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Cunard's Queen Elizabeth to make royal visit to Queen Mary in Long Beach

LONG BEACH, Calif. -- The world famous former Cunard liner R.M.S. Queen Mary, once the undisputed Grand Dame of the North Atlantic and perhaps the most loved ocean liner of the 20th century, will be visited by the youngest Cunarder Queen Elizabeth on the evening of March 12 in Long Beach Harbor.

Retired from the sea now 45 years, the hotel and special event venue has been visited by millions of tourists. Cunard Line has never forgotten its famous former flagship and over the years has sent its ships to pay tribute to the first Queen.

In the early 1980s, Cunard Princess was with the Queen Mary, and more recently in 2006 the current flagship Queen Mary 2 was there, as well as the Queen Victoria in 2011. However, the upcoming Royal Rendezvous with the new Queen Elizabeth will be the most poignant of all.

From 1947 to 1967, the glorious sisters Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth crisscrossed the North Atlantic on their appointed schedules, many times sighting one another in mid-ocean. This wonderful oceanic interlude was relished by passengers, captains and crew alike for there was no finer sight than to witness the largest and most beautiful ships of the era in their natural element, splashing the sea aside as they passed.

The last time the two sisters met was Sept. 25, 1967 in the small hours of the morning, when the Queen Mary was eastbound on her last trans-Atlantic voyage in the Cunard Service. In the cool, starlit, autumn darkness, Commodore Geoffrey Marr stood at attention on his flying bridge of the Westbound Queen Elizabeth; Captain Treasure Jones was in the same position on the Mary. As the two great Queens closed on one another, the lights were flashed on, scattering the indigo Atlantic night in Cunard red; porthole pearls were in regal array. Each captain doffed his hat as the mighty Tyfon whistles pierced the ether in a fantastic farewell salute.

It is with a great sense of history that Cunard Line will send its newest liner, the 90,000 ton namesake Queen Elizabeth, to rendezvous with the Queen Mary in Long Beach Harbor on Tuesday, March 12, and for a brief moment in time the two most sanguine names in the history of mankind and the sea will be together again.

Joining these maritime icons high above will be the famed Goodyear blimp, the Spirit of America. The presence of a Goodyear blimp overhead lends a special appeal at major sporting and red carpet events and will add to the historical significance of this Royal Rendezvous.

The details

Free access to the Queen Mary will be offered from 4 to 9 pm on March 12 for this historic meeting. The Queen Elizabeth will sail into the Long Beach Harbor at 6:30 pm and a ceremonious fireworks display will begin at 7:30 pm.

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For more information on GoodYear blimp, visit HERE.