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PHOTO: The captain stands under the mammoth hull of Cunard flagship Queen Mary 2. (Courtesy of Cunard)
Cunard, which has been celebrating its 175th anniversary all over the world, is concluding the festivities in New York City on July 14.
The finale begins when the Queen Mary 2 sails into its U.S. homeport after its 175th commemorative trans-Atlantic crossing. The liner is expected to pass under the Verrazano Bridge at approximately 5:30 a.m. and berth alongside the Red Hook Terminal, its Brooklyn homeport since 2006, at 7:15 a.m.
A flotilla of historic ships and Coast Guard vessels will greet the Queen Mary 2, including the oil tanker Mary A Whalen, tug boat Eric R Thornton, fireboat John J Harvey and more.
This journey pays tribute to the original voyage made by Cunard's first flagship, Britannia, as the company inaugurated the first scheduled mail and passenger service across the Atlantic on July 4, 1840.
The company's history with New York is visible through the Cunard White Star sign at Pier 54 and the Cunard Building at 25 Broadway, which was completed in 1921 and is considered a city landmark today.
"Cunard's relationship with the city of New York holds a distinctly unique place in our 175-year history," said Richard Meadows, president of Cunard-North America. "From the great period of emigration in the mid-19th and early 20th century, when Cunard carried approximately one in five emigrants from the old World to North America, many to Ellis Island, to the transportation of hundreds of thousands of military troops across the Atlantic during World War II, New York has been our U.S. homeport for decades, and has played a significant role in the transformative world events during our history. We are very pleased today to extend our heartfelt thanks for our enduring relationship with this great city."
The anniversary will be marked by the ringing of the Closing Bell at the New York Stock Exchange by the master of Queen Mary 2, Capt. Kevin Oprey.
A spectacular light and music show starting at about 9:30 p.m. will mark the finale as Queen Mary 2 departs on the return journey back across the Atlantic. The show, which take place when the ship stops in front of the Statue of Liberty, will be available for public viewing from Battery Park.
Theresa Norton, editor in chief of AGENTatHOME Magazine, covers the cruise industry for TravelPulse.com.
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