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Queen Mary 2 Takes WWII War Brides on “Sentimental Journey” Aboard Flagship’s First Transatlantic Crossing of the Season

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May 9, 2011.

During Queen Mary 2’s first Eastbound Crossing of the 2011 Transatlantic Season, Cunard Line welcomed a special reunion on board the April 26 voyage – 15 World War II war brides from Canada and the United States along with their family members. Calling it a “Sentimental Journey,” the women retraced their family history by sailing back to England to celebrate the 65th anniversary of when most WWII war brides and their families sailed to North America to be with their servicemen husbands.

This Queen Mary 2 Crossing holds special significance for these women, as many sailed aboard Cunard ships – Queen Mary, Queen Elizabeth, Aquitania, Mauretania and others – to Halifax (Canada) and New York to be with their husbands during WWII. From 1939 to1945, Cunard carried more than two million servicemen and their families on board their ships; the fleet was credited by Sir Winston Churchill as helping to shorten the war by a year.

“It was an absolute pleasure to welcome this group of women and their families aboard Queen Mary 2,” said Captain Paul Wright, Master of Queen Mary 2. “Cunard and these women share a unique and proud history of providing service and dedication during war time.”

In addition to Captain Wright, also in attendance to send off the war bride group was Sir Alan Collins, British Consul-General of New York, who said, “I was honored to meet the war brides and their families aboard one of Britain’s finest ships, Queen Mary 2. All of the women have made meaningful contributions to their communities and play an important role in the special relationship that exists between the United Kingdom, the United States and Canada.”

During the voyage, the group attended lectures presented by Bev Tosh, a Canadian war bride daughter and accomplished artist who has focused much of her work on the war bride phenomenon. Eight years ago she painted a large portrait of her mother as a young wife. That painting, which now hangs in the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa, was the beginning of a passionate pursuit to commemorate all war brides through her artwork. It has evolved into a major touring exhibition called “One-Way Passage,” which is the result of hundreds of her personal interviews with war brides in North America, Britain, Europe, Australia and New Zealand.

Today, on a luxury cruise vacation aboard Cunard’s flagship Queen Mary 2, guests revel in the experience of the voyage itself, not just the destination – enjoying activities such as the only planetarium and largest library at sea, white-gloved afternoon tea service, the engaging Cunard Insights guest enrichment programme and West End-style productions, as well as the first Canyon Ranch SpaClub on board a ship.

Queen Mary 2’s Transatlantic Crossings reflect the pinnacle of civility and refinement in ocean travel. The only company offering regularly scheduled Transatlantic liner service, Cunard is sailing 21 classic Transatlantic voyages between New York and Southampton, with extended Crossings between New York and Hamburg. In addition, “Grand” voyage options are available, roundtrip from New York, combining classic European itineraries with a Transatlantic Crossing on either side.

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