Cunard mark 77th anniversary by recreating history with QM2

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QM2Queen Mary 2 sailed into New York harbour last Saturday, recreating a historical moment from 77 years ago.

On the 2nd of June 2013, QM2 arrived into New York harbour, after sailing from Southampton days earlier.  This special transatlantic voyage marked the 77th anniversary of the original Queen Mary ship’s maiden call to the harbour back in 1936.

Speaking about the momentous occasion, Cunard Line President Peter Shanks said:

“During her nearly 10 years in service, Queen Mary 2 has proudly continued the transatlantic legacy of elegance and glamour that Queen Mary so beautifully exemplified during her long reign of service,”

“On this special anniversary, we are also pleased to continue to call New York our US homeport, a city which has embraced our ships throughout the decades and played a prominent role in many Cunard milestones.”

The original Queen Mary made her maiden voyage from Southampton to New York back in May 1936.  The ship departed from Southampton with a backdrop of bands playing music and crowds cheering.  She later arrived into New York, greeted by raucous fanfare.  Several notable guests travelled on the ship, including bandleader Henry Hall and singer Frances Day.  Miss Day’s voyage provided an interesting anecdote: she did not trust the ship’s eggs to be fresh by the end of the journey, so she took her own chickens onboard!

Queen Mary 2 recreated the journey in late May 2013, 77 years after that maiden voyage to New York.  This time round, the ship carried a number of notable guests, including speaker Jeffrey Weinberg, who was adviser to seven U.S. Presidents.  However, this time, the ship did not carry any chickens!

During her 31-year career, Queen Mary crossed the Atlantic over 1,000 times, before she was retired in 1967.

The newer ship Queen Mary 2 (or QM2 as she’s affectionately known) was ordered in 2000 and launched back in 2003.  The ship made her maiden voyage a year later.  July 6th 2013 will mark the ship’s 200th transatlantic voyage.

Pricing differences:

The Wall Street Journal provided side-by-side comparisons over the new and old pricing structures:

Queen Mary:

Lead-in fare: GBP18 10 shillings (Third Class Cabin)
Highest Fare: GBP102 (Main Deck Suite)

Queen Mary 2:

Lead-in fare: GBP1,199 (Inside Britannia cabin)
Highest Fare: GBP9,016 (Balmoral Duplex Suite)

Queen Mary 2 QM2About Queen Mary 2:

Cunard regard Queen Mary 2 as their flagship vessel, they claim the ship is the “most magnificent ocean liner ever built”.

The shop offers vast onboard spaces and state of the art facilities, these include a fabulous 3D Cinema, a planetarium and gorgeous relaxing spa treatments.

On January 8th 2004, QM2 was christened in a naming ceremony by Queen Elizabeth II.  The Queen is the ship’s official godmother.

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Claire Wilde

Claire has worked in the travel industry since leaving college in 1994. One of this blog's most regular contributors, Claire covers cruise news and industry trends.

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