Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Cunard's 175th Anniversary Details

Fans of British traditionalists Cunard will be pleased to know the company has released details of the celebratory voyages it has planned in 2015 to mark the 175th anniversary of its first ship, Britannia, which set 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. 
 
Here are the details of the major events to come in 2015.

The 175th Anniversary Crossing

Flagship Queen Mary 2 will recreate history when she sails from Liverpool on July 4, 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  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 July 14.

The full voyage, number M511D, begins in Cunard's homeport of Southampton on July 2 and the 12-night crossing from Southampton to Liverpool, Halifax and New York has fares from £2,249 per person.

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 Cunard’s illustrious history.

A Salute to Liverpool

Cunard was founded in the city of Liverpool and the company’s Head Office remained there for 128 years. 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 Cunard’s transatlantic service from Liverpool, the current fleet salutes the company’s ‘spiritual’ home. From May 24-26, 2015, Liverpool will play host to the three largest Cunard ships ever built in an historic three-day event.

Queen Mary 2 will arrive in Liverpool on May 24 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 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 the 25th 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, Queen Elizabeth will set sail and Queen Victoria will then take the berth and remain overnight, and for the following day, May 26. The event also features as a highlight of three very different cruises that go on general sale from 1pm on March 13:

Queen Mary 2: 10-night ‘British Isles – Liverpool Salute’

May 17-27, 2015. Voyage number M506. Fares from £1,499 per person.
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’


May 11-27. Voyage number Q507. Fares from £1,849 per person.
Southampton – Oslo – Copenhagen – Stockholm – Tallinn – St Petersburg (overnight) – Warnemunde – Kirkwall – Liverpool – Southampton.

Queen Victoria: six-night ‘Liverpool Salute’

May 22-28. Voyage number V512. Fares from £899 per person.
Southampton – St Peter Port – Liverpool (overnight) – Southampton

Let the Party Commence – Southampton, May 3, 2015

Cunard’s 175th celebrations will start in earnest at its homeport of Southampton on May 3 when all 3 ships will sail into Southampton together and depart later that day in formation. This will be the first time Queen Mary 2 will have led the fleet out of Southampton in daylight.

After the meeting, Queen Victoria will depart on her ‘Lusitania Remembered’ voyage; QM2 will head for New York (seven-nights; voyage number M504, fares from £1,299 per person); and Queen Elizabeth will set sail for Northern Europe (eight-nights calling at Hamburg and Amsterdam; voyage number Q504A, fares from £849 per person). Places on these two sailings go on general sale from 1pm on April 8.

‘Lusitania Remembered’

On May 7, 2015, it will be exactly 100 years since Cunard flagship Lusitania was torpedoed while en-route from New York to Liverpool. The ship 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 World War One more generally. The ship will call at Cobh (formerly Queenstown) on May 7, 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 round-trip from Southampton on May 3, Voyage number V510, Queen Victoria will call at St Peter Port (Guernsey), Le Havre, Cobh and Dublin. Fares start from £799 per person. This sailing goes on general sale from 1pm on March 13.
 
More info: call 0843 374 0000 or visit www.cunard.co.uk.