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Cunard maps out more 175th anniversary events in Halifax

Queen Mary is pictured on its maiden call to Halifax in 2011 (Photo: Alan Deveau, Eastern Eyes)
Additional events were announced for Queen Mary 2's July 10 call at Halifax, Cunard's 'ancestral home,' to commemorate the company's 175th anniversary. The liner will be recreating RMS Britannia's original voyage in 1840.

On top of earlier announced commemorative events including a waterfront ceremony and the inaugural Samuel Cunard Prize for Vision, Courage and Creativity—which goes to James D. Irving, whose family enterprises including Irving Shipbuilding in Halifax—there will be museum activities and an elaborate sail-away convoy.

The Maritime Museum of the Atlantic will reopen the Cunard portion of its 'Age of Steam' exhibition and launch a new Samuel Cunard retrospective exhibit that showcases the founder’s impact on global business, transportation and world events.

'Cunard 175: Engine for Change' is the museum’s chronicle of Sir Samuel’s vision and achievement in revolutionizing maritime travel and global communications. His drive to create an 'ocean railway' with comfortable, technologically advanced ships making established ocean passages is continued by Cunard today. 'Cunard 175: Engine for Change' debuts July 10, and at 5 p.m. the museum will open for free for the exhibit's opening reception.

Queen Mary 2 is due to arrive in Halifax at 6 a.m. ADT and sail at 8 p.m.

Upon departure, the vessel will be saluted by the Royal Canadian Navy from the frigate HMCS Montreal as Royal Canadian Sea Cadets fire a salute from the shore. The cadets, ages 12-18, are part of a youth organization co-sponsored by the Canadian Armed Forces and the civilian Navy League of Canada.

The liner will conduct a counter-clockwise tour of the harbor, first proceeding in a northeasterly direction, leaving Georges Island to starboard and continuing on a course that will take it approximately mid-harbor and directly opposite HMC Dockyard, site of the original Cunard Wharves where RMS Britannia berthed.

There Queen Mary 2 will turn to port and fall into line with the escort vessels, led by Theodore Tugboat then tugboat Atlantic Oak (with water canons) and followed by HMCS Montreal.

The procession will proceed in a southerly direction close to the Halifax Boardwalk/waterfront, providing opportunity for the public to view this ceremonial conclusion to the Halifax celebration of Cunard's 175th anniversary.

A naval artillery salute will take place shoreside from the wharf of the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic where music will be provided by the Stadacona Band. Queen Mary 2 and escort vessels will continue moving slowly southward along the Halifax sea wall and leaving Georges Island to port.

Upon passing Pier 21 the flotilla will be joined by yachts and other pleasure craft from the Royal Nova Scotia Yacht Squadron and other yacht clubs.

Queen Mary 2 will then continue on its commemorative crossing, sailing down to Boston and New York, with special events scheduled for each port.