January 1, 2011 saw Cunard Line making its inaugural debut on the streets of Pasadena, California at the 122nd Pasadena Tournament of Roses Parade, winning the prestigious Queen’s Trophy for best use of roses. Cunard’s float, themed “A Grand Celebration at Sea,” depicted the Cunard fleet of three Queens – flagship QUEEN MARY 2, QUEEN VICTORIA and the QUEEN ELIZABETH – and illustrated the ultimate sense of occasion experienced on a luxury cruise vacation aboard Cunard, including Veuve Clicquot champagne toasts, the Royal Court Theatre, ballroom dancing and big band music.
From bow to stern, “A Grand Celebration at Sea” florally portrayed signature hallmarks found on a Cunard liner, including the Grand Lobby staircase where an over-sized “floralgraph” of Cunard’s three Queens took center stage – a reference to the upcoming Cunard Royal Rendezvous on January 13, 2011 in New York Harbour when three Cunard Queens will be docked together.
In floral and architectural celebration of Cunard’s rich tradition of elegance and grandeur, the float stood at 24 feet high, 18 feet wide and 55 feet long as it made its way down the parade route. A big band orchestra and ballroom dancers animated the Line’s famed Royal Nights Themed Balls. Representing Cunard’s hallmark brand of service, eight White Star Bellmen walked alongside the floral liner.
Black Magic roses, purple phalaenopsis orchid sprays, green cymbidium orchids and hypericum, and white Casablanca lilies bordered the float, while more than 45,000 red Opium roses carpeted the steps and floors. Layers of black onion seed and crisp white sweet rice accented the distinctive shape of Cunard’s elongated bow, while shimmering deep brown flax seed replicated the rich texture of hand-polished mahogany woods throughout the architectural features. White roses, dendrobium orchids and phalaenopsis orchids swept over oceans of light and dark blue iris, delphinium and hydrangea blossoms to create the water waves of the high seas.
MARTIN COX - Founder and publisher of MaritimeMatters, inspired by maritime culture and technology growing up in the port of Southampton. He works as a photographer in Los Angeles, and his works has been exhibited in LA, San Francisco, New York, London and Iceland. Martin is the co-writer of the book “Hollywood to Honolulu; the story of the Los Angeles Steamship Company” published by the Steam Ship Historical Society of America. The Los Angeles Maritime Museum has commissioned artworks and collected his photographs.