FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 22, 2004
MAYOR MICHAEL R. BLOOMBERG WELCOMES QUEEN MARY 2 ON HER FIRST ARRIVAL TO NEW YORK CITY
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg welcomed the Queen Mary 2 after her first transatlantic voyage from Southampton, England to New York City, her U.S. homeport. The Queen Mary 2, escorted by two U.S. Coast Guard vessels, docked this morning at the New York Cruise Terminal's Pier 92 after sailing past the Statue of Liberty on her way to shore. The Regimental Band of the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy and the State University of New York Maritime College Regimental Band accompanied the Queen Mary 2's arrival at the pier. Carnival Corporation, Cunard's parent company, Chairman Micky Arison, Cunard Cruise Lines President Pamela Conover, Queen Mary 2 Commodore Ronald Warwick, Economic Development Corporation President Andrew M. Alper, and NYC & Company's Chairman Jonathan M. Tisch and President & CEO Cristyne Nicholas joined the Mayor for the ceremony.
"The arrival of the Queen Mary 2 at her homeport symbolizes the resurgence of New York City's cruise industry," said Mayor Bloomberg. "The Queen Mary 2 represents the continuation of New York's historic role as the gateway to America for passengers on trans-Atlantic voyages. New York City is committed to maintaining its glory as a first-class port of call, and that's why earlier this week we announced agreements with two of the world's largest cruise companies that will secure New York City's position as a first-class passenger ship destination. This year alone the cruise industry will generate approximately $600 million in economic activity and more than 3,300 jobs in New York City, and that's only going to increase in the years ahead. Blessed by one of the world's largest natural harbors, New York City will remain a premier passenger ship destination for years to come."
"Thursday, April 22nd is an historic day for Cunard Line, for it is the first time in 35 years that we will welcome a new ship to New York," said Cunard's Pamela Conover. "We have a special relationship with this great city as the only company to provide regular transatlantic service between England and New York for over 158 years. And Monday's announcement by Mayor Bloomberg confirms that Manhattan will be Cunard's home for many years to come."
For more than 150 years, Cunard has brought each new vessel - the earliest being powered by wind and steam-driven paddles - to New York as the government's registered mail carrier and primary link between America and England.
The $800 million Queen Mary 2 is the largest and most expensive ocean liner ever built. It is the first true transatlantic liner built since Cunard's Queen Elizabeth 2 entered service in May 1969. Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II named the Queen Mary 2 in Southampton on January 8, 2004 and the ship officially entered service on January 12, 2004, with her maiden voyage from Southampton to Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The ship will make 13 crossings between England and New York in its first year as it takes over the route currently operated by the Queen Elizabeth 2.
"The Queen Mary 2 is not only the jewel of the Cunard crown, but also a new flagship attraction for New York City that will draw new visitors from around the world," said Jonathan M. Tisch, Chairman of NYC & Company - the City's official tourism marketing organization. "The QM2 will bring more than 100,000 passengers to our City through the end of 2005 and drive crucial visitor spending into the City's travel and tourism industry."
The public is invited to view Queen Mary 2 as she passes through the New York Harbor:
There are a number of locations throughout New York City where the general public will be able to enjoy spectacular views of the Queen Mary 2 as she passes along the Hudson River. (Note: due to security and traffic concerns, the public is advised to avoid the area surrounding the New York Cruise Terminal):
This week, the City signed letters of intent with Carnival and Norwegian Cruise Lines that call for the lines to pay the City more than $200 million in port charges and bring at least 13 million passengers to New York City through 2017. The increased fees will be used to support the City's investment in improving its facilities. The City also announced the completion of its Master Plan for the cruise industry that calls for a major renovation of the New York Cruise Terminal on the West Side of Manhattan and the creation of a new berth on the Brooklyn waterfront.
"The cruise ship industry is booming," said EDC President Alper, "and we need to make sure New York City has the most modern facilities to accommodate spectacular ships like the Queen Mary 2. Because this industry is responsible for generating hundreds of millions of dollars in economic activity and thousands of jobs for New York City, we must continue to support its growth."
Edward Skyler / Jennifer Falk (212) 788-2958
Michael Sherman / Janel Patterson (EDC)
Lisa Mortman (NYC & Co) (212) 484-1287