Thousands Expected to View Mid-Day Royal Rendezvous

February 23 Marks Maritime History as Venerable Ocean Liners Queen Mary 2 and Queen Mary Meet for First Time in Long Beach Harbor

VALENCIA, Calif., Feb. 13 /PRNewswire/ — Long Beach area residents can enjoy a shore leave lunch break on February 23, when Queen Mary 2 sails into the Port of Long Beach for her first-ever meeting with her predecessor and namesake, Queen Mary. The two ships will unite in Long Beach harbor for a jubilant afternoon greeting, from 12:00 – 1:30 p.m.

The historic event will be marked by singular fanfare and celebration, including a whistle salutation between the ships that will be heard from up to ten miles away. The first-time salute will take on even more meaning as Queen Mary 2 carries one of her namesake’s original whistles.

Commemorative festivities will take place onboard both ships and along the coastal city’s shores. The city of Long Beach has pulled out all the stops by arranging for fireboats and a flotilla of ships, yachts and boats to be in the harbor, as well organizing a squadron of skytypers who will create a series of messages throughout the historic occasion. In another nod to history, skytyper Greg Stinis will return to the skies of Long Beach harbor for a repeat overhead performance on February 23. Stinis had carried out the same aerial celebrations over Queen Mary when she entered Long Beach for the first time in 1967.

“This much anticipated historic event is being made possible through a great collaboration between many enthusiastic officials and organizations in the City of Long Beach, to whom we are very grateful,” said Carol Marlow, president and managing director of Cunard Line. “I want to especially acknowledge and thank Customs and Border Protection and the U.S. Coast Guard for their support.”

Long Beach lunch-breakers will find a range of excellent vantage points for viewing the historic meeting, including:

* Bixby Park — 130 Cherry Ave (at Ocean Blvd.)
* Bluff Park — Ocean Blvd, between Redondo & Lindero
* Junipero Beach — Beach from 15th Street to 39th Place (access is
Junipero Ave. at Ocean Blvd.)
* Shoreline Aquatic Park — 200 Aquarium Way (located behind Aquarium of
the Pacific)
* Shoreline Village — 429 Shoreline Village Dr. (best viewing from mole
road that stretches into harbor)
* Aboard Queen Mary — 1126 Queens Hwy (at end of 710 Freeway)

For additional details including driving directions, visit http://www.thequeenmarysmeet.com/.

“The meeting of the Queen Marys is a unique opportunity to witness the convergence of Cunard’s illustrious past with the line’s 21st century future,” said Marlow. The first 1,000 well-wishers along Shoreline Village will receive a commemorative Cunard flag to help herald the ship’s noon-time arrival.

Retired from maritime service for nearly 40 years, the Queen Mary, which sailed from 1937 through 1967, is now permanently berthed in Long Beach and is one of the city’s most well-known attractions.

The historic meeting of the two Queen Marys takes place during Queen Mary 2′s first-ever sailing from Los Angeles. The ship sails into California waters following the completion of her 38-day South America Odyssey. She will be berthed in Los Angeles for a series of inaugural voyages sailing on February 22, February 25 and March 8.

Though longer, taller and nearly twice as large as the Queen Mary, Queen Mary 2 shares a number of venerable “family” traditions with her namesake, including worldwide fame, royal launching ceremonies, spectacular maiden calls and a lineage of hosting noted society figures, celebrities and other luminaries of the day.

The Queen Mary first set sail in May 1936, and was named for and launched by Her Majesty Queen Mary amidst great fanfare and celebration. During her more than 30 years at sea, the most celebrated liner of its time hosted A-list celebrities and society figures, sailed more than 1,000 transatlantic crossings and played a pivotal military role between 1940-1946, when she was commissioned to transport military troops during World War II. After carrying more than 765,000 service personnel throughout the conflict, Prime Minister Winston Churchill credited Queen Mary (as well as sister ship Queen Elizabeth) with ending the war one year earlier than estimated. Today, the Queen Mary is one of Southern California’s most recognizable icons and continues to educate and entertain visitors from all around the world, offering tours, exceptional exhibitions, a calendar of festivals and numerous social and special events year-round.

Both considered the very finest ocean liners of their day, the two ships offer a range of fascinating similarities and differences. For example, length-wise Queen Mary 2 is just 113 feet longer than the Queen Mary, but in terms of gross tonnage, she is nearly twice the size of her predecessor. In days gone by, salt cod and kippers were menu highlights — today, caviar and lobster top the bill of fare. In addition, the Queen Mary has a dozen decks, but QM2 has 17. Finally, Queen Mary 2 can carry nearly 600 more passengers than her namesake.

Queen Mary 2 is the grandest ocean liner ever built. There are 1,310 suites and cabins available in degrees of style and comfort ranging from pampered elegance to almost unimaginable luxury in the ship’s famed Grill- level accommodations. Queen Mary 2 brings together like-minded travelers who relish the Cunard hallmarks of impeccable White Star Service(SM), fine dining, sophisticated adventure and legacy of historic voyages and transatlantic travel.

For more information about Cunard, call 1-800-7-CUNARD or go to http://www.cunard.com/. For more information about the Queen Mary, call 1-562-499-1620 or visit http://www.queenmary.com/.

Cunard Line has operated the most famous ocean liners in the world since 1840. Cunard vessels have a classic British heritage and include the legendary Queen Elizabeth 2 and Queen Mary 2. Queen Victoria joins the fleet in 2007.

Cunard Line is a proud member of World’s Leading Cruise Lines. The exclusive alliance also includes Carnival Cruise Lines, Holland America Line, Princess Cruises, Costa Cruises, Windstar Cruises and The Yachts of Seabourn. Sharing a passion to please each guest, and a commitment to quality and value, member lines appeal to a wide range of lifestyles and budgets. Together they offer exciting and enriching cruise vacations to the world’s most desirable destinations.

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