Friday 25 April 2008

Cunard Line's three Queens spectacular

Cunard Line's three Queens staged a spectacular and historic rendezvous in their home port of Southampton yesterday.

As Queen Mary 2 started her trans-Atlantic season, she sailed passed her sisters in a unique and emotional afternoon on Southampton water.

Queen Victoria, back in her home port after her maiden world voyage, and Queen Elizabeth 2 - undergoing her final Cunard refit before leaving service in November - exchanged whistle blasts with the Cunard Line flagship as she made her way through a flotilla of small craft witnessing the first and last meeting of the three liners in the port.

Cunard Line president and md Carol Marlow told invited travel trade and media guests aboard a specially chartered launch that the event marked another chapter in Cunard's illustrious history.

"We are in our element when we create history and here we are doing it again today," she said.

Following QM2's salute and departure for New York, Queen Victoria left her berth for a voyage to the Canaries. QE2 returns from her wet docking and refit on Sunday when she commences her final season sailing for Cunard before heading for Dubai in November.

Asked about the ship's departure from the Cunard fleet, Marlow said she was delighted the historic liner was going to a good home where her unique heritage can be preserved for future generations.

The president also reported strong early sales across 2009 itineraries launched earlier this month and reminded guests that by 2010 when the new Queen Elizabeth joins her sisters, Cunard will operate one of the most modern fleets in service.

'We are in great shape,' she said.

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