Cunard saw its three cruise ships gather in the iconic British line’s spiritual home of Liverpool at the weekend to mark its 175th anniversary.
It was the first time Cunard’s ‘Three Queens’ - Queen Mary 2, Queen Elizabeth and Queen Victoria - have met in the northern city, and thousands of spectators turned out to watch.
The event culminated with the three ships lining up across the river just 130 metres apart as the Red Arrows performed a fly-past overhead.
Commodore of the Cunard fleet Christopher Rynd said: “It’s been a privilege to bring the Cunard fleet together on the Mersey for the first time ever to mark Cunard’s 175th anniversary year and our historic and ongoing partnership with Liverpool, our spiritual home.
“After months of planning, today the three ships have manoeuvred on the River Mersey as never before, right in front of the Cunard Building, one of Liverpool’s Three Graces and a world heritage site as well as Cunard’s former headquarters.
“The Red Arrows flypast at the climax of the ships manoeuvres added a finishing touch to an extraordinary day. There can be no more fitting way to celebrate Cunard’s 175th anniversary.
“The spectators have been amazing and the numbers extraordinary – all the way from the mouth of the Mersey to Pier Head, we have seen such enthusiastic crowds.
“There has always been a special bond between Cunard and Liverpool and the northwest, with so many people having worked for or with Cunard over the years.
“There’s an emotional connection between us. Cunard is more than just a shipping line – it’s a source of pride that means so much to us and everyone associated with it. It’s a real pleasure to be able to celebrate that enduring bond between us all in such a special way today.”
Cunard director Angus Struthers said: “All of us at Cunard have been touched by the fantastic reception the Three Queens have received from the people of Liverpool and beyond today. It feels like 175 years of stories, people and history linking Cunard to the city have really come alive.
“With the Red Arrows flypast adding an amazing extra ‘wow’, it’s been the sort of day we hope parents and grandparents will remember with their children and grandchildren in years to come.
“It's taken a huge amount of planning and cooperation between Cunard’s ships, the Mersey pilots and Liverpool's cruise operation to make this happen and today is testament to the great results that continue to come out of Cunard's partnership with the city.”
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