The huge ice storm which has swept large parts of the US led to a delay in the QM2 leaving New York at the weekend.
Now the liner, officially named by the Queen in January 2004, is trying to make up the lost time as it sails towards Southampton with a full complement of 2,600 passengers.
''We're hoping she arrives on time on Friday, where it is planned she will be joined by the (Cunard vessel) Queen Elizabeth for a firework party,'' said Cunard spokeswoman Gill Haynes.
She said the QM2 had been scheduled to leave New York at 5pm local time last Friday. But the departure had to be put back to 12.30am on Saturday due to delays to flights that boarding passengers were taking to get to New York for the crossing to Southampton.
Cunard published pictures today showing just how severe the weather was in New York, with one shot showing the Statue of Liberty viewed through a partially frosted-up porthole.