On Tuesday, New York City welcomed the return of the Queen Mary 2, escorted by a fleet of historic ships and coastguard vessels.
The arrival of Cunard’s flagship vessel to the city marks the end of a historic tribute voyage. The Queen Mary 2 emulated the original voyage taken by Cunard’s first flagship vessel, the Britannia, which completed the first scheduled mail and passenger service across the Atlantic. That original voyage took place on July 4, 1840.
The Queen Mary 2’s historic port call was accompanied by several ships that are famous in their own right: the Mary A Whalen, an oil tanker; the Eric R Thornton, a tug boat; John J Harvey Fireboat; Nantucket Lightship and the Pegasus Tug all joined the Queen Mary 2 as she passed under the Verrazano Bridge towards her final destination, the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal.
The commemorative festivities didn’t end there. To further celebrate the important anniversary, Captain Kevin Oprey rang the Closing Bell at the New York Stock Exchange.
Later that night, the Queen Mary 2 stopped in front of the Statue of Liberty for a spectacular light and music show in Battery Park. The show illuminated New York harbor and was live-streamed over the web.
Cunard has been a mainstay on New York waters for well over a century. The luxury ocean liner operator has sailed in and out of New York City since 1847, and has called Red Hook, Brooklyn home since 2006. Other signs of Cunard’s historic mark on New York can be seen throughout the city. The Cunard Building at 25 Broadway, which was completed in 1921, is considered a New York City landmark today.
“Cunard’s relationship with the city of New York holds a distinctly unique place in our 175-year history,” said Richard Meadows, president, Cunard North America. “New York has been our U.S. homeport for decades, and has played a significant role in the transformative world events during our history. We are very pleased today to extend our heartfelt thanks for our enduring relationship with this great city.”