Amidst fireworks and much fanfare yesterday, Cunard Line’s Queen Victoria met Queen Mary for a historic Cunard Royal Rendezvous. Thousands of Cunarders and maritime enthusiasts alike gathered along the shores of Long Beach Harbor and aboard Queen Mary for a celebration that began with a series of whistle salutes between the two ships. Spectators were treated to a celebratory fireworks show, which illuminated the skies above the harbor during the first-time meeting between the two ships. Queen Victoria then departed on her 15-day Panama Canal voyage as she completes her debut Americas season.
The meeting of the two Queens marks only the second time in Cunard’s 171-year history that a modern Queen has visited her docked sister ship; the first rendezvous occurred in February 2006 when flagship Queen Mary 2 met her namesake during her maiden call to Los Angeles.
The momentous Cunard Royal Rendezvous of Queen Victoria and Queen Mary also signaled the celebration of another significant milestone in Cunard history: the 75th anniversary of Queen Mary’s maiden voyage from Southampton, England (27 May 1936). Yesterday also marked Queen Victoria’s fourth and last visit to the Port of Los Angeles as part of her debut Americas season, where she traversed both coasts through the Panama Canal.
Queen Victoria returns to the West Coast again in late 2011 when she reprises her Americas season.
Debuting in December 2007, Queen Victoria is the third largest Cunarder ever built, weighing in at 90,000 tons. The 2,000 passenger liner is infused with a sense of luxury and tradition, from the Royal Court Theatre, which includes the first private viewing boxes at sea, to the signature two-storey library featuring a spiral staircase and nearly 6,000 volumes.
During Cunard’s legendary 171-year history, the iconic Queen Mary epitomized the Golden Age of Ocean Travel and served as a Cunard liner for more than 30 years. Additionally, she served as a troopship during World War II and a Royal Mail Ship, under contract with the British Royal Mail service. Queen Mary’s influence lives on today serving as interior design inspiration for the modern Cunard fleet – the youngest at sea – and continues to be a popular destination for maritime enthusiasts. She retired from service in 1967 and is permanently docked in Long Beach, Calif. as a hotel, museum and tourist attraction. For more information about Queen Mary, visit www.queenmary.com.