For the first time ever, tourists sailed out of Saint John harbour Sunday on the Queen Mary 2 for a two-day cruise to New York City on the largest ocean liner in the world.

Kathy Morrison of Hampton, N.B., said she's never done anything like this before. She and her husband decided to celebrate their 35th wedding anniversary in style, aboard the Queen Mary 2.

"We've never been on a cruise; we've never been to New York. So we're going to get to do two of those things, and we're going to see Phantom [of the Opera] when we're in New York. So we're very excited about that, and we're just really looking forward to this grand lady that we're going to be sailing on," Morrison said.

For Judith Howes, this trip stirs up memories of her first voyage aboard the Queen Elizabeth.

"When I was a little girl, I was on the Queen Elizabeth crossing the Atlantic. I can remember that, and I remember I got lost and an officer took me some place and taught me how to do naughts and crosses so that's why I've never forgotten."

Cunard Lines agreed to come to Saint John because it had 152 cabins unfilled on a long cruise. The liner can carry more than 2,600 passengers. The passengers who joined the cruise in Saint John will return from New York by bus.

Bob Kane runs Kane Tourism in Saint John. He said he was surprised how quickly tickets sold after the cruise package was announced.

"We ran an ad in the paper last year, and I would say in five days the complete tour was sold out," Kane said.

Based on this year's success, Kane said plans for tours starting in Saint John will likely be offered again next year.