Cunard’s Queen Victoria returns to Liverpool to celebrate 100 years since maiden voyage of superliner Aquitania
The visit – the ships second to the city – will take place during a cruise around the British Isles in May next year. It will be the first two-day call in Liverpool – regarded as Cunard Line’s spiritual home – in almost 50 years.
Queen Victoria will arrive in Liverpool on Thursday May 29, 2014. The next day she will mark the 100th anniversary of the maiden voyage of Aquitania, which became known as the “Ship Beautiful”.
She made her maiden voyage from Liverpool on May 30, 1914.
Queen Victoria was last in Liverpool on her maiden voyage in 2010.
Peter Shanks, Cunard President and managing director, said: “Each visit of a Cunard ship to the Mersey is reason to celebrate and the city and crowds do not let us down. The departure of Aquitania 100 years ago is something to be proud of and something to celebrate and we intend to do that in true Cunard style on the actual day of the anniversary.
Aquitania, the largest liner in the world at the time of her voyage, eventually came to be known as the “granny” of the Cunard line with 36 years’ service.
She was one of the few big ships which saw service through World Wars, being converted into a troop ship in 1915 and carrying 30,000 men to the Dardanelles.
Winston Churchill credited her and the two Cunard Queens – Mary and Elizabeth – with shortening the Second World War by a year.
By the time she went for scrap in February 1950 she had steamed nearly three million miles and carried more than one million passengers. She was considered the most attractive ships of her time and one of the most beautiful four-funnelled liners.
The Aquitania’s service length and miles sailedwere both only surpassed by QE2.
Queen Victoria will call at Liverpool during the 13-night Around the British Isles cruise, which will depart from Southampton on May 23, 2014.
She will arrive in the River Mersey on Thursday May 29. The cruise will also call at South Queensferry, Invergordon, Kirkwall. Greenock, Dublin, Cobh and St Peter Port before arriving back in Southampton on June 5.
Greenock on the Clyde also has a close connection with Aquitania because she was built at the John Brown Shipyard.
An earlier Cunard ship, Lusitania, will be remembered for her loss in the First World War when Queen Victoria arrives in Cobh.
Press Release courtesy of Liverpool Echo