Many cruise passengers arrive in the area of their embarkation port to spend a day or two pre-cruise exploring the sights. Those who visit Long Beach have a real treat—that's where Cunard Line's original Queen Mary is docked as a floating museum. If they happen to be present on March 3rd, they will be witnesses to maritime history being made once again in Long Beach Harbor, when Queen Victoria and Queen Mary meet for the first time during a Cunard Royal Rendezvous. At approximately 6:00pm, Queen Victoria will sail into Long Beach Harbor to meet Queen Mary, and the two ships will exchange whistle salutes amidst a sparkling fireworks display. Spectators can view the two ships together for approximately 30 minutes before Queen Victoria continues on her Panama Canal Adventure to Ft. Lauderdale.
This rendezvous marks only the second time in Cunard’s venerable history that a modern Queen has visited her docked sister ship; the very first-ever rendezvous was in February 2006 when, on the occasion of her maiden call to Los Angles, flagship Queen Mary 2 met her namesake, garnering international attention. This historic event also signals the celebration of a significant milestone: the upcoming 75th anniversary of Queen Mary’s maiden voyage from Southampton, England (on May 27, 1936).
“After the spectacular Cunard Royal Rendezvous in New York with our three modern Queens back in January, it is quite fitting that we continue the grand celebration on the West Coast,” said Peter Shanks, president of Cunard Line. “Queen Mary is an important part of our history and legacy and what better way to salute her than with a visit from Queen Victoria to celebrate the completion of her debut Americas season.”
The best viewing location is on the Promenade deck of Queen Mary, at the aft (back) of the ship. Queen Mary will offer free admission for guests to board the ship to experience her attractions, including:
• Dining at the Promenade Café, Sir Winston’s and the Chelsea Chowder House
• Tours, including Behind-the-Scenes, WWII, Haunted Encounters, Twilight Historical and the Ghosts & Legends show, among others (All tours sold separately.)
• Shopping at more than a dozen shops, including Stacks, Queen Mary’s signature souvenir boutique
• Experience vast views of the Harbor from the Observation Bar, the ship’s original first class cocktail lounge, and enjoy live entertainment until 7:00 p.m.
Earlier that day, Queen Victoria makes the last of four visits to the Port of Los Angeles as part of her debut Americas Season, which continues through late March and features several transits through the Panama Canal, two roundtrip voyages to Hawaii, and one Getaway voyage to Mexico. Queen Victoria returns to the West Coast again in early 2012.
Debuting in December 2007, Queen Victoria is the third largest Cunarder ever built, weighing in at 90,000 tons. The 2,000 passenger liner is infused with a sense of luxury and tradition, from the Royal Court Theatre, which includes the first private viewing boxes at sea, to the signature two-storey library featuring a spiral staircase and nearly 6,000 volumes.
During Cunard’s legendary 171-year history, the iconic Queen Mary epitomized the golden age of ocean travel and served as a Cunard liner for more than 30 years. Additionally, she served as a troopship during World War II and a Royal Mail Ship, under contract with the British Royal Mail service. Queen Mary’s influence lives on today serving as interior design inspiration for the modern Cunard fleet, the youngest at sea, and continues to be a popular destination for maritime enthusiasts. She retired from service in 1967 and remains in Long Beach, Calif. as a hotel, museum and tourist attraction. For more information about Queen Mary, visit www.queenmary.com. For more information about Cunard Line, visit www.cunard.com.