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Five Reasons For the Strong Bond Between
Boston and Cunard

By Lisa Plotnick


If you were in or around Boston today, you might have noticed a few special events related to the historic Cunard Line. From Fenway Park, where today’s ceremonial first pitch was delivered by Cunard Captain Kevin Oprey, to Boston Harbor, where a fireworks show coincided with the evening departure of Queen Mary 2, the city celebrated – and you might be wondering why.

This year marks the 175th anniversary of Cunard Line, and the city of Boston is an important part of that history. Boston and the Cunard Line have a relationship that dates back to 1840 when the line’s first passenger ship, RMS Britannia, called on Boston during her own maiden voyage.

This week, Cunard recreated the voyage when its current flagship, Queen Mary 2, left Liverpool for Halifax and Boston on July 4, 2015, exactly 175 years after Britannia’s departure. In this spirit, let’s look at some of the reasons behind the strong connection between Cunard and Boston.

1. Boston was the first U.S. port of call for Cunard’s transatlantic passenger service.

2. Cunard had its own piers in East Boston in the late 1800s and early 1900s, which helped develop the East Boston waterfront.  The piers were located off Marginal Street near what is today the East Boston Greenway.

3. Cunard located its first North American headquarters in Boston. The original building in which Cunard had an office, 99 State Street, no longer stands; however, the Cunard Building at 120 State Street remains and recently underwent a major preservation and renovation project.

4. Shreve, Crump & Low has an important presence on Cunard ships. The Boston Cup, presented by the Boston jeweler to Cunard in 1840, resides on the line’s flagship – it was transferred from Queen Elizabeth 2 to Queen Mary 2 in 2004. In 2011, Shreve, Crump & Low presented another special gift, the Boston Harbor Bowl, upon the maiden visit of the ship Queen Elizabeth.

5. The citizens of Boston united in 1844 to free Britannia from an iced-over Boston harbor – and refused payment from Cunard for its efforts.

In addition to today’s visit, Queen Mary 2 will return to Cruiseport Boston two more times this year, on Aug. 2 and Oct. 9. Although there will be no large celebrations as there were today, she always receives a warm reception by the people of Boston.






This article was originally published by the author on, on July 10, 2015.