One of the most famous call signs in maritime history ceased to exist today:
Call sign GBTT.
Following Cunard’s announcement to re-flag their fleet and re-register the three Queens in Bermuda, QUEEN ELIZABETH was the first to change registry and subsequently call sign and flag: The new call sign is ZCEF2. Eventually the port of registry on the stern will change from Southampton to Hamilton.
Call sign GBTT is firmly associated with Cunard’s longstanding tradition to register their ships in England. No less than 3 Cunard Queens carried the call sign. GBTT was originally used for RMS Queen Mary. After her withdrawal the call sign was transferred to QE2, and following the liner’s demise in 2008 it was ‘bestowed’ on Cunard’s most recent ship, Queen Elizabeth who only got to carry it for one year.
- Queen Mary: 1936 – 1967
- Queen Elizabeth 2: 1967 – 2009
- Queen Elizabeth: 2010 – 2011
Queen Elizabeth leaving Southampton 23 October 2011 – displaying Southampton on her stern. This will soon be replaced by Hamilton. Photo courtesy Christian Reay, Southampton
GBTT has been in Cunard history for 75 years. Today is marking the end of an era, as her 2 sister ships will follow suit over the next few weeks: QUEEN VICTORIA on October 27, 2011 and QUEEN MARY 2 on December 1st, 2011.
You can track the ship on Vesseltracker.