In the early hours of 7 May, 100 years after the Cunard flagship Lusitania was torpedoed and sunk with the loss of 1,195 lives, Queen Victoria will pause over the wreck off Cobh.
Commodore Rynd and Cunard director Angus Struthers will lay wreaths and passengers travelling who had relatives on Lusitania will offer their own floral tributes prior to Queen Victoria paying her own tribute by sounding her fog horn.
Further tributes will be paid at the Lusitania graves in the Old Churchyard outside Cobh prior to a special commemorative service.
Two special moments will be Queen Victoria sounding her whistle at 1410 hours (the moment the torpedo hit Lusitania) and 1428 hours (the moment Lusitania sank). Lusitania was the first of 20 ships Cunard ships lost in the First World War and these will be remembered in service which will include speeches, blessings and hymns. All passengers on Queen Victoria will be able to attend the service.
In addition commemorative dinners will be held during the cruise which will acknowledge and pay tribute to Lusitania and Cunard’s role in the First World War.
Angus Struthers, Cunard director: ‘In this, our 175th anniversary year, we will take time to remember and reflect on the loss of the Cunard flagship Lusitania and we hope this special cruise will ensure that the tragedy will continue to be remembered for generations to come. It is especially important for us to be in Cobh on 7 May as we stand united with the port that will forever be associated with the tragedy.’
Cunard has commissioned historian Eric Sauder to produce a temporary exhibition of Lusitania memorabilia that will be displayed on board Queen Victoria. The exhibit will feature china, silver, brochures, postcards, memorabilia and souvenirs that will bring to life the story of Cunard’s former flagship.