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Saturday, July 4, 2015

Cunard marks the 175th anniversary to the day of the inauguration of regular Transatlantic service

RAF Fred Arrows honour Cunard's 175th anniversary to the day, with a spectacular fly-past in Liverpool.

4 July 2015 - Queen Mary 2 sounded her ship’s whistle at 2 p.m. in Liverpool today to signify the time exactly 175 years earlier that Cunard’s first ship Britannia left the city’s Coburg Dock and inaugurated the first ever scheduled Transatlantic service.

That first crossing changed the face of ocean travel, establishing the first permanent link between the Old World and the New – a link that has remained unbroken for 175 years as Cunard’s ships have crossed and re-crossed the Atlantic every year since, in peace and war, without fail.

Britannia was Cunard’s first flagship but at just 1,154 tons and carrying just 115 passengers, she could fit inside the Britannia Restaurant of today’s 150,000 ton flagship Queen Mary 2, which accommodates 2,600 guests. But the little ship’s departure heralded the start of passenger shipping sailing from Liverpool.
Descendant of Sir Samuel Cunard, Hugh Paton from Canada, welcomed by Cunard's officers & bellmen
in Liverpool where for the first time since 1968 passengers have embarked for Transatlantic service.
History was also made in the city today when 400 Cunard passengers embarked Queen Mary 2 bound for Halifax, Boston and New York. This was the first time in nearly 50 years that passengers have set out on a Transatlantic crossing from Liverpool since Cunard’s Franconia’s last crossing from the city in 1968.

The exact day of the company’s 175th anniversary was celebrated in style by Cunard with two concerts for the flagship’s passengers and region’s dignitaries. Held at Liverpool’s Anglican cathedral, Cunard’s story was told in words and music with noted speakers from the worlds of politics, TV and beyond introducing musical interludes representing key periods in the line’s 175 year history, performed by the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Anthony Inglis, The Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Choir, The Liverpool Cathedral Choir, The band of the Welsh Guards and highly-acclaimed soloists Laura Wright, Jon Christos and Jenny Williams.

Working in partnership with the city and its 175 Transatlantic themed activities at Pier Head, which included a Food and Vintage Festival, Classic Car cavalcade and world record Catwalk bid, Cunard’s 175 year celebrations culminated in a dramatic firework display fired from a mid-river barge as Queen Mary 2 prepared to set sail.
Band of the Welsh Guards trumpeters open the concert at Liverpool's Anglican cathedral to celebrate
the 175 anniversary to the day of Cunard's creating a regular Transatlantic service.

Eyes were on the skies in Liverpool at 4:15 p.m. today as the RAF Red Arrows performed a surprise flypast over Queen Mary 2 to mark Cunard's 175th anniversary, thrilling spectators who had gathered along Prince's Parade to see Cunard's flagship and the nine Red Arrows jets in dramatic combination.

The world’s leading aerobatics team provided the flypast Queen Mary 2 in her 'spiritual home' of Liverpool. This evening the flagship will continue the celebrations with a Transatlantic Crossing to New York, calling en route at Halifax and Boston to re-create the original Liverpool/Halifax/Boston voyage of Cunard’s first ship, Britannia, back in 1840. 

"Six weeks ago, the Three Queens Liverpool Salute was seen around the world, and the city has once again given Cunard a warm welcome,” said Richard Meadows, president, Cunard North America. “The support for Queen Mary 2 has been fantastic on the exact day that Cunard’s first ship set out on her maiden crossing from Liverpool, 175 years ago.

Queen Mary 2’s departure today re-creates that first voyage from Liverpool to Halifax and Boston, and on board talks by historians, ship designers and Cunard specialists will bring fresh new perspectives to the Cunard story just as our two concerts in Liverpool's Anglican cathedral today have really brought the company's history alive in such a resonant way.

Today has also been the first time in nearly 50 years that we’ve been able to welcome transatlantic passengers aboard in Liverpool and those 400 people have each been a part of making Cunard history.

This has been such an extraordinary year for Cunard but it has been the strength of the partnership with Liverpool, our ‘spiritual home’ which has made our 175th anniversary so special. Thank you Liverpool for celebrating with us today!”

For more information about Queen Mary 2, Queen Victoria or Queen Elizabeth and to book a voyage, contact your Travel Consultant, call Cunard toll free at 1-800-728-6273, or visit www.cunard.com.


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 a 175-year legacy of Transatlantic travel. Queen Mary 2 achieved her 200th Transatlantic Crossing in July 2013. Famous names who have experienced this iconic voyage since 2004 include President George H.W. Bush, Desmond Tutu, James Taylor, Wes Anderson, Tilda Swinton, George Takei, Kim Novak, Uma Thurman, Richard Dreyfuss, John Cleese and Angela Bassett.

About Cunard
Cunard, 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 Transatlantic 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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