Cunard Line made its inaugural debut on the streets of Pasadena, California today at the 122nd Pasadena Tournament of Roses Parade presented by Honda, winning the prestigious Queen’s Trophy for best use of roses. Cunard’s float, themed “A Grand Celebration at Sea,” depicted the Cunard fleet of three Queens – flagship Queen Mary 2, Queen Victoria and the new Queen Elizabeth – and illustrated the ultimate sense of occasion experienced on a luxury cruise vacation aboard Cunard, including Veuve Clicquot champagne toasts, the Royal Court Theatre, ballroom dancing and big band music.
"The floral detail of our float truly depicted the elegance and grandeur of Cunard Line," said Peter Shanks, president of Cunard Line. "We celebrate the honour of the Queen's Trophy with our designer Raul Rodriquez, builder Fiesta Parade Floats and floral designer Jim Hynd, our employees shoreside and at sea, and the hundreds of volunteers who helped decorate our float."
This year’s Rose Parade theme – “Building Dreams, Friendships and Memories” – perfectly connected to the legacy and heritage of Cunard liners. For almost two centuries since the company's first paddle-wheeled steamer, Britannia, crossed the Atlantic in 1840, the Cunard name has been synonymous with fulfilling dreams and creating lifetime friendships and memories. On 13 January, Queen Victoria will continue that tradition, debuting her Americas season as she sails up to the west coast, making several transits of 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.
Special float riders included Cunard Commodore travel agent June Longpre from New Wave Travel in Toronto, Canada, and Mim Strickler from Around the Globe Travel in Orange County, California, as well as World Club members Jo and David Murray from Long Beach, California. Today, Jo continued a family Rose Parade tradition, as her mother rode on a Rose Parade float when she was a child.
From bow to stern, “A Grand Celebration at Sea” florally portrayed signature hallmarks found on a Cunard liner, including the Grand Lobby staircase where an oversized floralgraph of Cunard’s three Queens took center stage – a reference to the youngest fleet at sea and the upcoming Cunard Royal Rendezvous on 13 January 2011 in New York Harbour. This rare maritime event will be only the second time in Cunard’s 170-year history that three regal Cunard Queens have docked together in New York Harbour.
In floral and architectural celebration of Cunard’s rich tradition of elegance and grandeur, the float stood at 24 feet high, 18 feet wide and 55 feet long as it made its way down the parade route. A big band orchestra and ballroom dancers animated the Line’s famed Royal Nights Themed Balls. Representing Cunard’s hallmark brand of service, eight White Star Bellmen walked alongside the floral liner. A whistle sound from the new Queen Elizabeth, who will make her maiden call in Los Angeles on 29 January, completed the Cunard float.
Black Magic roses, purple phalaenopsis orchid sprays, green cymbidium orchids and hypericum, and white Casablanca lilies bordered the float, while more than 45,000 red Opium roses carpeted the steps and floors. Layers of black onion seed and crisp white sweet rice accented the distinctive shape of Cunard’s elongated bow, while shimmering deep brown flax seed replicated the rich texture of hand-polished mahogany woods throughout the architectural features. White roses, dendrobium orchids and phalaenopsis orchids swept over oceans of light and dark blue iris, delphinium and hydrangea blossoms to create the water waves of the high seas.