#Cunard175th - Cunard Line's three 'Queens' departed Southampton this evening to mark the start of celebrating the world famous company's 175th anniversary, writes Jehan Ashmore.
Leading the way from the UK homeport was Queen Mary 2, the 151,000 tonnes 2,600 passenger flagship cruise 'liner' which along with her fleetmates departed down Solent water and out into the English Channel.
The procession saw the cruiseship trio pass Cowes, Isle of Wight and at 19.00hrs this evening when Queen Victoria set off on a RMS 'Lusitania Remembered' memorial commemorative cruise to Cobh. She was astern of Queen Elizabeth which likewise of 'QM2' are all to visit Irish ports this season.
The 'Vista' class Queen Victoria is to call to Cobh Cruise Terminal next Thursday in memory of the sinking of the RMS Lusitania 100 years ago. The liner was sunk by a torpedo from German submarine (U-Boat 20) on 7 May 1915.
It was in the previous century that Cunard began operations with Britannia when she left British waters in 1840 bound for America. Ever since the prestigious luxury brand have taken guests between the continents.
Below is outlined the current Cunard fleet and each of the captains in command of the cruises that began this evening and to where each of the respective cruiseships next port of call.
Queen Mary 2 (Captain Christopher Wells) set sail bound for New York
Queen Elizabeth (Captain Inger Klein Thorhauge) is heading for Hamburg
Queen Victoria (Commodore Christopher Rynd) underway for St. Peter Port, Guernsey
All three cruiseships have previously called to Irish ports, notably Queen Mary 2 which made her debut off Dunmore East, Waterford Estuary in 2005.