Cunard has commissioned historian Eric Sauder to produce a temporary exhibition of Lusitania memorabilia that will be displayed on board Queen Victoria during her 3 May 2015 voyage commemorating the loss of Lusitania 100 years earlier.
Eric Sauder has been interested in ocean liners, particularly Lusitania, for more than 30 years, with his first job being a tour guide on Queen Mary in Long Beach, California. He has dived on the wreck of Lusitania and has authored two books on the subject: RMS Lusitania: The Ship and Her Record and The Unseen Lusitania: The Ship in Rare Illustrations, the latter to be released for the 100th anniversary of the sinking.
Lusitania was the first of 22 Cunard ships lost in the First World War. On 7 May 2015 it will be exactly 100 years since the Cunard flagship was torpedoed while en route from New York to Liverpool. The ship sank approximately 11 miles off the old Head of Kinsale in Ireland.
This special seven-night Lusitania Remembered cruise by Queen Victoria will commemorate the loss of Lusitania and the other Cunard ships in World War One. Queen Victoria will call at Cobh (formerly Queenstown) on 7 May 2015. Cobh will forever be associated with the tragedy. The sinking was a human catastrophe on a scale that this small town had not experienced before or since. People there witnessed first-hand the trauma, tragedy and heartbreak that ensued. The dead, the injured and the bereaved were brought among a community that mobilised itself and responded with courage and compassion to their needs.
"The sinking of Lusitania was a tragedy and we intend to mark the anniversary of her sinking on 7 May 2015 in a fitting and respectful way,” said David Dingle, CEO of Cunard Line. “But her story was also one of triumph in the technical achievement of her construction and her glittering career from 1907 until the outbreak of war. We are pleased to be working with Eric Sauder on this exhibition that will recall that triumph and tragedy, and bring an added element on this special Lusitania voyage which the passengers who book this special cruise will experience."
Eric Sauder said, "I have been fascinated will all things Lusitania for many years and am pleased to be working with Cunard on this exhibition that I hope will bring to life the Lusitania story in a unique way.”
All passengers aboard Queen Victoria will be invited to attend a special service ashore as well as witness a number of other tributes occurring thatday, and a Commemorative Dinner will be held for them that night on board the ship.
Sailing from and back to Southampton, the Lusitania Remembered voyage will call at St. Peter Port (Guernsey), Le Havre, Cobh and Dublin. Cunard fares start from $1399 per person for an inside cabin and from $2099 for a balcony cabin.
The Lusitania exhibit will feature china, silver, brochures, postcards, memorabilia and souvenirs that will bring to life the story of Cunard's flagship.
Lusitania and her sister Mauretania were the first of the floating palaces and today still conjure up images of power, speed, Palm Courts, Smoking Rooms, afternoon tea and grand staircases.