Liverpool is to celebrate the 175th anniversary of Cunard in spectacular fashion with a special festival directed by Wayne Hemingway.
A series of events will be held across the city on Saturday July 4, 2015 – the same day that Cunard flagship Queen Mary 2 sets sail for America from Liverpool Cruise Terminal, recreating the original voyage of Britannia back in 1840.
The programme, curated by Hemingway Design, Vintage Festival and Deco Publique in partnership with the city council, will celebrate the glamour and excitement of cruise travel and how an industry that was born in Liverpool changed the world culturally.
The significance and impact of transatlantic travel will be explored over the weekend through a series of events looking at everything from fashion to food, involving everyone from schoolchildren and residents through to businesses and retailers in Liverpool.
Wayne Hemingway, who will be Creative Director of the festival, said: “This is an internationally significant milestone that is being celebrated in a city whose creative stature is growing, and we are honoured to be able to contribute to what will undoubtedly add to the increasingly positive brand that is Liverpool.
“Great festivals usually stem from communities and local and regional institutions and businesses coming together and all doing a bit.
“We will do our utmost to bring folk together to ensure that the whole is greater than the sum of the parts to create a festival that lives long in the memory.”
Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson said: “Liverpool led the way with the start of passenger shipping back in 1840 and we are determined to mark Cunard’s 175th anniversary in style.
“We are really excited that Wayne who is at the forefront of British design and his team will be working hand in hand with us to create an unforgettable weekend for residents and visitors taking place on the greatest waterfront in the world.
“This will be a show to remember marking a significant milestone and showcasing the huge influence that the sea and the liners have had, not just on our city and people but also the rest of the world.
“As a former merchant seaman, it gives me tremendous pride to know that Liverpool played such a significant role in the start of the cruise industry and is now re-emerging as a top quality cruise destination.”
The 10-night Cunard crossing setting sail from Liverpool on 4 July will call at Halifax and Boston just like Britannia, and will conclude in New York on 14 July 2015.
Angus Struthers, Cunard Director, said: “We are delighted to have Wayne Hemingway involved with Liverpool’s celebrations to mark 4 July 2015 and the 175th anniversary of the departure of Cunard’s first ship.
“Britannia changed the face of ocean travel forever so it is appropriate to mark such a special day in such a special way and I’m sure the combination of Wayne’s talents, Liverpool and Queen Mary 2 will certainly give all those present a day to remember”.
As part of the events to mark Cunard’s 175th anniversary, all three Cunard liners will be in the city in May. Queen Mary 2 will arrive on Sunday 24 May and make her first ever overnight stay, berthed in sight of the Cunard Building. The following morning, on Monday 25 May, Queen Elizabeth and Queen Victoria will sail into the city and for a time all three ships of the Cunard fleet will line up on the Mersey in a spectacle that is expected to draw huge crowds. Queen Mary 2 will then take her leave and sail out of Liverpool late morning on Monday 25 May as Queen Elizabeth berths at the landing stage, where she will remain until late that night. Queen Victoria meanwhile will anchor in the Mersey. Late in the evening of Monday 25 May, Queen Elizabeth will set sail and Queen Victoria will then take the berth and remain there overnight, and for the following day, Tuesday 26 May.