It does not seem ten years since Boxing Day 2003, when Queen Mary 2 arrived in Southampton for the first time. She was named a few days later, on 8 January 2004, by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, in Southampton prior to setting out on her maiden voyage to the USA, not to New York as might have been expected, but to Fort Lauderdale, Florida. She subsequently displaced Queen Elizabeth 2 from her Atlantic liner role.

In the intervening ten years, Queen Mary 2 has completed 419 voyages, of which more than 200 were Atlantic crossings, carrying 1.3 million passengers and around 2,000 dogs. On 10 January – 58 million meals and almost 22 million cups of tea later– Queen Mary 2 left Southampton, accompanied by Queen Elizabeth, at the start of her eighth world cruise. All three Cunard Queens will be together in Southampton on 9 May for a day that promises to be filled with festivities and events.

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