LONG BEACH (CBSLA.com) — Two sister ships of the Cunard line transcended the years on Tuesday night when the Queen Elizabeth visited the Long Beach Harbor and paid homage to the pinnacle of the Golden Age of luxury ocean liners, The Queen Mary.
It was the first the two ships were within sight of each other in 45 years, when they met in 1967 during the Queen Mary’s final transatlantic voyage, before her final rest in Long Beach, CA. The Queen Elizabeth was then an earlier version of the present-day ship.
The two nautical giants saluted each other in mutual whistle blasts, followed by an impressive fireworks display to celebrate the historic reunion.
The Queen Elizabeth, whose name was given to her by the queen herself in October 2010, is the youngest ship of the Cunard Line, formerly the Cunard-White Star Line. She is also the second largest ship in Cunard’s fleet, surpassed only by the Queen Mary 2.
The Queen Mary was launched in 1934, departing on her maiden voyage in May of 1936. The legendary ship, whose fabled service as a troop ship in World War II earned her the nickname The Grey Ghost, completed 1,001 transatlantic crossings, holding the record for transatlantic crossing speed from 1936-37, and again from 1938-52.
The ship was retired and finally came to rest in Long Beach in 1967, where she is now a popular tourist attraction, museum, and hotel.
The Queen Mary was previously visited in a similar tribute in 2011 when another Cunard liner, the Queen Victoria, docked in the Long Beach Harbor, and in 2006 by the Queen Mary 2.
The Queen Elizabeth departed the harbor shortly after 8 p.m., en route to Puerto Vallarta.