It’s a familiar story; you wait all year for a Cunard liner to arrive at Brooklyn Cruise Terminal and then three turn up at once.
New York has been playing host to all three of the Cunard Queens.The flagship liner Queen Mary 2, Queen Victoria and the new Queen Elizabeth, which was making her maiden voyage to the Big Apple, sailed alongside each other under the shadow of New York’s iconic Statue of Liberty.
The meeting of the Queens marks only the second time in Cunard’s 171-year history that all three of the historic company’s ships have been docked at the same time in New York.
Back in September of last year, Cunard confirmed the Queen Elizabeth would be launched by the Queen herself.
The ship is not actually named after the reigning monarch, but after Cunard’s original Queen Elizabeth, launched in Scotland 1938. The Queen – then Princess Elizabeth, and 12 years old – witnessed the launch in the company of her mother.
In spite of freezing temperatures, plenty of spectators braved the cold and headed to the Manhattan Cruise Terminal’s Piers, near Battery Park, where Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth departed, while Queen Mary 2 set sail from Brooklyn.
It was a regal send off too; at around 7pm local time, a 21-gun firework salute sounded as the ships sailed out of the city and the Empire State Building was even turned ‘Cunard red’ in acknowledgment of the historic meeting.
All three passed under Verrazano Bridge, viewed by many as the official signal that a liner has arrived in/departed New York.
The Queen Elizabeth has a long journey ahead of her; the newest Cunard ship (pictured) has now embarked on a 103-day world tour. Queen Mary 2 is also on a world tour although she will will head east where Elizabeth is travelling west. Queen Victoria is bound for a four-month stint in Hawaii.
For Cunard fans, it has been a chance to experience a unique alignment in the three ships’ travel plans. Queen Elizabeth and Queen Victoria set sail from Southampton on 5th January and crossed the Atlantic together.
‘It proved a very popular event. All three of the ships were fully booked,’ a Cunard spokesperson said.
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