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Lusitania exhibit features on commemorative Queen Victoria cruise

Lusitania exhibit features on commemorative Queen Victoria cruise
Cunard Line has commissioned historian Eric Sauder to produce a temporary exhibition of Lusitania memorabilia that will be displayed on board Queen Victoria during its May 3, 2015 voyage commemorating the loss of Lusitania 100 years earlier.

The exhibit will feature china, silver, brochures, postcards, memorabilia and souvenirs.

Sauder has been interested in ocean liners, particularly Lusitania, for more than 30 years. His first job was tour guide on Queen Mary in Long Beach, Calif. He has dived on the wreck of Lusitania and has written two books on the subject, 'RMS Lusitania: The Ship and Her Record' and 'The Unseen Lusitania: The Ship in Rare Illustrations,' the latter to be released for the 100th anniversary of the sinking.

Lusitania was the first of 22 Cunard ships lost in World War I. On May 7 it will be exactly 100 years since the Cunard flagship was torpedoed while en route from New York to Liverpool. The ship sank approximately 11 miles off the old Head of Kinsale in Ireland.

The seven-night 'Lusitania Remembered' cruise on Queen Victoria will commemorate the loss of Lusitania and the other Cunard ships in World War I. Queen Victoria will call at Cobh (formerly Queenstown) on May 7. Cobh will forever be associated with the tragedy. People there witnessed the trauma, tragedy and heartbreak that ensued. The dead, the injured and the bereaved were brought into a small community that mobilised and responded to their needs.

Cunard ceo David Dingle said the anniversary of the sinking will be marked in a 'fitting and respectful way,' adding that Lusitania also was a story of triumph in the technical achievement of its construction and the liner's glittering career from 1907 until the war's outbreak.

Lusitania and sister ship Mauretania were the first of the floating palaces and still conjure up images of power, speed, Palm Courts, smoking rooms, afternoon tea and grand staircases.

Queen Victoria passengers will be invited to attend a service ashore on May 7 and to witness a number of other tributes that day, followed by a commemorative dinner on board.

Sailing from and back to Southampton, the 'Lusitania Remembered' voyage will call at St. Peter Port (Guernsey), Le Havre, Cobh and Dublin. Per person fares start at $1,399 for an inside cabin and $2,099 for a balcony cabin.