Thursday, 29 May 2014

Cunard calls in to Liverpool tomorrow!

When Queen Victoria arrives in Liverpool on Friday tomorrow she will be celebrating history as well as making a little bit of history herself. Queen Victoria is in Liverpool to mark the departure, exactly 100 years earlier on 30 May 1914, of Aquitania one of the most famous and beloved ships in Cunard history. Queen Victoria will remain overnight thus making the first overnight call in Cunard’s ‘spiritual’ home of Liverpool by a Cunard passenger ship since Franconia in January 1968 – almost 50 years ago!

The Liverpool call takes place during Queen Victoria’s 13-night 'Around the British Isles' cruise which departs Southampton on 23 May. The cruise will also call at Edinburgh (from New Haven – a maiden call), Invergordon, Kirkwall (maiden call), Glasgow (from Greenock), Dublin, Cobh (Ireland) and St Peter Port (Guernsey) before arriving back in Southampton on 5 June

Activities planned to celebrate this unique call include local opera singer Danielle Thomas performing both during the afternoon on 30 May and for Queen Victoria’s 31 May departure, and also for a Civic Reception and Dinner on board before late-evening fireworks will cap another day of Mersey maritime history.

Aquitania – a Cunard legend that became known as the 'Ship Beautiful' – is considered one of the most beautiful liners ever built and certainly the most beautiful four-funnelled liner ever constructed. She became one of the longest-serving Cunarders in history (36 years service), sailed more miles than any other (three million) and was the only major liner to serve in both World Wars. In fact Churchill credited her and the two Cunard Queens (Mary and Elizabeth) with shortening the Second World War by a year! Her length of Cunard service and miles sailed were both only surpassed by QE2.

Queen Victoria will have called at Greenock on the Clyde the previous day and this also has a close connection with Aquitania as she was built at the famous John Brown Shipyard on the Clyde.