Earlier this week Queen Mary 2 paid homage to the original voyage made by Cunard’s first flagship, Britannia, sailing the same transatlantic voyage as the inaugural scheduled mail and passenger service undertaken on 4 July 1840.
On 2 July the line had organised performances by The Band of the Irish Guards to celebrate the cruise liner’s departure from Southampton.
The Cunard flagship then embarked upon a Transatlantic Crossing to New York with stops at Liverpool, Halifax and Boston.
On 4 July in Liverpool champion flyboarder Jay St John donned a Cunard bell boy’s uniform to welcome the ship while the departure was marked with a fireworks display. Just six weeks prior Liverpool had hosted the Three Queens celebration.
On 10 July the liner arrived in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. A flotilla sailed in procession along with Queen Mary 2 as she departed the city to the sound of a 21 gun salute from the Maritime Museum.
Two days later on 12 July the ship arrived in Boston. Here Captain Kevin Oprey had the honour of throwing the first pitch at the Boston Red Sox vs. New York Yankees game at the Fenway Park stadium.
On 14 July Queen Mary 2 arrived in New York, the final port of call on this 175th anniversary itinerary. In the evening the ship held position in front of the Statue of Liberty for a spectacular night show hosted on-board the liner in New York Harbour for the benefit of spectators in the city’s Battery Park. 50 temporary light display units installed on Deck 7 were synchronised with a musical score to tell the story of 175 years of Cunard’s history.
On the same day executives from Carnival Corporation and Cunard Line gathered at the New York Stock Exchange where Carnival UK chairman David Dingle had the honour of striking the gavel following the ringing of the closing bell.
Soon after Cunard announced a dry-dock refurbishment for the 151,400 gross ton ship which has been planned for May 2016 at the Blohm+Voss shipyard in Hamburg, Germany. The planned works will see 15 single staterooms, 30 Britannia Club-class balcony staterooms, and 10 new kennel places added to the ship in addition to redesigned public spaces.
(Photo credit to Diane Bondareff)