August 10, 2017 5:00 pm

Mighty transatlantic passenger liner honours Halifax connection

WATCH ABOVE: The mighty waters of the North Atlantic aren’t for the faint of heart. But nearly 200 years ago, one Halifax man decided to gamble on a revolutionary way of ocean travel.

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The world’s only transatlantic passenger liner in active duty, The Queen Mary 2, has a deep rooted connection to Halifax, that was celebrated during her Thursday port of call.

“Every year we come back in and it’s always that reminder of where we (Cunard Cruise Line) began and the courage that Samuel Cunard brought from Halifax,” Joanna Haley said, the entertainment director aboard the Queen Mary 2.


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Sir Samuel Cunard was a Halifax-born shipping businessman who took a “gamble” on investing in steam-powered ships during the 19th century.

READ MORE: British sailor rescued from vicious Atlantic storm by luxury liner

“He saw that the future was in steam and he had that transition ready to make when the time came,” said John Langley, the chairman of the Cunard Steamship Society. “So, when the opportunity came to introduce steam to the Atlantic, the man from Halifax, against all the odds, rose to that occasion.”

Ocean travel was dominated by sail-power during the 1800s, but Cunard’s company was the first to be awarded a transatlantic steamship mail contract.

He founded the British and North American Royal Mail Steam Packet Company in 1840, which would later be known as the Cunard Line.

From there, he went on to build transatlantic passenger liners, sailing out of England.

“Halifax was the first port-of-call in North America back in 1840 for Cunard. So, just another reason why it’s always great to come back into Halifax,” Haley said.

WATCH: The famous ocean liner The Queen Mary 2 docked at the Halifax Harbour to mark a significant anniversary. Global’s Dave Squires reports.

Langely believes Cunard’s legacy has made a “global impact” on ocean travel.

“You walk by the statue on the waterfront, just read the print, ‘Samuel Cunard, Haligonian, World Benefactor.’ Think about it, that says it all,” he said.

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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