(7 a.m. EDT) -- The day Cunard fans have been eagerly anticipating is almost upon us. Tomorrow morning, the company's new liner, Queen Elizabeth, will sail up the Solent for the first time to its new home, Southampton.
Queen Elizabeth will berth at the Ocean Cruise Terminal at 9:30 a.m., where it will remain until Tuesday, October 12.
On Monday, VIPs, dignitaries, media and Cunard's top customers will take their seats in a specially-built grandstand on the dockside to hear Her Majesty The Queen utter those immortal words, "I name this ship..."
If you're keen to get a first look at the new ship, Cunard has provided the following provisional schedule for the big arrival:
7 a.m. -- Ryde / Portsmouth
7:10 a.m. -- Lee on Solent
7:25 a.m. -- Cowes
7:40 a.m. -- Calshot
7:50 a.m. -- Hamble
8:00 a.m. -- Royal Victoria Country Park
8:10 a.m. -- Hythe
8:20 a.m. -- Mayflower Park
8:30 a.m. -- Redbridge
9 a.m. -- Ocean Terminal
The ship will be alongside all weekend, and our editor-in-chief, Carolyn Spencer Brown, will be onboard bringing you her first impressions. U.K. team Sue Bryant and Kelly Ranson will join her on Monday for the naming, so stay tuned for all the latest on the celebrities, the outfits and most importantly, the ship itself.
You'll also be able to follow events as they unfold on Cruise Critic on Monday, as we'll be streaming highlights of the naming ceremony right here.
Or if you happen to be in Southampton, get along to the city's Guildhall Square at 3:30 p.m., where the naming ceremony will be broadcast live on a giant screen.
Cunard followers living in New York will have to wait longer for their first glimpse of the new Queen, but January 13, 2011 promises to be a day to remember, as Queen Elizabeth will rendezvous there with sisters Queen Victoria and Queen Mary 2, the first meeting of the three Queens.
Then, on February 22, Sydney is in for a treat as Queen Elizabeth and Queen Mary 2 meet in Sydney Harbour during their respective world cruises.
Will you be turning out tomorrow to see the new ship? Let us know!
--by Sue Bryant, Cruise Critic Contributing Editor