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Monday, May 12, 2014

Cunard celebrates Queen Mary 2's 10th anniversary in Southampton with Royal Rendezvous and visit from HRH the Duke of Edinburgh

Cunard Line celebrated the 10th anniversary of its grand flagship, Queen Mary 2 with the arrival of the whole three ship fleet in Southampton, England, on May 9.

This was a rare occasion to see all Three Queens together – Queen Mary 2, Queen Elizabeth and Queen Victoria; and the homeport of Southampton is the only place in the world to have hosted the Three Queens three times.
A fireboat escorts Queen Mary 2 as the Cunard flagship arrives into Southampton,
England, on Friday 9 May 2014 to celebrate her 10th Anniversary
 To view video highlights of Queen Mary 2’s arrival in Southampton, visit: http://bit.ly/1l5IJiY.  For video highlights of HRH The Duke of Edinburgh’s visit aboard, go to: http://bit.ly/DukeOfEdinburgh.

The ships arrived at first light and began a day of spectacular celebration with an early morning birthday salute to Queen Mary 2 – “Happy Birthday” in ships' whistles (foghorns in common parlance) sounding out across Southampton Water. 

This was followed by a special reception and lunch aboard Queen Mary 2 for invited guests in the presence of His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh, who last visited the ship when accompanying Her Majesty The Queen to name her in 2004.

Prior to the reception and luncheon, His Royal Highness visited several behind-the-scenes areas to meet with crew who perform different roles on board.  He spent time in the ship’s Laundry, crew gymnasium, crew training room / library, and one of the crew bars.  After meeting officers, he was given a tour of the largest Bridge at sea and was invited to sign the Visitor’s Book.
His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh visits with Captain Christopher Wells,
master of Queen Mary 2

“We are honoured that His Royal Highness visited our flagship Queen Mary 2 on such a special day in the history of the world's only ocean liner,” said David Dingle, CEO for Cunard Line.

“For him to have spent time with many of our 1,200 staff was very exciting and highly appropriate, for it is they who have made Queen Mary 2 the great success she is today.  As we reflect on her first decade of excellence, we look forward to the next ten years and are delighted to have had His Royal Highness taking part in these celebrations with us, as he was also present at her entry into service in 2004.”

At the special reception, His Royal Highness unveiled a portrait of Queen Mary 2 by renowned maritime artist Robert Lloyd that was commissioned by Cunard Line to celebrate a decade of service by the flagship.

Later in the evening, a ten-minute firework display – one minute for each of Queen Mary 2's ten years in service – will begin at 10:00 p.m. local time and create a spectacular send-off before the flagship leads her younger sisters in convoy down to the Solent. 
Cunard’s Three Queens (l-r: Queen Elizabeth, Queen Victoria
and Queen Mary 2) together in Southampton, England, on Friday 9 May 2014.

Queen Mary 2 is setting off on a special anniversary Transatlantic Crossing to New York with the ship’s designer Stephen Payne and the ship's first master, Commodore Ron Warwick, who will be among the Cunard Insights speakers during the voyage.

Queen Elizabeth will sail on a short break to Hamburg, and Queen Victoria will be headed for the Baltic capitals.

Since entering service, Queen Mary 2 has sailed 1.5 million nautical miles on over 400 voyages including 213 Transatlantic Crossings. She has called at 182 ports in 60 countries and carried over 1.3 million guests.

For more information about Queen Mary 2, or to book a voyage, contact your Travel Agent, call Cunard Line at 1-800-728-6273, or visit www.cunard.com.

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About Queen Mary 2
Christened by Her Majesty The Queen in 2004, Cunard Line’s flagship Queen Mary 2 defines luxury travel for the 21st Century and continues an almost 175-year legacy of Transatlantic travel.  Queen Mary 2 is the fastest passenger ship in the world and achieved her 200th Transatlantic Crossing in July 2013.  Since becoming Cunard flagship on completion of her maiden Transatlantic Crossing in May 2004, Queen Mary 2 has remained unchallenged as the world’s largest, longest, tallest, widest and most expensive ocean liner ever built and the most famous and fastest passenger ship in operation today. To celebrate Queen Mary 2’s 10th Anniversary in 2014, special on board events are planned for her westbound Transatlantic Crossing on 9 May and her eastbound Crossing on 16 May.  Famous names who have experienced this iconic voyage since 2004 include President George H.W. Bush, Desmond Tutu, James Taylor, Rod Stewart, Carly Simon, Uma Thurman, Richard Dreyfuss, John Cleese and Angela Bassett.

About Cunard Line
Cunard Line, operator of the luxury ocean liners Queen Mary 2, Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth, has long been synonymous with the quest for new discoveries and the epitome of British refinement since the company's first paddle-wheeled steamer, Britannia, crossed the Atlantic in 1840. Cunard voyages bring together like-minded travellers who seek a civilised adventure and relish the Cunard hallmarks of impeccable White Star Service, gourmet dining and world-class entertainment. Today, Cunard offers the only regularly scheduled trans-Atlantic liner service and continues the legacy of world cruising which it began in 1922.

World’s Leading Cruise Lines
Cunard is a proud member of World's Leading Cruise Lines. Our exclusive alliance also includes Carnival Cruise Lines, Holland America Line, Princess Cruises, Costa Cruises and Seabourn. Sharing a passion to please each guest and a commitment to quality and value, World’s Leading Cruise Lines inspires people to discover their best vacation experience. Together, we offer a variety of exciting and enriching cruise vacations to the world's most desirable destinations.

Visit us at www.worldsleadingcruiselines.com.
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