Cunard offers glamour and a sense of discovery and enrichment on the oceans and seas of the world.
There is something very special about cruising or crossing an ocean on a Cunard Line vessel, and each ship in the fleet offers its own style and grace. None, however, is more venerable than the Queen Mary 2, a gracious and charming Grande Dame of the sea and the flagship of the fleet. Lavishly re-mastered and beautifully re-energized in the Spring of 2016, she continues to sail a series of fascinating cruises including a selection of Grand Voyages each winter. The pride and indeed, the love shown for Queen Mary 2 and her sisters, the Queen Elizabeth and the Queen Victoria indicates how much global travelers and cruisers alike have enjoyed their onboard sojourns on these three Queens.
We recently learned that Cunard Line will introduce a fourth, yet-to-be-named Queen to their amazing fleet in 2022. This will be the first time in over two decades that the company will have four stunning Queens sailing the world. With so many itinerary choices the range of cruises will be remarkable. The Queen Elizabeth, for example, will be sailing to Alaska in the summer of 2019 with a series of four, 10-night roundtrip voyages from Vancouver departing in late May and June, and preceded by a 27-day journey from Yokohama on May 5th.Past guests will no doubt flock to experience Alaska on a ‘Cunarder’ as the ships are affectionately called.
When she arrives in a few years, the newest Queen, which will accommodate up to 3,000 guests, will no doubt bask in the glow of her renowned sisters and be just as glorious. These ships evoke the glamor of yesteryear while offering all of today’s modern conveniences. Cunard is particularly adept at making guests feel special and with such nights as the renowned Black and White Ball, ladies in long evening gowns and gentlemen in dinner jackets, the atmosphere on board is unique. The Line’s storied history of grand ships, spanning more than 175 years is at the heart of such timeless sophistication.
Queen Victoria docked in Sydney Harbour, Australia
The recently remastered Queen Victoria, which underwent a $40 Million US refurbishment in Spring 2017, will be the only ship in the fleet to sail a true World Cruise in 2019. Cunard pioneered World cruises in 1922 and today, they offer guests a classic westbound navigation from Southampton. She will cross the Atlantic, arrive in Florida and then sail through the Caribbean and the Panama Canal on her way to Hawaii. Traversing the Pacific, Queen Victoria will visit Samoa and New Zealand before arriving in Sydney, Australia. Followed by calls to the popular Gold Coast and the Great Barrier Reef, she stops in Darwin on her way to Hong Kong and Vietnam. Departing Asia the ship will sail via Singapore, the Indian Ocean and South Africa as she makes her way back to Southampton, having circumnavigated the globe.
In all, this grand World Cruise will take 107-days, and include six continents and 24 countries. There are overnight stays in San Francisco, Sydney, Hong Kong and Cape Town and visits to 26 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. With such choices and so many remarkable and fascinating places to see, these fortunate guests will travel in great style and revel in intriguing destinations, all the while enjoying the fine onboard amenities of the charming Queen Victoria. Guests may choose either the full voyage or shorter, individual segments.
Queen Victoria Britannia Club Restaurant
During last spring’s refurbishment, the ship underwent extensive upgrades and now has an increased choice of staterooms particularly in the Britannia Club accommodations. These rooms have new flat screen TV’s and, by popular request, tea and coffee-making facilities. The new Britannia Club Restaurant is now located next to the Britannia Restaurant, has undergone a re-design and now affords guests the opportunity to dine whenever they choose. The Chart Room is now located just off the Grand Lobby and offers coffee, light bites and tasty Godiva chocolate treats during the day, while at night, it transforms into a luxurious cocktail lounge. Other upgrades include Penthouse and Grand Suite makeovers, a revitalized Winter Garden and an expanded Aft Lido Sun Deck - more reasons to choose the Queen Victoria for any kind of voyage over the next few years.
Queen Victoria Lido Deck
Queen Mary 2 and Queen Elizabeth will both embark on a series of voyages designed to provide a deeper and richer experience on journeys from international ports that will focus on specific regions. Of varying lengths and with the opportunity to take back-to-back cruises as well, both ships offer a selection of wonderful itineraries. Sail the Mediterranean, the Arabian Gulf, the Indian Ocean and the Far East, or choose the Baltic, the British Isles, the East Coast of Canada or the US Seaboard. All three ships will offer carefully curated voyages both for the remainder of this year and in 2019, which has been dubbed as a year of Oceans of Discovery by Cunard. There will also be special event and commemorative cruises. The Big Band Ball, the National Symphony Orchestra, Voyages du Vin and Transatlantic Fashion Week are just a sampling of special occasion and enrichment cruises from Cunard in 2019.
Whether you plan to take a transatlantic crossing – certainly a bucket list item – or venture further afield for a more exotic journey, take that once-in-a-lifetime World Cruise, enjoy Alaska scenery and wildlife or a cruise in the warmth closer to home, one of these venerable and superb Cunard ships will be a great choice and provide memories for years to come.
Written by Vanessa Lee. Published in Dream Voyages Spring 2018 issue.
Photo Credit: Cunard Line