Amid festivities befitting nautical royalty, Cunard’s Queen Elizabeth 2 made her final call to Halifax, birthplace of Cunard Line founder Sir Samuel Cunard, on Sunday. Accompanied by the city’s maritime ambassador Theodore Tugboat and a traditional fireboat display, the iconic ocean liner was celebrated during her final voyage to New England and Canada, part of her Farewell Tour before completing service to Cunard in November. QE2 Captain Ian McNaught and local dignitaries, including the Honourable Lenard Goucher, Minister of Immigration, Dawn Sloane, Councillor of the Halifax Regional Municipality, Lieutenant-Colonel John Woodgate, Vice President of the Halifax Citadel Regimental Association, John Langley, Chairman of the Cunard Steamship Society, Margaret WIttingham-Lamont, Missions to Seafarers, and Mark MacDonald, Chair of the Halifax Port Authority Board of Directors, gathered onboard for a reception and luncheon to mark the occasion. From Halifax, the ship will call on Quebec City before sailing to her homeport in Southampton, England.

QE2 made her maiden call to Halifax on Oct. 11, 1973, and Sunday will mark her 27th call to the city over her more than 40 years at sea.

Launched in 1969, QE2 was built at a cost of just under $70 million. Over the years, Cunard has invested more than $675 million in refits and refurbishments. She is widely considered the most famous ocean liner in the world, having logged more than 5.6 million nautical miles (equivalent to traveling to the moon and back 13 times). In her four decades at sea, she has carried nearly 2.5 million passengers. She will leave the fleet in November 2008 as the Line’s longest-serving liner.

In 2010, Cunard will debut a new ship to be named Queen Elizabeth.

Pictured in the first group photo from left to right are MacDonald, Captain McNaught, Goucher and Sloane. Pictured in the second group photo are Langley, Captain McNaught, Woodgate and a member of the 78th Highlanders at the Halifax Citadel. The aerial photo is credited to Len Wagg.