In 2015, Cunard Line will celebrate its 175th Anniversary with a special collection of remarkable anniversary cruises and events that will pay homage to significant moments in the company’s illustrious history. These highly anticipated sailings will give loyal and new Cunarders opportunities to celebrate the company’s history with unprecedented events aboard its luxurious vessels including the flagship Queen Mary 2, Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth.
Among the momentous celebrations, all three Queens will meet in Southampton on May 3, 2015 at the close of their spectacular World Cruises. This Royal Rendezvous will be followed by the unprecedented sight of all three Queens together at Cunard’s “spiritual” home of Liverpool on May 25, 2015, which is the first time the entire fleet will have been together on the River Mersey. Liverpool is Cunard’s birthplace and was home to the Line’s Head Office from 1839 to 1967. The Cunard Building on the Pierhead remains one of the most significant buildings in the city and part of a World Heritage site.
Queen Mary 2 will arrive in Liverpool on May 24, 2015 and make her first-ever overnight stay in the city, berthed in sight of the Cunard Building. The following morning, 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 one million people saw Queen Elizabeth 2 sail into Liverpool for the first time in July 1990.
Queen Mary 2 will then take her leave and sail out of Liverpool on May 25 as Queen Elizabeth berths at the landing stage and Queen Victoria remains anchored in the Mersey. Late in the evening, Queen Elizabeth will set sail and Queen Victoria will then take the berth for an overnight stay.
Prior to that, Queen Victoria will call at Cobh, Ireland on May 7 to commemorate the 100th Anniversary of the sinking of Cunard’s Lusitania—a poignant visit that will give passengers the opportunity to attend ceremonies at the town’s memorial. In all, Cunard lost 22 ships during the First World War, including Carpathia which had rescued all of the survivors of the Titanic. A special tribute will be paid to the ships, and Cunard men, that were lost in the War.
The 175th Anniversary celebrations will continue in true Cunard style with Queen Mary 2 echoing the very first Transatlantic Crossing, which was inaugurated by Cunard’s Britannia in July 1840. Every year since then, Cunard ships have crossed and re-crossed the Atlantic, during times of peace and war. Queen Mary 2 will depart Liverpool on July 4, 2015, which is 175 years to the day since Britannia began her journey, and will be enthusiastically welcomed at both Halifax and then Boston, just as Britannia was in 1840. This will also be the first time since 1968 that a Cunard ship has departed from Liverpool for America.
“Cunard history reads like no other,” says David Dingle, chief executive of Cunard Line. “For so long, the heartbeats of Cunard and Britain have been as one, and we intend to celebrate this landmark anniversary in grand style. These special voyages have been planned over many months to commemorate key dates in the company’s history with all who wish to be part of Cunard’s special and unique heritage.”
“We look forward to delivering this year of spectacle and celebration to the many people who share the pride we feel in Cunard’s ongoing success on both sides of the Atlantic and beyond,” he adds.
The 175th Anniversary Cruises will go on sale to the public on March 13. Diamond and Platinum World Club members will be able to book beginning on March 11, in anticipation of a high demand for these historic commemorative sailings. Past passengers may also receive 5% off fares through August 31, 2014.
Cunard is known for its luxury ocean liners, impeccable White Star Service, gourmet dining and world-class entertainment and is the only regularly scheduled trans-Atlantic liner service, continuing the legacy of world cruising which it began in 1922.
Photo courtesy of Cunard Line
Carrie Coolidge is a Pursuitist contributor based in Manhattan. From 2009 to 2011, Carrie served as Co-Editor of Luxist, the luxury lifestyle website at AOL where she ran the Luxist Awards, a program that honored the very best in fine living. From 1996 to 2009, Carrie was a Staff Writer at Forbes magazine, where she covered real estate, personal finance and the insurance industry, among other areas. Carrie is also the author of six books, including "The Business of America is Business". Follow her on Twitter: @carriecoolidge