spiritual home of Liverpool, the line’s headquarters from 1917 to 1967 and from where Cunard’s first transatlantic crossing was made.
Plus, here’s a chance to see the latest news on the Liverpool celebrations from Cunard Marketing Director, Angus Struthers…