On 5 February, Cunard kicked off the company’s 175th Anniversary celebrations in the US by paying homage to the Queen Mary when Queen Elizabeth docked in the port of Long Beach, California for the first time. Enthusiastic well-wishers turned out for the festivities which featured an emotional speech read by the Queen Mary’s Commodore Everette Hoard to the gathered crowd about the history of the Queen Mary, currently celebrating her 80th year in public life. Whistle salutes between the two ships followed, and a dazzling fireworks display finished the day as the ship pulled away from her berth.
View the video highlights from the special day:
This was the first time a Cunard ship had berthed in Long Beach since Queen Mary arrived at her retirement home in October 1967. In recent years the current Cunard fleet has saluted Queen Mary during brief visits to the harbour.
Queen Mary will celebrate the 80th anniversary of her Maiden Voyage in May 2016.
“During our 175-year history, the Queen Mary has been one of our most beloved ships,” said Richard Meadows, president, Cunard, North America. “This meeting of the Queens was especially memorable for our passengers, as this maiden call offered them the opportunity to disembark in Long Beach and experience the Queen Mary, an integral part of our history and tradition.”
Earlier in the day, the Queen Mary debuted their new Ship Model Gallery, featuring Cunard models of Queen Mary 2, Queen Victoria and QE2, along with the original Bassett-Lowke shipbuilder’s model of the Queen Mary – a spectacular and historically significant ship model measuring over 20 feet in length. In attendance for the celebratory ribbon-cutting was President of Cunard, North America, Richard Meadows; Bernadette Greene, Deputy British Consul-General of Los Angeles; Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia; John Jenkins, General Manager of the Queen Mary, and Everette Hoard, Commodore of the Queen Mary. Master of Queen Elizabeth Captain Alistair Clark was also in attendance.