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Queen Elizabeth, the youngest in the Cunard fleet, sailed into Long Beach harbor to meet renowned sister ship, former Royal Mail Ship Tuesday evening.
This Royal Rendezvous was Queen Mary’s first encounter with a Queen Elizabeth since 1967 when Queen Mary, during her final Transatlantic Crossing in Cunard service, passed by the original Queen Elizabeth in September of 1967.
Hundreds gathered aboard the former Royal Mail Ship to witness this rare visit by Queen Elizabeth in Long Beach harbor Tuesday at sundown.
Two queens of the seas had a royal gathering of sorts as Cunard’s luxury cruise ship Queen Elizabeth sailed into Long Beach, California where one of her most famous predecessors, the grand old liner Queen Mary, is docked.
Fireworks lit up the sky in Long Beach harbor as the ships’ horns were sounded as the state-of-the-art Queen Elizabeth greeted RMS Queen Mary.
The original Queen Mary traveled the North Atlantic Ocean from 1936 right up until 1967 when air travel was considered safer, more economical and, of course, much faster. The typical transatlantic voyage from Southampton to New York took 5 days.
Queen Elizabeth is a luxury cruise ship sailing all over the world at any given time. With 2,092 passengers, she is the second largest ship to be constructed for Cunard.
Launched in 2010 she is 16-stories high and 964ft long and replaces the original Queen Elizabeth, which was destroyed in a fire in Hong Kong Harbor.
Cunard currently operates three liners since the retirement of QE2 in 2008 – Queens Elizabeth, Victoria and Mary.
In recent weeks several cruise ship lines have had outbreaks of food poisoning and Tuesday, apparently, was Queen Elizabeth’s turn. 84 passengers were treated for norovirus during a 36 day cruise to the South Pacific.
Cunard line says only 4% of the more than 1900 passengers became ill.
This most recent outbreak follows two others that occurred during the month of March.
-Photos by Terry Miller