… Birthday Salute and Departure Fireworks, Friday 9 May, in Southampton, England.

Cunard will celebrate the 10th anniversary of the line’s flagship, Queen Mary 2, on Friday 9 May 2014 with the arrival of the whole three-ship fleet in Southampton. This will be a rare occasion to see Queen Mary 2, Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth together, and Southampton will be the only place in the world to have hosted the Three Queens three times.

Cunard Lines Queen Mary 2 celebrates 10 Years / Photo © Cunard Line

Cunard Lines Queen Mary 2 celebrates 10 Years / Photo © Cunard Line

The ships will arrive together at first light to begin a day of spectacular celebration, with an early morning Birthday Salute, a special reception and lunch on board Queen Mary 2 for invited guests in the presence of His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh, and a spectacular fireworks send-off in the evening before Queen Mary 2 leads the three ships in convoy down Southampton Water.

“We’re delighted to have the Three Queens come together in our homeport, Southampton, to mark the first ten years of the grandest ocean liner ever built – Queen Mary 2,” said David Dingle, CEO of Cunard Line. “Southampton is where Queen Mary 2 was named by Her Majesty The Queen in 2004, and Southampton has been the main UK departure point for Cunard’s crossings to New York since 1919. So it is fitting that it is in Southampton that we are celebrating the 10th anniversary of Queen Mary 2, which has become almost synonymous with Transatlantic voyages, and we are honoured that His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh will be visiting this magnificent ship in celebration of this milestone.”

Key local timings for the day are as follows:

Three Ships Arrival: 5.00 – 5.30am

QM2 10th Anniversary Arrivals Map Southampton / Photo © Cunard Line

QM2 10th Anniversary Arrivals Map Southampton / Photo © Cunard Line

Sister ships Queen Elizabeth and Queen Victoria will take the lead up Southampton Water, followed by a fire tug with water jets to herald the arrival of birthday girl Queen Mary 2.

Three Queens Birthday Salute: 5.30 – 5.45am

As Queen Elizabeth and Queen Victoria take a bow-to-bow position just 30 metres apart by the Queen Elizabeth II terminal, Queen Mary 2 will slowly sail past her sister ships. As a 10th Birthday Salute, “Happy Birthday” rendered on ships’ whistles will sound out across the water and 10,000 balloons will be released from the Pavilion Pool on Queen Mary 2’s top deck.

Three Queens move to their berths for the day: 6.00 – 6.30am

After the Birthday Salute, Queen Mary 2 will continue on to Ocean Terminal where she will be based for HRH The Duke of Edinburgh’s visit. Queen Victoria will sail from Queen Elizabeth II Terminal to City Terminal, and Queen Elizabeth will move into her final position at Queen Elizabeth II Terminal.

Three Ship Formation: 8pm – 9.30pm

QM2 10th Anniversary, Three Ships Formation Map Southampton / Photo © Cunard Line

QM2 10th Anniversary, Three Ships Formation Map Southampton / Photo © Cunard Line

At 8.00pm, with all passengers embarked, Queen Elizabeth will move down the berth at Queen Elizabeth II Terminal while Queen Victoria sails from City Terminal to take up position behind her, so that the sister ships are bow-to-stern just 30 metres apart. Then at 9.30pm, Queen Mary 2 will reverse out of her berth by Ocean Terminal and will hold her position in the water, creating a curved array of the Three Queens, ready for the first fusillade of fireworks.

Queen Mary 2’s 10th Anniversary Fireworks: 10pm- 10.10pm

In a 10 minute display – one minute for each of Queen Mary 2’s 10 magnificent years – the night sky will be lit up by spectacular fireworks, fired from the Hythe side of the river opposite Queen Elizabeth II Terminal, as the grand finale to a very special day.

Three Ships Departure: 10.15pm approx

As the climatic fireworks explode overhead, Queen Mary 2 will make ready to lead the way down Southampton Water, followed by Queen Elizabeth and Queen Victoria.

Public viewing vantage points to be part of Queen Mary 2’s special 10th Anniversary fireworks are Town Quay, Mayflower Park and Hythe Marina.

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.

About Canyon Ranch
Canyon Ranch pioneered the evolution of the wellness lifestyle and has been an industry leader for close to 35 years. Operating the world’s most celebrated collection of life-enhancement properties, Canyon Ranch has destination health resorts in Tucson, Ariz., Lenox Mass., as well as Canyon Ranch Hotel & Spa in Miami Beach, the nation’s first luxury wellness hotel and residential community. In addition, Canyon Ranch operates a SpaClub at The Venetian & The Palazzo in Las Vegas, Nev., and SpaClub facilities on 19 ships that make up the Canyon Ranch SpaClub at Sea division. Canyon Ranch has been named the “Healthiest Spa in America” by Health magazine as well as the “Best Spa for Food” by Gourmet magazine. Additionally, Canyon Ranch is a 13-time winner of Travel + Leisure’s Best Spa Award and the only 11-time recipient of the Condé Nast Traveler Best Destination Spa Award.

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.

Information source: Cunard Line


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