The luxury liner the QE2 stops at Cobh to pick up passengers before her transatlantic journey.

It is a nostalgic occasion for Cobh, as it remembers the Sirius, the first steam ship to cross the Atlantic, which set sail from the Cork port in 1838.  

The QE2 passengers had an early start to their voyage, with the baggage security check starting before 6am, but they didn’t mind.  This is a special occasion for all, even more so for this recently retired gentleman, 

It’s my first real holiday in about 44 years.  I was a dispensary doctor in Donegal, and retired two years ago. I’ve always liked the sea, so I felt this would be an ideal holiday.

For one lady who spoke to reporter Tom MacSweeney, this is a dream come true, 

Always wanted to go on the QE2, so this is the opportunity.

A large flotilla of pleasure craft greeted the QE2.  Among them is the Ballycotton lifeboat, delivering the original bible from the Sirius to be carried on the commemorative trip.  Such is the demand for boats, 

It’s said that in Cork Harbour this morning it’s not been possible to hire a boat to get out to see the vessel, if you hadn’t one booked several days ago.

Cork Harbour Manager Pat Keenan is hopeful that this visit will re-start the liner trade, as number of passengers embarking at Cobh proves the demand is there.

QE2 Captain Robin Woodall is appreciative of the warm welcome given to the QE2 and is looking forward to the voyage ahead, 

I’m very pleased to be here, myself, and I think the reception that Cork has given us this morning has been magnificent, all these small boats out, and now the sun’s coming out. So a beautiful day.

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 12 May 1988.  The reporter is Tom MacSweeney.