Tuesday, February 6, 2024

Southampton: Departing on the World Cruise.

After our transatlantic crossing, we were surprised to learn we would be part of the 2024 Queen Mary 2 world tour.  When I booked the cruise from New York to Perth, I had no idea this cruise was part of any world tour.  Cunard Oceanliner world tours are linked directly to world tours made by English royalty in the past. 

The world tour celebrates the phrase " the sun never sets on the British Empire. " It is now a homage to the United Kingdom and the Common Wealth of Nations. Which are former British Colonies and territories. 

"The Commonwealth of Nations, often simply referred to as the Commonwealth, is an international association of 56 member states, the vast majority of which are former territories of the British Empire from which it developed."

Our world tour departure from Southhampton was a major event that made the BBC news in Great Britain.  The British are all about pomp and circumstance. This was a send-off for two ships on their world tours: the Queen Victoria and our ship, The Queen Mary 2.  Queen Victoria is sailing on a western route towards South America, and Queen Mary 2 is sailing on an eastern route around the Horn of Africa. Both ships will sail to the other side of the world and then meet back in Southampton in five months. 

First, the Royal Imperial Military Band performed in the Queen's Room, a grand hall on the Queen Mary. Then, fireworks were displayed as each ship left the harbor.  First, Queen Victoria passed our stern with a volley of fireworks.  Then, as we passed through the harbor, another round of Fireworks finalized the celebration.

It's hard to believe that this was 26 days ago and that we are 11 days from Perth, Australia.  We have had a lot of adventures since we got on this ship in New York.  We endured a Force 10 Gale in the Atlantic and learned about this wonderful country called South Africa. In South Africa, we went on Safari and saw all manner of beasts in the wild.  The world has been our Oyster on the Queen Mary 2.

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