Guide to the best places to see Cunard's Queen Mary 2, Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth

The Three Queens - QM2, Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth en route to Southampton

Where to see the QM2 fireworks

Where to see the Three Queen's arriving in Southampton Water

First published in News
Last updated
Daily Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Shipping & Heritage Reporter

A FANTASTIC fusillade of fireworks will soar into the night sky over Southampton in a spectacular finale to a day-long celebration marking the tenth anniversary of the liner, Queen Mary 2.

Tomorrow promises to be a historic day in the city’s port with all three vessels of the Cunard fleet, QM2, Queen Elizabeth and Queen Victoria, alongside the Southampton waterfront at the same time.

At present all three “Queens” are sailing in formation from Lisbon, Portugal to Southampton. It is the first time the fleet has been seen together, side-by-side, at sea.

The Duke of Edinburgh will also be paying a royal visit to QM2, a decade after he accompanied the Queen when she officially named the ship in Southampton in January, 2004.

Although QM2’s maiden voyage took place soon after the naming ceremony, the liner did not officially take up the role as Cunard’s flagship until May, 2004.

When and where to see the ships arrive

City based Cunard has drawn up two maps showing the times and positions of the ships as they arrive at first light and also the times and best vantage points to witness the fireworks later that evening.

Key timings during the day include the arrival in port of the three ships between 5am and 5.30am after the fleet passes Calshot from 4.10am to 4.40am, Netley between 4.25am to 4.55am, and Hythe at 4.35am to 5.05am.

Sister ships Queen Elizabeth and Queen Victoria are due to take the lead up Southampton Water, followed by a fire-tug spraying water jets, which heralds the arrival of QM2.

From 5.30am to 5.45am Queen Elizabeth and Queen Victoria will position themselves bow to bow by the Queen Elizabeth II Terminal in the city’s Eastern Docks, as QM2 slowly sails past.

At this point an exchange of blasts will echo across the city from the ships’ whistles, which will also sound their own version of Happy Birthday.

It will then take 30 minutes for the fleet to move to their separate berths.

QM2 will be at the Ocean Terminal where she will be based for the Duke of Edinburgh’s visit, Queen Elizabeth will move into her final position at the Queen Elizabeth II Terminal, and Queen Victoria will berth at City Cruise Terminal in the city’s Western Docks.

At 8pm, with all passengers embarked, Queen Elizabeth will move down the berth at Queen Elizabeth II Terminal while Queen Victoria sails from City Terminal to take up position behind her, so the sister ships are bow-to-stern, just 30 metres apart.

Where to see the fireworks at 10pm

Then at 9.30pm, Queen Mary 2 will reverse out of her berth by Ocean Terminal and will hold her position in the water, creating a curved array of the “Three Queens”, ready for the start of the firework display at 10pm.

In a ten-minute display, one minute for each of QM2’s decade of service as Cunard’s flagship, fireworks, fired from the Hythe side of Southampton Water, opposite the Queen Elizabeth II Terminal, will cascade down over the decks of the fleet.

Pressing the button for the start of the display will be ten-year-old, Todd Travers from Locks Heath, who was chosen for the job as he was born on the same day as QM2 became Cunard’s flagship.

As the fireworks’ finale explodes overhead, QM2 will make ready to lead the way down Southampton Water, at a start to a crossing to New York, followed by Queen Elizabeth and Queen Victoria.

Comments (19)

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3:35pm Thu 8 May 14

Outside of the Box says...

And all the whole city's road will be gridlock again. Lovely
And all the whole city's road will be gridlock again. Lovely Outside of the Box
  • Score: -4

5:10pm Thu 8 May 14

Kirsty666 says...

Great so all of Southampton will be awake at 5.30 due to blasting of horns!!
Great so all of Southampton will be awake at 5.30 due to blasting of horns!! Kirsty666
  • Score: -5

5:38pm Thu 8 May 14

SOULJACKER says...

Kirsty666 wrote:
Great so all of Southampton will be awake at 5.30 due to blasting of horns!!
Hahaha, we should think ourselves lucky it isn't the Disney boats.....now they are annoying as hell & one sure fire to get on the whole families nerves :)
[quote][p][bold]Kirsty666[/bold] wrote: Great so all of Southampton will be awake at 5.30 due to blasting of horns!![/p][/quote]Hahaha, we should think ourselves lucky it isn't the Disney boats.....now they are annoying as hell & one sure fire to get on the whole families nerves :) SOULJACKER
  • Score: 3

5:39pm Thu 8 May 14

Lone Ranger. says...

Dear me what a negative bunch of posters so far.
.
Its the price you pay for the SUCCESS of this great City .....
.
Bring the ships in anytime of day or night ...... Ships bring prosperity to this City.
.
Of course the roads will be busy ..... with about 12,000 passengers coming in and the same number going out ...... Fantastic
Dear me what a negative bunch of posters so far. . Its the price you pay for the SUCCESS of this great City ..... . Bring the ships in anytime of day or night ...... Ships bring prosperity to this City. . Of course the roads will be busy ..... with about 12,000 passengers coming in and the same number going out ...... Fantastic Lone Ranger.
  • Score: 22

6:23pm Thu 8 May 14

IronLady2010 says...

Lone Ranger. wrote:
Dear me what a negative bunch of posters so far.
.
Its the price you pay for the SUCCESS of this great City .....
.
Bring the ships in anytime of day or night ...... Ships bring prosperity to this City.
.
Of course the roads will be busy ..... with about 12,000 passengers coming in and the same number going out ...... Fantastic
It's not negative Lone Ranger, it's realistic.

Southampton can barely cope with a normal rush hour, yet alone when 3 floating prisons are in.
[quote][p][bold]Lone Ranger.[/bold] wrote: Dear me what a negative bunch of posters so far. . Its the price you pay for the SUCCESS of this great City ..... . Bring the ships in anytime of day or night ...... Ships bring prosperity to this City. . Of course the roads will be busy ..... with about 12,000 passengers coming in and the same number going out ...... Fantastic[/p][/quote]It's not negative Lone Ranger, it's realistic. Southampton can barely cope with a normal rush hour, yet alone when 3 floating prisons are in. IronLady2010
  • Score: -16

7:20pm Thu 8 May 14

Kirsty666 says...

SOULJACKER wrote:
Kirsty666 wrote:
Great so all of Southampton will be awake at 5.30 due to blasting of horns!!
Hahaha, we should think ourselves lucky it isn't the Disney boats.....now they are annoying as hell & one sure fire to get on the whole families nerves :)
So true lol
[quote][p][bold]SOULJACKER[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Kirsty666[/bold] wrote: Great so all of Southampton will be awake at 5.30 due to blasting of horns!![/p][/quote]Hahaha, we should think ourselves lucky it isn't the Disney boats.....now they are annoying as hell & one sure fire to get on the whole families nerves :)[/p][/quote]So true lol Kirsty666
  • Score: 6

7:21pm Thu 8 May 14

Kirsty666 says...

IronLady2010 wrote:
Lone Ranger. wrote:
Dear me what a negative bunch of posters so far.
.
Its the price you pay for the SUCCESS of this great City .....
.
Bring the ships in anytime of day or night ...... Ships bring prosperity to this City.
.
Of course the roads will be busy ..... with about 12,000 passengers coming in and the same number going out ...... Fantastic
It's not negative Lone Ranger, it's realistic.

Southampton can barely cope with a normal rush hour, yet alone when 3 floating prisons are in.
Southampton can't cope with rush hour in general with central bridge out and all other road works in the city lol
[quote][p][bold]IronLady2010[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Lone Ranger.[/bold] wrote: Dear me what a negative bunch of posters so far. . Its the price you pay for the SUCCESS of this great City ..... . Bring the ships in anytime of day or night ...... Ships bring prosperity to this City. . Of course the roads will be busy ..... with about 12,000 passengers coming in and the same number going out ...... Fantastic[/p][/quote]It's not negative Lone Ranger, it's realistic. Southampton can barely cope with a normal rush hour, yet alone when 3 floating prisons are in.[/p][/quote]Southampton can't cope with rush hour in general with central bridge out and all other road works in the city lol Kirsty666
  • Score: -3

8:28pm Thu 8 May 14

Turtlebay says...

Shall we send our fleet of 20 feeder class 1 HGVs to the Cunard chairman's house and all sound our hooters outside his bedroom at 5 am? Would he like that?

No?

Then don't annoy the residents will your stupid ships hooters at that time in the morning then!
Shall we send our fleet of 20 feeder class 1 HGVs to the Cunard chairman's house and all sound our hooters outside his bedroom at 5 am? Would he like that? No? Then don't annoy the residents will your stupid ships hooters at that time in the morning then! Turtlebay
  • Score: -11

8:42pm Thu 8 May 14

Lone Ranger. says...

IronLady2010 wrote:
Lone Ranger. wrote:
Dear me what a negative bunch of posters so far.
.
Its the price you pay for the SUCCESS of this great City .....
.
Bring the ships in anytime of day or night ...... Ships bring prosperity to this City.
.
Of course the roads will be busy ..... with about 12,000 passengers coming in and the same number going out ...... Fantastic
It's not negative Lone Ranger, it's realistic.

Southampton can barely cope with a normal rush hour, yet alone when 3 floating prisons are in.
So you want to be able to get say 6-10,000 people in and out of the docks without a hold up do you ...... well i dont think any City in the UK can do that.
.
If you refer to recent delays these were for a couple of days or so ... and mainly down to roadworks which were badly organised.
.
Every City has a rush hour and every City has queus at that time ..... so what ? ....... perhaps the buses or walking may help.
.
You may refer to the cruse industry as "floating prisons" but i would consider them to be wealth and employment creators for this City.
.
I think my glass is half full ..... not too sure that yours has anything in it
[quote][p][bold]IronLady2010[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Lone Ranger.[/bold] wrote: Dear me what a negative bunch of posters so far. . Its the price you pay for the SUCCESS of this great City ..... . Bring the ships in anytime of day or night ...... Ships bring prosperity to this City. . Of course the roads will be busy ..... with about 12,000 passengers coming in and the same number going out ...... Fantastic[/p][/quote]It's not negative Lone Ranger, it's realistic. Southampton can barely cope with a normal rush hour, yet alone when 3 floating prisons are in.[/p][/quote]So you want to be able to get say 6-10,000 people in and out of the docks without a hold up do you ...... well i dont think any City in the UK can do that. . If you refer to recent delays these were for a couple of days or so ... and mainly down to roadworks which were badly organised. . Every City has a rush hour and every City has queus at that time ..... so what ? ....... perhaps the buses or walking may help. . You may refer to the cruse industry as "floating prisons" but i would consider them to be wealth and employment creators for this City. . I think my glass is half full ..... not too sure that yours has anything in it Lone Ranger.
  • Score: 15

8:42pm Thu 8 May 14

Leicestersaint says...

What a lot of moaners! We should be celebrating not moaning. What sad people!
What a lot of moaners! We should be celebrating not moaning. What sad people! Leicestersaint
  • Score: 28

11:23pm Thu 8 May 14

Kirsty666 says...

Leicestersaint wrote:
What a lot of moaners! We should be celebrating not moaning. What sad people!
We moan because we work and live in Southampton 5 days a week!!
[quote][p][bold]Leicestersaint[/bold] wrote: What a lot of moaners! We should be celebrating not moaning. What sad people![/p][/quote]We moan because we work and live in Southampton 5 days a week!! Kirsty666
  • Score: -13

11:34pm Thu 8 May 14

latitude19 says...

Wishing i was there to see this great spectacular event, would glady swap with one of you whinging Poms;
Wishing i was there to see this great spectacular event, would glady swap with one of you whinging Poms; latitude19
  • Score: 21

12:11am Fri 9 May 14

robj1969 says...

Southampton in the top 10 most polluted places in the UK......and they are going to let fireworks off...... hmmm
Southampton in the top 10 most polluted places in the UK......and they are going to let fireworks off...... hmmm robj1969
  • Score: -11

1:40am Fri 9 May 14

naturist4you says...

Kirsty666 wrote:
SOULJACKER wrote:
Kirsty666 wrote:
Great so all of Southampton will be awake at 5.30 due to blasting of horns!!
Hahaha, we should think ourselves lucky it isn't the Disney boats.....now they are annoying as hell & one sure fire to get on the whole families nerves :)
So true lol
well just to let you know with all the cash peeps bring into our city but there is not 3 ships in on friday theres 4 so more passengers to move bring the whole fleets in lets get busy
[quote][p][bold]Kirsty666[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]SOULJACKER[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Kirsty666[/bold] wrote: Great so all of Southampton will be awake at 5.30 due to blasting of horns!![/p][/quote]Hahaha, we should think ourselves lucky it isn't the Disney boats.....now they are annoying as hell & one sure fire to get on the whole families nerves :)[/p][/quote]So true lol[/p][/quote]well just to let you know with all the cash peeps bring into our city but there is not 3 ships in on friday theres 4 so more passengers to move bring the whole fleets in lets get busy naturist4you
  • Score: 4

9:07am Fri 9 May 14

Outside of the Box says...

Sat in the garden at 10 to 6 this morning, my morning coffee and cigarette was disturbed by the 3 Queens rendition of Happy Birthday from their respective fog horns made my ears bleed. I now know why the Captains went to sea school and didn't join the London Philharmonic Orchestra. Thanks Cunard
Sat in the garden at 10 to 6 this morning, my morning coffee and cigarette was disturbed by the 3 Queens rendition of Happy Birthday from their respective fog horns made my ears bleed. I now know why the Captains went to sea school and didn't join the London Philharmonic Orchestra. Thanks Cunard Outside of the Box
  • Score: -9

1:49pm Fri 9 May 14

kiddynamite says...

Cunard made this town what it is, have some respect! I think its fantastic we still have these beautiful ships come to our town.
Cunard made this town what it is, have some respect! I think its fantastic we still have these beautiful ships come to our town. kiddynamite
  • Score: 12

8:07pm Fri 9 May 14

StinkyWoolstonResident says...

Lone Ranger. wrote:
IronLady2010 wrote:
Lone Ranger. wrote:
Dear me what a negative bunch of posters so far.
.
Its the price you pay for the SUCCESS of this great City .....
.
Bring the ships in anytime of day or night ...... Ships bring prosperity to this City.
.
Of course the roads will be busy ..... with about 12,000 passengers coming in and the same number going out ...... Fantastic
It's not negative Lone Ranger, it's realistic.

Southampton can barely cope with a normal rush hour, yet alone when 3 floating prisons are in.
So you want to be able to get say 6-10,000 people in and out of the docks without a hold up do you ...... well i dont think any City in the UK can do that.
.
If you refer to recent delays these were for a couple of days or so ... and mainly down to roadworks which were badly organised.
.
Every City has a rush hour and every City has queus at that time ..... so what ? ....... perhaps the buses or walking may help.
.
You may refer to the cruse industry as "floating prisons" but i would consider them to be wealth and employment creators for this City.
.
I think my glass is half full ..... not too sure that yours has anything in it
What wealth and employment? For the shareholders and executives of Cunard maybe!
[quote][p][bold]Lone Ranger.[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]IronLady2010[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Lone Ranger.[/bold] wrote: Dear me what a negative bunch of posters so far. . Its the price you pay for the SUCCESS of this great City ..... . Bring the ships in anytime of day or night ...... Ships bring prosperity to this City. . Of course the roads will be busy ..... with about 12,000 passengers coming in and the same number going out ...... Fantastic[/p][/quote]It's not negative Lone Ranger, it's realistic. Southampton can barely cope with a normal rush hour, yet alone when 3 floating prisons are in.[/p][/quote]So you want to be able to get say 6-10,000 people in and out of the docks without a hold up do you ...... well i dont think any City in the UK can do that. . If you refer to recent delays these were for a couple of days or so ... and mainly down to roadworks which were badly organised. . Every City has a rush hour and every City has queus at that time ..... so what ? ....... perhaps the buses or walking may help. . You may refer to the cruse industry as "floating prisons" but i would consider them to be wealth and employment creators for this City. . I think my glass is half full ..... not too sure that yours has anything in it[/p][/quote]What wealth and employment? For the shareholders and executives of Cunard maybe! StinkyWoolstonResident
  • Score: -2

9:00pm Fri 9 May 14

StinkyWoolstonResident says...

How many people woke early as a result of Cunard's oh-so-hilarious prank? It must have been woken 100,000, maybe 200,000, maybe more. Sleep deprivation is known to increase the risk of heart disease, diabetes and cancer. Even if you chop just ten minutes off each of 200,000 lives, that's several years of life lost in total. There must also have been a lot of commuters this morning groggier than usual on their drive to work. I hope there were no serious accidents. Congratulations Cunard, you are a major negative influence on public health. Surely you could have celebrated your event in a slightly less antisocial way?
How many people woke early as a result of Cunard's oh-so-hilarious prank? It must have been woken 100,000, maybe 200,000, maybe more. Sleep deprivation is known to increase the risk of heart disease, diabetes and cancer. Even if you chop just ten minutes off each of 200,000 lives, that's several years of life lost in total. There must also have been a lot of commuters this morning groggier than usual on their drive to work. I hope there were no serious accidents. Congratulations Cunard, you are a major negative influence on public health. Surely you could have celebrated your event in a slightly less antisocial way? StinkyWoolstonResident
  • Score: 1

9:19pm Fri 9 May 14

robj1969 says...

tempted to find out where the MD of Cunard lives and let fireworks off outside his/her house in the early hours
tempted to find out where the MD of Cunard lives and let fireworks off outside his/her house in the early hours robj1969
  • Score: 1

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