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Cunard plan birthday salute and firework farewell for QM2's 10th

Cunard plan birthday salute and firework farewell for QM2's 10th
Cunard will celebrate the 10th anniversary of Queen Mary 2, on May 9, 2014 with the rare arrival of the line’s three-ship fleet in Southampton.

The ships will arrive together at first light to begin a day of spectacular celebration, with an early morning Birthday Salute, a special reception and lunch on board Queen Mary 2 for invited guests in the presence of His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh, and a firework send-off in the evening before Queen Mary 2 leads the three ships in convoy down Southampton Water.

Angus Struthers, Cunard marketing director, said: ‘We’re delighted to have the Three Queens come together in our homeport, Southampton, to mark the first ten years of the grandest ocean liner ever built – Queen Mary 2. Southampton is where Queen Mary 2 was named by Her Majesty The Queen in 2004. And Southampton has been the main UK departure point for Cunard’s crossings to New York since 1919. So it is fitting that it is in Southampton that we are celebrating the 10th anniversary of Queen Mary 2.'

Around 5am in the morning Queen Elizabeth and Queen Victoria will take the lead up Southampton Water, followed by a firetug with waterjets which will herald the arrival of Queen Mary 2.

As Queen Elizabeth and Queen Victoria take a bow-to-bow position 30mtr apart by the Queen Elizabeth II terminal, Queen Mary 2 will slowly sail past her sister ships. As a 10th Birthday Salute, ‘Happy Birthday’, rendered on ships’ whistles, will sound out across the water and 10,000 balloons will be released from the Pavilion Pool on Queen Mary 2’s top deck.

After the Birthday Salute, Queen Mary 2 will continue on to Ocean Terminal where she will be based for HRH The Duke of Edinburgh’s visit. Queen Victoria will sail from Queen Elizabeth II Terminal to City Terminal and Queen Elizabeth will move into her final position at Queen Elizabeth II Terminal.  

At 10pm, a 10 minute firework display will herald the grand finale to a very special day.  As the climatic fireworks explode overhead, Queen Mary 2 will make ready to lead the way down Southampton Water, followed by Queen Elizabeth and Queen Victoria.