Cunard & Southampton

Cunard has long been associated with the City of Southampton. While originally established in Liverpool, from November 1919 Cunard moved its New York express liner service from Liverpool to Southampton.

The first Mauretania was chosen to establish the route, sailing on 18 November 1919 to New York via Cherbourg.

Since that time Cunard has created a long-standing relationship with the City of Southampton; with the port being the home-base for many of its liners, including Queen Mary, Queen Elizabeth, the QE2 as well as the current Queens.

Centenary Voyage

To commemorate the 100th anniversary of Cunard establishing its Southampton home, Queen Mary 2’s 19 November 2019 Transatlantic Crossing honoured the connection: hosting a variety of on-board activities and events.

Events included a travelling historical exhibition carried on board, with items from Sea City Southampton on display. I worked with Sea City curator Maria Newbery in creating this exhibition which covered Cunard’s long history with Southampton through items and memorabilia from the 100-year-old archive.

I sailed aboard as a guest speaker and shared knowledge on the importance of this last century for Cunard. Other guest speakers included Southampton Historian Penny Legg, author of several books on the history of Southampton as well as Michael Kushner, WWII Signals Intelligence expert.

To commemorate the Southampton connection a special commemorative menu was provided to guests during the gala night, while I hosted a special Q&A session where passengers could share their Cunard and Southampton memories.

Rough Seas

During the voyage, Queen Mary 2 encountered rough seas including a Force 12 storm during the final sea day. Check out the excitement in the video below:

Image: Cunarders in Southampton CC.0 Wikimedia Commons.