Cunard’s 175th anniversary sailings

If the two-metre high stiletto and 126-metre Mardi Gras banner displayed on board Queen Mary 2 last weekend tells us anything – it’s Cunard likes to celebrate major events.

So with the line’s 175th anniversary rolling around next year, it’s no surprise there are big plans for even more celebrations.

The first Cunard ship, Britannia, set sail in July 1840 across the Atlantic.

Since then the line has crossed and re-crossed the Atlantic every year without fail.

As part of the celebratrations, the line is sending Queen Mary 2 to retrace Britannia’s first route exactly 175-years ago.

Queen Mary 2 will depart Liverpool on 4 July for the ten-night cruise to America. It will also be the first time a Cunard ship has departed from Liverpool for America since 1968.

Cunard will also salute its ‘spiritual home’ Liverpool with a three-day event from 24 to 26 May 2015.

The line’s current fleet will take part in the event, with Queen Mary 2 arriving first on 24 May for an overnight stay in the city.

The following morning Queen Elizabeth and Queen Victoria will join her. They will then line up on the River Mersey giving onlookers a chance to see all three ships in port at the same time.

The three ships will also meet on 3 May 2015 in Southampton. And a third Royal Rendezvous will take place on Sydney Harbour with Queen Mary 2 and Queen Victoria meeting on 12 March next year.

Queen Victoria will also be sent on a seven-night ‘Lusitania Remembered’ voyage in honour of the Cunard flagship, which was destroyed in 1915 while sailing from New York to Liverpool.

She was one of 22 ships Cunard lost during the First World War, including Carpathia, which had rescued all of the Titanic survivors.

Cunard chief executive David Dingle said the line’s history reads like no other and the landmark anniversary will be celebrated in grand style.

“These special voyages have been planned over many months to commemorate key dates in the company’s history with all who wish to be part of Cunard’s special and unique heritage,” he said.

“We look forward to delivering this year of spectacle and celebration to the many people who share the pride we feel in Cunard’s ongoing success on both sides of the Atlantic and beyond.”

Tickets for commemorative cruises go on sale from 14 March.