Yesterday, New York was host to all three of Cunard Line's magnificent ships including the recently commissioned Queen Elizabeth, Queen Victoria and Queen Mary 2. In honor of the historic occasion, the day was proclaimed "Cunard Royal Rendezvous Day" by Mayor Michael Bloomberg. The highlight of the historic event was a grand fireworks display, produced by Grucci, as the trio sailed past the Statue of Liberty as they began their respective journeys around the world (see video below).
Cunard has a long history with New York. "The great city of New York and Cunard Line have a history that is interwoven," says Peter Shanks, president of Cunard Line. "Our ships have called at New York more than any other port---with the first call being made by Cunard's Hibernia in 1845. Today marks another historic day, as our newest ship, Queen Elizabeth, marks her maiden call into New York, and we continue the legacy we have built with this city."
The ship's captain, Julian Burgess, has more than 30 years of experience at sea and nearly seven years of experience as captain. Burgess was most recently a captain with Princess Cruises. "This is my first Cunard ship and I am honored to be captain of Queen Elizabeth," Burgess told Luxist. "So many people have wonderful memories of the QE2 and there is such an interest in coming on the new Queen. She is very elegant and a great successor."
Luxist had the opportunity to tour the grand ship and found it to be beautiful, much like that of its slightly older sisters, Queen Mary 2 (winner of Luxist's Readers' Choice Award for Best Caribbean Cruise) and Queen Victoria. Remarkably, although Cunard is one of the oldest names in shipping, it operates the youngest fleet in the industry. Queen Elizabeth is the third new ocean liner to be introduced by Cunard in six years and it is the second largest Cunard ship ever built.