Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Queen Mary 2 arrives in Brooklyn from England, celebrating 175 years of transatlantic service.

In July of 1840 RMS Britannia inaugurated the British and North American Royal Mail Steam Packet Company's transatlantic liner service. That company would later become the Cunard Line. Today, Cunard's Queen Mary 2 commemorated that voyage on its 175th anniversary, arriving at her American home port in Red Hook, Brooklyn after a voyage from Southampton, England. She was scheduled to arrive at 6:00 a.m., and your correspondent got himself to Pier 5 in Brooklyn Bridge Par to watch and photograph her arrival. In the photo above, the great ship was beginning to emerge from behind Governors Island.
The retired, now privately owned New York City fireboat John J. Harvey saluted Mary as she approached her berth.
The enormous ship had to be turned so that she would be berthed with her bow facing toward the sea. Meanwhile, the tug Kings Point was headed outward, as the high speed ferry Finest came in.
Here's Mary stern on, with Staten Island, an anchored Stolt tanker, and barges in the background.
Among the flotilla of vessels greeting Queen Mary 2 was the historic harbor tanker Mary A. Whalen, now owned by PortSide NewYork, headed by my friend Carolina Salguero.
The great Queen approaches her berth, ending an historic voyage. While she is used mostly for cruising, Queen Mary 2 makes a couple of transatlantic voyages each summer, keeping alive a worthy tradition.