January 13 saw a remarkable cruise confluence in the historic setting of the port of New York.

The unique ‘Royal Rendezvous’ saw all three of Cunard’s famous ‘Queens’ – the venerable Queen Elizabeth 2, the massive Queen Mary 2 and the new Queen Victoria – in the same harbour at the same time.

The QE2 and Victoria arrived in tandem and moored at Manhattan’s Pier 92 and Pier 88 respectively. The QM2 arrived separately and tied up at Red Hook in Brooklyn.

This famous trio then set sail one after another, after a huge firework show at 7pm that evening.

The stirring maritime spectacle also marked the 26th and final World Cruise sailing of the 39-year-old QE2 ahead of her ‘retirement’ in November this year as a floating hotel in Dubai.

And Cunard president Carol Marlow insisted: “This is a truly momentous occasion. It will never happen again. It also marks a revival in transatlantic crossings.” Cunard has been sailing into New York since 1847, when their Hibernia was the company’s first ship to arrive in the harbour.