The three queens of the Cunard fleet all departed Southampton port last night, to undertake the first legs of their respective world voyages. Thousands of cruise fans gathered at the port to wish ‘Bon Voyage’ to the three ships who were leaving together on global itineraries for the first time in the cruise line’s history.
A special fireworks display was organised to commemorate the occasion as a record ten thousand passengers gathered to depart on the three sisters. Each of the ships has now embarked on a unique worldwide itinerary, taking four months apiece.
Flagship Queen Mary 2 is starting her world cruise by completing one of the most famous cruise passages in the world, Southampton to New York. From the Big Apple, QM2 will head to the South American cities of Brazil, Uruguay and Chile before heading to the unique Easter Island and towards Australia. After calling in at a number of port cities down under, the liner will return to the UK via a number of stunning Asian and Mediterranean destinations.
Passengers aboard QM2 will be able to enjoy the recently refitted interiors of the ship. A multi-million project has revitalised many areas of the ship and added a selection of new features including extended pet kennels and new dining options.
The Queen Victoria is now heading towards the Portuguese islands of the Azores, before cruising over the Atlantic to Florida and subsequently Central America. Perhaps the highlight of the itinerary is sailing through the Panama Canal towards California and Hawaii. In just over a month, the ship will pass the International Date Line before visiting a number of port cities in Australia and New Zealand.
Queen Elizabeth will be taking a different route to the Southern Hemisphere, setting sail for Cape Town, South Africa. The liner is making her way to Oz before her sisters, before undertaking a longer second leg. During her return to Southampton, Queen Elizabeth will visit a huge number of Asian countries including China, Japan, South Korea, Vietnam, Malaysia and Thailand amongst others.
Images sourced via Flickr Creative Commons. Credit: Sacha Fernandez, Trondheim Havn