Cunard has released several maps and detailed timing of when and where their three cruise liners will meet in Southampton and Liverpool next month as part of their 175th anniversary celebrations.
Southampton event timings and map
On Sunday 3 May the Cunard fleet will return to Southampton from their World Cruises. This gathering of Queen Mary 2, Queen Elizabeth and Queen Victoria at Cunard’s home-port will initiate a season of festivities to mark their 175th anniversary.
Cunard’s flagship liner Queen Mary 2 will take centre stage in the afternoon of Sunday 3 May, as she leads her sister ships Queen Elizabeth and Queen Victoria on a procession down Southampton Water and into the River Solent. The sail-away procession will start at 4.30pm as Queen Mary 2 moves into position to lead the fleet out of Southampton Docks, to be followed by Queen Elizabeth and Queen Victoria. By 5.20pm the three ships should have passed Dock Head and will be sailing south, led by flagship Queen Mary 2, and reaching Calshot at about 5.50pm. After zig-zagging through the Brambles turn near Cowes, the fleet will then separate before coming back together again, with Queen Mary 2 easing south and Queen Elizabeth and Queen Victoria taking a more northerly route. The trio will then reunite at Lee on Solent where Queen Elizabeth will take the lead, followed by Queen Victoria and then Queen Mary 2. At 6.45pm Queen Elizabeth, the youngest of the fleet, will lead her sisters past Ryde on the Isle of Wight before reaching the Nab Tower on its easternmost point at 7.30pm. At this point, the ships will break formation and sail off on their own itineraries. Queen Elizabeth will continue east towards Hamburg, Queen Victoria will turn south for St Peter Port in Guernsey and Queen Mary 2 will head west across the Atlantic to New York.
Liverpool event timings and maps
The three Queens will reunite for an event at Liverpool, the company’s ‘spiritual home’, on the the late May Bank Holiday.
On Sunday 24 May Queen Mary 2 is expected to arrive in the city at 9.00am and berth at Liverpool Cruise Liner Terminal. At 10.00pm an ‘Amazing Graces’ digital / light projection show will be broadcast on the Three Graces and at 10.30pm a mid-river fireworks display will be held off the Pier Head.
On Bank Holiday Monday 25 May Queen Mary 2 will leave the berth to greet her two sisters at the mouth of the Mersey (the area between Crosby Beach and New Brighton). The three Queens will meet between 12.00pm and 2.00pm and will sail south in formation towards the Liverpool Echo Arena, before turning through 180 degrees to face north. Further manoeuvres may be possible depending on weather conditions on the day. Between 2pm and 2.15pm Queen Mary 2 will leave the city while Queen Elizabeth will berth at the Cruise Liner Terminal and Queen Victoria will anchor in the middle of the Mersey. Between 10.00pm and 11.00pm an ‘Amazing Graces’ digital / light projection show will be broadcast on the Three Graces and at 10.30pm a fireworks display will be held. Following this display Queen Elizabeth will leave the city and Queen Victoria will berth at the Cruise Liner Terminal.
On Tuesday 26 May at 4.30pm a special musical sail-away performance will be held to say goodbye to Queen Victoria before she departs at 5.00pm.
Computer simulations of the Three Queens event planned for Liverpool can be seen in this video released by Cunard last week.
Please note that all the times are approximate.
(Photo credit to Cunard)