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Queens Elizabeth and Mary to help Cunard celebrate bigger West Coast presence

Queens Elizabeth and Mary to help Cunard celebrate bigger West Coast presence
Cunard's Queen Elizabeth is coming to Long Beach for July 4 celebration. (Steve Dunlop)

Royalty will line up on the Southern California coast on the Fourth of July when Cunard’s Queen Elizabeth visits the region in time for passengers to watch holiday fireworks explode over the original Queen Mary, docked in Long Beach.

The Southland visit is part of an expanded West Coast cruise presence for Cunard, which will sail in Alaska for the first time this year. Cruises begin May 31, with rates starting at $999 per person, based on double occupancy.

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In addition, the line will spend a full season in Alaska next year, from June through September 2020. The line's Alaska sailings will be out of Vancouver, Canada.

Long Beach's Queen Mary was the flagship of the Cunard Line from 1936 until 1946, sailing to Long Beach in 1967, where it is permanently moored.

The Queen Elizabeth cruise was one of several announced by Josh Leibowitz, senior vice president for Cunard North America, during the annual Seatrade Cruise Global convention earlier this month.

Cruisers who would like to join the two-queens celebration on Independence Day have two seagoing options, both aboard the Queen Elizabeth, which launched in 2015 and is Cunard's newest ship.

They can sail on a 15-day Alaska voyage leaving Vancouver on June 20 and stopping at Alaskan ports in Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway, Icy Strait Point and Sitka, along with Victoria, Canada. The voyage includes cruising the Inside Passage, Tracy Arm Fjord and Hubbard Glacier, then sailing down the West Coast to San Francisco and on to Southern California for the annual Queen Mary fireworks display.

Fares start at $2,199 per person, based on double occupancy, not including taxes.

The second option is a five-night voyage from Vancouver to Los Angeles, starting June 30. Fares start at $1,459 per person, based on double occupancy, not including taxes.

Cunard, based in Southampton, England, would like to double its business in North America, Leibowitz said, adding that the cruise line is increasing North American voyages, and home porting in Vancouver and New York.

On the West Coast, Alaska sailings are on the schedule. On the East Coast, Queen Mary 2 will spend more time in New England and Canada, with departures out of New York, making calls in Boston, Québec City, Québec, and Newport, R.I.

Info: Contact a travel agent or Cunard, (800) 728-6273.

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