The maiden call at Liverpool of new Cunarder Queen Elizabeth coincided with the opening of the city's River Festival on the Waterfront. On this damp grey morning the ship was due to berth at 8.15, but it was over two hours later that I arrived at the Seacombe terminal of Mersey Ferries, on the opposite bank of the river. There she was, next to the Three Graces, resplendent in Cunard's black white and red: you could almost pretend she wasn't a squat slab of a cruise ship in disguise.
From the shore I watched the Mersey Ferry Royal Iris give its Explorer Cruise passengers a detailed look at the massive vessel, then the fast ferry to the Isle of Man, in similar livery, came by. Then it was my turn on the Royal Iris, and for the next hour we could see the Queen Elizabeth up close from most possible angles.
Next week the Waterfront Festival closes with a visit to Liverpool on 15 September from QV's big sister Queen Mary 2, a proper transatlantic liner