Monday 17 January 2011

Cunard's Three Queens Meet Lady Liberty for Historic Royal Rendezvous in New York Harbour

Amidst fireworks and much fanfare, Cunard's flagship Queen Mary 2 and Queen Victoria joined the new Queen Elizabeth for her maiden call in New York on January 13, meeting for a historic Cunard Royal Rendezvous.  

Thousands of onlookers lined the shores of Manhattan, from Battery Park to Hudson River Park, to see the regal fleet gather for the first time. During a celebration that began with a 21-gun fireworks salute, the three Queens made a majestic procession into New York Harbour illuminated by a dazzling fireworks show, as they then departed on their respective luxury cruise vacations.   

The meeting of the Queens marks only the second time in Cunard's 171-year history that all three of the company's ships have met simultaneously. The first Cunard Royal Rendezvous took place in 2008 celebrating Queen Victoria's maiden call to New York. 

The New York event comes less than six weeks before Queen Elizabeth and Queen Mary 2 stage their own spectacular Royal Rendevous on Sydney Harbour (February 22-23). 

"Cunard's Queens have always been regally greeted in our US home port, and we are thrilled that our newest Queen has been met with an equally exquisite celebration," said Cunard Line President Peter Shanks. 

"The city of New York is a core part of our legacy and a significant landmark for Cunard, and we're delighted to celebrate the very rare and momentous Royal Rendezvous in The Big Apple." 

Along with the grand celebration in New York Harbour, as a salute to the Cunard Royal Rendezvous, the Empire State Building was lit in Cunard's regal color of red and Mr Shanks along with Cunard's Commodore Warner and Micky Arison, CEO and chairman of Carnival Corporation, rang the closing bell for the New York Stock Exchange, using the ship bell from the original Queen Elizabeth (circa 1938). 

Most recently, Queen Elizabeth captured the world stage with her Royal Naming Ceremony on 11 October 2010 attended by Her Majesty The Queen in Southampton, England.  Following her maiden call to New York, she embarks on her 103-day Maiden World Voyage where she will visit three Australian ports. 

Caption: Queen Mary 2, Queen Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth – the youngest fleet at sea – met in New York Harbour for a Cunard Royal Rendezvous and world-class Grucci fireworks celebration (Photo: Jonathan Atkin for Cunard Line)

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