The year 2010 just came to a close and looking back it was an exciting year for die-hard Cunarders who had been waiting in anticipation for the arrival of the new Queen. Since her naming ceremony on October 8 she completed her Maiden voyage and started a regular schedule of cruises. In the New Year she will embark on her first World Cruise with fantastic first port calls (see WC schedule). Not long now and she will set off for her Maiden Atlantic Crossing and calling on New York for the first time on January 13, thus opening the year 2011 with another highlight for the Cunard family and ship lovers.
On January 13 the three iconic Cunard Queens will make a historic ‘Royal Rendezvous’ in New York Harbour: Queen Mary 2, Queen Victoria, and Queen Elizabeth. It will be the 2nd family reunion after 2008, when on the exact date Queen Mary2 and Queen Victoria were reunited with Queen Elizabeth 2. The latter will be sadly missed! I am really looking forward to this as I missed out on several opportunities to see Queen Elizabeth the younger. Her looks have been subject to quite controversal debate, for every favourable comment there seems to be at least one negative. I prefer to make my own judgement and form my own opinion so January 13 will be judgement day!
There is a festive arrangement of fireworks and fanfare to celebrate the three Queens.Nothing brings out spectators like a visit from a new ship and when there is an opportunity to see the entire Cunard fleet together, you can expect a crowd. 2008 was a great event and I don’t expect 2011 to be any less.
A group of liner lovers and ship nuts has agreed to get together for this memorable occasion. Most of us have met on Facebook and communicated throughout the year without having ever met in person. Some of us realised that we’ve been travelling on one or more occasion without meeting on the ship (notably that would be QE2 or QM2). So we agreed the rendezvous is the perfect occasion to put names to faces and move from virtual friendship to a personal encounter.
We set up a group and an event on Facebook, follow the link below if you are a Facebooker.
But don’t worry, if you do not socialize through networking platforms, you will find all details in this post.
1. Pre-Rendezvous Dinner on January 12
We will get together for a Pre-Rendezvous Dinner on January 12.
The Landmark Tavern
626 11th Avenue (on 46th Street)
New York, NY
We already made a cut off for the table reservation. If you wish to join us, please use the contact form (top right corner of the blog) and confirm your attendance by January 3.
2. Boat trip going out with the Queens on January 13
South Street Seaport has arranged for a boat to sail out with the 3 Queens. This is a great opportunity to get close to the ships and watch the rendezvous, fireworks and departure of the three ships. The boat is sold out but you can put yourself on the waiting list: Give South Street Seaport a call on: 212.748.8786. $40 Members / $50 Non-Members 212.748.8784. Tickets are 40$ for members and 50$ for non-members. This does not include food or drinks. There will be a concession stand open to sell snacks and drinks but you can bring your own food and wine. Bring a bottle of fine bubbly, the Queens deserve it!
3. Post-Rendezvous Drinks
Members of the The QE2 Story Forum have organized a location for drinks and food after the fireworks/boat ride at Bongo at 395 West St, New York, NY 10014-2816. The restaurant is located half way between downtown and midtown. If you would like to confirm attendance, please use the ‘Contact Me’ form. Facebook users can use the link shown above to confirm.
Some ship-spotting advice:
You decided to come out and watch either the arrival or the departure, or you want to snap some photos while the ships are at the piers. Dress warmly. It will be cold, especially on the waterfront.
If you want to watch the ships’ arrival in the early morning hours you will have to make up your mind:
– Queen Mary 2 will dock in Red Hook, Brooklyn
– Queen Elizabeth will dock at Pier 88 and Queen Victoria at dock Pier 90 in Manhattan
At Red Hook, you can get close to the QM2. In Manhattan a very good spot to watch the ships come in is the parking at the Intrepid Aircraft Carrier at Pier 86. Make sure you are there around 5.45 am or so. Better a bit earlier. We have friends on both ships that will text us with their position and I will post here.
A good opportunity to take pictures of QE and QV from a different angle is to take the ferry to New Jersey; the trip is only eight minutes each way. The ferry to Weehawken, NJ leaves from Pier 79 at West 39th Street.
If you are not going on a boat, Battery Park is a good spot to be for watching the ships sail out. More details on Cunard’s website, see their announcement:
And last but not leave, if you prefer to watch the ships from home, check out the Wired New York Webcam.