Cunard's Queen Mary 2 is wrapping up its transatlantic voyage celebrating the line's 175th anniversary.
On July 12 the ship will call on Boston, marking the company's original transatlantic crossing as well as the first scheduled mail and passenger service across the Atlantic.
In July 1840, the company’s first flagship, Britannia, left from Liverpool, England, setting sail across the Atlantic towards Canada and the United States with Samuel Cunard and his daughter on board. The Britannia’s crossing of the Atlantic in a fortnight marked a revolution in communication in an era when mail and newspapers could take six weeks to reach their destination.
The cutting-edge paddle steamer, capable of speeding at nine knots, carried 115 passengers, 89 crew, 600 tons of coal, the Atlantic mail, chickens, and one cow to provide fresh milk. Cunard’s 175th Anniversary will be celebrated in Boston with the following events:
Presentation of Servia Ship Model to Cunard Building
Early morning on 12 July, Queen Mary 2 will sail into Boston, the company’s first port of call in the U.S. and the former home of its first North American headquarters. To commemorate the day, Richard Meadows, president, Cunard North America, along with Master of Queen Mary 2 Captain Kevin Oprey, and local Boston officials, will present Cunard’s Servia ship model in a special ceremony to launch the newly renovated Cunard Building at 120 State Street.
The 11-foot long model, built in 1881, was transported over to the United States on Queen Mary 2 from the Science Museum in England and will be placed in the front entrance of the former North American Cunard headquarters for passersby to view. Located in the Customs House District, the building is part of a redevelopment of the area and historically renovated by Highland Development and Morris Architects through the stewardship of the building’s owner, Bill Mosakowsi, Public Consulting Group.
Queen Mary 2 Captain Pitches at Red Sox Game
Later that afternoon, Captain Kevin Oprey, master of Queen Mary 2, will throw the ceremonial first pitch at the Boston Red Sox vs. New York Yankees game at 1:30pm at Fenway Park.
Evening Fireworks in Boston Harbour
At approximately 9:45 pm, a grand fireworks display produced by Garden State Fireworks will mark Queen Mary 2’s departure as she sets off towards New York City for the final leg of her 175th Anniversary tour. The best locations for the public to view the fireworks are Waterfront Park, Fan Pier and East Boston.
Arrival in New York
On July 14, Queen Mary 2 will culminate its celebratory voyage with an arrival in New York City.
The ship's arrival will be marked by a flotilla of historic ships and Coast Guard vessels, including the Mary A Whalen, an oil tanker; the Eric R Thornton, tug boat; John J Harvey Fireboat; Nantucket Lightship, and the Pegasus Tug after she passes under the Verrazano Bridge at approximately 5:30 am and berths alongside the Red Hook Terminal at 7:15 am.
Cunard has been sailing in and out of New York City ever since the Hibernia first called in 1847, and the company has called Red Hook, Brooklyn, its home since 2006. Sites of the company’s earlier history and its relationship to the city can be seen through the Cunard White Star sign at Pier 54 and the Cunard Building at 25 Broadway, which was completed in 1921 and is considered a New York City landmark today.
New York Stock Exchange
In the afternoon, Cunard’s 175th anniversary will be marked by the ringing of the Closing Bell at the New York Stock Exchange by the master of Queen Mary 2, Captain Kevin Oprey, as a testament to the economic and industrial achievements of the company, as well as to the future of the brand.
Queen Mary 2 Light Show Spectacular
Later in the evening, a spectacular light and music show, designed by Quantum Theatricals, will mark the finale as Queen Mary 2 embarks on a return journey back across the Atlantic. This production will begin at approximately 9:30 pm as Queen Mary 2 holds position in front of the Statue of Liberty, and will be available for public viewing from Battery Park.