Queen Elizabeth departing Port Everglades in Ft. Lauderdale. Photo: Len Kaufman for Cunard Line.

Queen Elizabeth (left) and Queen Victoria (right) in Port Everglades. Photo: Len Kaufman for Cunard Line

Beginning her inaugural Maiden World Voyage, Cunard Line’s newest ship, Queen Elizabeth, made her premier visit to Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, yesterday alongside her sister ship, Queen Victoria.  The two luxury cruise liners, who sailed in tandem from New York, are coming off the heels of the historic Cunard Royal Rendezvous that occurred there just three days earlier, when all three of Cunard’s Queens met in New York for only the second time in the Line’s 171-year history. Welcoming Queen Elizabeth and Queen Victoria to this popular maritime port was the honourable Mayor John P. "Jack" Seiler, along with travel agents, media and local dignitaries.

"The City of Fort Lauderdale is honoured to welcome Queen Elizabeth to Port Everglades.  We recognize that the cruise industry is one of greater Fort Lauderdale's leading economic engines, generating more than $1.3 billion in annual economic activity for our region," said Mayor Seiler.  "Being part of Queen Elizabeth’s Maiden World Voyage is an historic milestone for our city and reaffirms Port Everglades’ position as the world’s top cruise port.  We wish her well as she continues her journey, and look forward to welcoming this majestic vessel back to our city on future voyages."

“We are delighted by the warm welcome we received today by the popular cruise port of Fort Lauderdale, and look forward to the further grand celebrations as our newest Queen continues her inaugural calls on her Maiden World Voyage,” said Captain Julian Burgess, Master of Queen Elizabeth.

Upon departing Fort Lauderdale, Queen Elizabeth continues her Maiden World Voyage on to Aruba and then will traverse the Panama Canal to Mexico and ultimately call on the Port of Los Angeles on 29 January. Following this voyage, Queen Elizabeth will spend the remainder of the year in Northern Europe and the Mediterranean, calling on exotic and unique ports such as the Norwegian Fjords, St. Petersburg, the Holy Land and Canary Islands.

Queen Victoria will continue on her debut Americas season, traversing between the Atlantic and Pacific Coasts via the Panama Canal, and calling on Los Angeles four times between January and March (30 January, 13 February, 17 February and 3 March).  She will sail two roundtrip voyages from Los Angeles to Hawaii, and sail a brief Getaway voyage to Mexico.