As a cruise line with a long and prestigious nautical pedigree, it seems only fitting that Cunard should become the first company in history to receive a Distinguished Service Award from the National Maritime Historical Society.
Cunard was presented with the award in honour of its outstanding contributions to the promotion of maritime heritage at the society’s 50th Anniversary Gala Awards Dinner, which was fittingly held in the classic transatlantic cruise destination of New York recently, in the city’s historic New York Yacht Club.
The awards are held each year to honour industry leaders who have made a real impact and are regularly attended by leading figures from the maritime world, including authors, historians, business owners, travel agents and journalists. Other recipients this year included Rear Admiral Sandra L Stosz of the United States Coast Guard and Stan Honey, director of technology for America’s Cup Event Authority.
Stanley Birge, Cunard’s North America Vice President, was proud of his line’s achievement, saying: “We are truly honoured to be recognized among such an elite group of maritime dignitaries and believe it is in large part due to organisations like the NMHS that Cunard continues to thrive today, especially in this rapidly changing world. As a union of people who represent a variety of expertise, we feel it is with the basis of contributions, such as those of Mr Honey and Rear Admiral Stosz that Cunard can continue to drive the future of what ocean liner travel is meant to be.”
The Society’s president, Burchenal Green summed up the line’s contribution to maritime history neatly, saying: “It was most fitting that we presented Cunard with the NMHS Distinguished Service Award. With a history spanning nearly 175 years, Cunard exudes a passion for the importance of not only preserving its illustrious maritime heritage, but also to contemporising the legacy for today’s maritime and ocean voyage enthusiasts with their modern fleet of three Queens.”
Cunard has a history which dates all the way back to 1840, when it was founded as the British and North American Royal Mail Steam Packet Company by British Canadian shipping magnate Samuel Cunard.
By Simon Brotherton