6 October 2009 – As part of her Autumn Colours voyage, which features calls through the New England and Canada coasts, Cunard’s Queen Victoria made her inaugural visits to the Canadian ports of Halifax on Friday, 2 October, and QuÃ©bec City on Sunday, 4 October. The ship will call on St. John’s, Newfoundland, before returning to Southampton on October 12.
Queen Victoria’s first-ever voyage to Canada holds special significance, as it is the homeland of the line’s founder, Sir Samuel Cunard, who was born in Halifax in 1787. Cunard established the British and North American Royal Mail Steam Packet Company in 1839 to carry the Royal Mail between England and North America. In 1840, he inaugurated the first timetabled steamship service across the Atlantic Ocean, with a route from Liverpool to Halifax and then Boston.
“Cunard prides itself on honouring its history and legacy, so it was a great privilege for me to bring Queen Victoria, Cunard’s newest queen, across the Atlantic and present her to the homeland of our company’s founder,” said the ship’s Master, Captain Ian McNaught.
“Our calls to Halifax and QuÃ©bec continue Cunard’s tradition of providing guests with legendary voyages and historic ports of call and we appreciate the welcoming reception we received in each city.”
Upon arrival to Halifax, Queen Victoria toured the harbour, providing grand viewing opportunities for the city’s residents. As she docked, she was welcomed by the famed 78th Highlanders Pipe Band, a performance group from the Halifax Citadel Regimental Association.
A number of dignitaries attended the onboard events commemorating Queen Victoria’s arrival, including Percy Paris, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Heritage for Nova Scotia; David Hendsbee, Deputy Mayor, Halifax Regional Municipality; Robert Brooks, Nova Scotia Tourism, Culture & Heritage; John Langley, Cunard Steamship Society; Margaret Wittingham-Lamont, Mission to Seafarers; Mark MacDonald, Chair, Halifax Port Authority; Karen Oldfield, President and CEO, Halifax Port Authority; and David Danskin, Halifax Citadel National Site.
To honour Queen Victoria’s maiden call to Halifax, the Halifax Citadel Regimental Association performed a musical number composed especially for the occasion.
To celebrate Queen Victoria’s arrival into QuÃ©bec City, the Port of QuÃ©bec hosted a charity lunch onboard, benefiting the local Fondation des HÃ´pitaux de Enfant-JÃ©sus-Saint-Sacrement. Onboard to welcome the liner into the city were Ross Gaudrealt, President and CEO, Port of QuÃ©bec; Martin Lachance, Director, Leisure and Medias, QuÃ©bec Tourism Office; and James Murphy, General Manager, Ramsey Greig & Co. Limited. The celebration continued into today, as Queen Victoria docked overnight in the Port of QuÃ©bec.
For more information and to book a voyage aboard Queen Victoria or flagship Queen Mary 2, consult your Travel Professional, call toll-free 1-800-7-CUNARD or go to www.cunard.com.