Cunard has released details of the celebratory voyages and events the cruise line has planned in 2015 to mark 175 years of grand British maritime history.
Since its first ship, Britannia, set sail in July 1840 on the first regularly-scheduled service across the Atlantic, Cunard ships have crossed and re-crossed the Atlantic every year, in peace and war, without fail.
To mark the 175th anniversary, the cruise line is offering a series of commemorative cruises which will go on sale in Australia on Friday March 14.
The anniversary program includes a special voyage for Cunard’s flagship Queen Mary 2 which will see the ocean liner sail 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 that a Cunard ship has departed from Liverpool for America. The 10-night cruise is priced from $2749*.
To salute Cunard’s “spiritual home” Liverpool, where the company was founded and the company’s Head Office remained for 128 years until 1967, the current fleet will take part in a historic three-day event from May 24 to 26, 2015.
Queen Mary 2 will arrive in Liverpool on Sunday May 24 and make her first ever overnight stay in the city, berthed in sight of the Cunard Building, which forms one third of the World-Heritage-listed ‘Three Graces’ on the Pier Head. The following morning Queen Elizabeth and Queen Victoria will sail into the city and for a time all three ships 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 Elizabeth’s 16-night Baltic cruise from Southampton on May 11, 2015, is priced from $3159*.
Cunard’s 175th celebrations will begin at its homeport on May 3, 2015, when Queen Mary 2, Queen Elizabeth and Queen Victoria will sail into Southampton together and depart later that day in formation.
Queen Victoria will then depart on a seven-night “Lusitania Remembered” voyage in honour of the Cunard flagship which was torpedoed off Ireland in 1915 while sailing from New York to Liverpool.
The cruise will also remember the crew and the other 21 ships Cunard lost during the First World War, including Carpathia which had rescued all of the survivors of the Titanic.
All Queen Victoria passengers will be invited to attend a special service at Cobh on May 7, 2015, 100 years to the day since Lusitania was lost. Fares start from $1389*.
Cunard CEO David Dingle said Cunard history reads like no other.
“For so long the heartbeats of Cunard and Britain have been as one and we intend to celebrate this landmark anniversary in grand style. These special voyages have been planned over many months to commemorate key dates in the company’s history with all who wish to be part of Cunard’s special and unique heritage. We look forward to delivering this year of spectacle and celebration to the many people who share the pride we feel in Cunard’s ongoing success on both sides of the Atlantic and beyond,” he said.
For more details visit www.cunard.com, phone 132441 or see a licensed travel agent.
**subject to availability, conditions apply