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Halifax, Boston, New York events set for Cunard's 175th anniversary

Halifax, Boston, New York events set for Cunard's 175th anniversary
On July 4 Queen Mary 2 will embark on the capstone of Cunard’s 175th worldwide anniversary celebrations with a commemorative trans-Atlantic crossing departing from Liverpool, England, paying tribute to the original voyage made by the company’s first flagship, Britannia, on July 4, 1840.

This inaugurated the first scheduled mail and passenger service across the Atlantic and Cunard will be celebrating this historic milestone in three cities with a special place in company history: Halifax, Boston and New York.

Queen Mary 2 will depart Southampton on July 2, then call at Liverpool, the company's spiritual home, amid fanfare and fireworks, before sailing to North America with celebratory shipboard and commemorative shoreside events scheduled for each port of call.

'We look forward to honouring Sir Samuel Cunard in his birthplace of Halifax, to commemorate our heritage in Boston in what was the first American company headquarters, and to salute our US homeport, New York in a festive and fitting fashion,' Cunard president Rick Meadows said.

Nova Scotia's Halifax, the home of Cunard founder Sir Samuel Cunard, will welcome Queen Mary 2 on July 10. The occasion will be marked with an outdoor ceremony including local dignitaries, port officials and key members of the community.

A public area of a future waterfront development will be named for Cunard. The ceremony will take place on the grounds of an upcoming mixed-use development created by Southwest Properties and Streamliner Properties in collaboration with the Waterfront Development Corp. Rhapsody Quintet, whose members are also part of the Symphony Nova Scotia, will perform.

Cunard has joined the Canadian Maritime Heritage Foundation and the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic to create the first 'Samuel Cunard Prize for Vision, Courage and Creativity,' which will be awarded to James D. Irving, Canadian industrialist. This prize event is planned to take place every year aboard Queen Mary 2 and recognize a recipient who exemplifies the world-changing vision, courage and creativity shown by Samuel Cunard throughout his life.    

Queen Mary 2 will sail away with a festive evening departure, slated to include local navy cadets, with more details to be announced shortly.   

Early morning on July 12, Queen Mary 2 will sail into Boston, the company’s first port of call in the US and the home of its first North American headquarters.

A dedication ceremony to launch the newly renovated Cunard Building includes the donation of the Servia ship model by Cunard. The model, built in 1881, will be carried on Queen Mary 2 from the Science Museum in England and placed in the entrance of the former North American Cunard headquarters at 120 State Street. Located in the Customs House District, the building is part of a redevelopment of the area and historically renovated by Highland Development and Morris Architects through the stewardship of the building’s owner, Bill Mosakowsi, Public Consulting Group.

That afternoon Queen Mary 2 Capt. Kevin Oprey will throw the ceremonial first pitch at the Boston Red Sox-New York Yankees game at Fenway Park.

Fireworks will mark Queen Mary 2’s evening departure.

Although not a port of call on the original Britannia crossing, New York has been Cunard’s North American homeport for more than a century.

Capt. Osprey is scheduled to ring the closing bell at the New York Stock Exchange.

In the evening there will be a public viewing from Battery Park of a theatrical light and music show on Queen Mary 2 while the ship pauses in lower Manhattan harbor in front of the Statue of Liberty.