The event marks only the second time Cunard's entire fleet has rendezvoused in New York. The previous occasion was in 2008 before Queen Elizabeth 2, now languishing at a dock in Dubai, retired and the new Queen Elizabeth debuted. So Thursday's event will mark the first time this set of queens has toured the Big Apple together.
Also as part of the festivities, Cunard's Commodore Bernard Warner, along with Cunard president Peter Shanks and Carnival Corp. CEO Micky Arison, will ring the original Queen Elizabeth's bell to close the New York Stock Exchange for the day.
The ships are scheduled to depart at 6 p.m. from the Brooklyn and Manhattan cruise terminals, with the fireworks show set for 6:45 p.m. Cruise Critic will be watching from the patio of the Ritz-Carlton, but Cunard has offered suggestions of good viewing locations open to the public. They include:
Battery Park, on Manhattan's southern shore
Robert F. Wagner Jr. Park, which overlooks the Hudson River just south of the Museum of Jewish Heritage
The Esplanade, which runs the length of Battery Park City south to Battery Park
Hudson River Park, a 550-acre park along Manhattan's shores
Can't make it? Look for photos of the three queens together on our blog Friday morning.
--by Erica Silverstein, Senior Editor