Monday, January 14, 2008

Cunard Coda

On the evening of Jan. 13, 2008, the three Cunard Queens assembled for the last time in front of the Statue of Liberty in New York harbor. The Queen Mary 2 got there first from her nearby berth in Brooklyn and waited for her sister ships to come down the Hudson River from midtown Manhattan. They arrived a half hour late. The 40-year-old Queen Elizabeth 2 requires tugboats to get her in and out of the pier and to guide her down the river. In former times, pilots were famous for their skills in handling the big ship in tight situations. Newer ships can be maneuvered with a joy stick and don't really need tugs. So the Queen Elizabeth 2 held up the show. By the time she and the Queen Victoria arrived, a cold, steady rain had started to fall and the fireworks were just a gasp against the low-lying clouds. The ships didn't linger. The Queen Mary 2 and the Queen Victoria headed out first. Then the doughty Queen Elizabeth 2 steamed once again into the open sea. According to Carol Marlow, Cunard’s president, this had been her 802nd visit to the Port of New York, with one more to go in October before she becomes a hotel in Dubai.

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