Three Queens salute to Cunnard's spiritual home

As a city which has been famous for its ‘Three Graces’ for nearly a century, Liverpool is gearing up to be the centre of the world’s attention when it welcomes another historic maritime trio this weekend.

Since the turn of the year Three Queens fever has swept through the city, with hundreds of thousands of people excited to see three of the world’s most famous cruise liners together in Liverpool for the first time.

This landmark occasion forms part of Cunard’s 175th anniversary celebrations in which the company will salute its spiritual home of Liverpool with a four day ‘Three Queens Festival’ taking place in the heart of the river Mersey.

Here at Peel Ports we are honoured to be able to welcome back the Queen Elizabeth, Queen Victoria and Queen Mary 2. Over the years each ship has graced the Port of Liverpool individually, but to have the three largest Cunard ships in our port at the same time – is a fitting tribute to Cunard’s historic ties with Liverpool which stretch back almost two centuries

Liverpool was Cunard’s home for more than a century from 1840 until 1967 when its headquarters were moved from Liverpool's iconic Cunard Building on the Pier Head to Southampton. The Cunard Building still exists today and affectionately forms part of the famous ‘Three Graces’, standing tall and proud over the Liverpool skyline.

It was also from Liverpool, that exactly 175 years ago, Samuel Cunard launched his first cruise liner. On her maiden voyage across the North Atlantic, the Britannia carried a cargo of 115 passengers, 86 crew, 600 tons of coal and Transatlantic mail, as well as chickens, a cow to feed the crew and three cats to control the mice!

Since then Liverpool has accommodated some of Cunard’s greatest liners including: Hibernia, Lusitania, Queen Elizabeth and Lucania, as well as the Three Queens.

Cruising has changed a great deal since the 19th Century. Thankfully we no longer need cats on board as cruising is now seen as one of the most luxurious and exciting ways to travel between the continents, with hundreds of thousands of passengers a year choosing the open sea.

Around 80,000 passengers a year pass through the Liverpool Cruise Terminal and the arrival of the Three Queens this weekend shows that Liverpool truly is on the global cruise map.

Thousands of people are expected to flock to the riverside over the next few days to catch a glimpse of these stunning vessels, and Cunard have created a packed schedule of events for all to enjoy (http://www.cunard.co.uk/cruise-types/anniversary-cruises-2015/liverpool/) culminating in a small flotilla parade which will accompany the Queen Victoria as she leaves the River Mersey on Tuesday.

We look forward to welcoming the ‘Three Queens’ back to their spiritual Liverpool home and showing her the very best hospitality that Liverpool has to offer.

Stephen Gallimore
Harbour Master


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