British cruise line Cunard was first established in 1840 and once had dozens of ships to its name, but this has since been whittled down to three iconic ships: the Queen Mary 2, the Queen Elizabeth and the Queen Victoria. The cruise line has a long-standing relationship with the British royal family, who has travelled extensively with Cunard over the last 179 years and the Queen is godmother to two of the three ships in the current fleet, Queen Mary 2 and Queen Elizabeth. Queen Mary 2, the world’s only ocean liner, underwent a £90 million makeover in 2016 – said to be the most expensive renovation job for any ship in Cunard’s history. Cunard’s fourth ship is due to debut in 2022 and she marks an exciting new chapter for the line, being the first new Cunarder for 12 years. Her arrival signals the first time Cunard has had four ships in its service since 2000.
Why choose this cruise line?
Cunard cruises offer a charming blend of old-world elegance and contemporary touches. While you are not going to find any water parks or roller coasters on board Cunard’s fleet, there is still plenty to keep you entertained at sea, from classic games such as paddle tennis, shuffleboard and croquet, to dance lessons, movie screenings, cooking demos and lectures. In the evenings, guests can enjoy quizzes, karaoke, dancing and live bands, or else retreat for a nightcap in one of the ships’ bars. Cunard is in the more luxury bracket when it comes to cost, but you are paying for the iconic cruising experience.
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Cruising with Cunard
The legendary cruise line is famed for its nostalgic transatlantic sailings, reminiscent of a bygone era with formal black-tie dinners, classically British afternoon teas and ballroom galas. The ships’ elegant, art deco design features, grand furnishings and images of Hollywood starlets all serve as reminders of the golden age of cruising. Cunard has become known for its cultural enrichment voyages, including the annual Transatlantic Fashion Week cruise, which have seen the line partner with well-known designers including Zandra Rhodes, Julien McDonald and Badgley Mischka, as well as its Literary Festival of Sea, which has previously featured authors Ian Rankin, Alexander McCall Smith, Prue Leith and Joanne Harris. Cunard offers a stylish and traditional style of cruising that’s in a league all of its own.
Who should travel with Cunard
Passengers seeking a traditional, glamorous and formal style of cruising will love travelling aboard Cunard’s fleet of ships. Typically (and unsurprisingly), the transatlantic voyages predominantly attract older British and North American cruisers, but you will find some younger couples and families. You will also find some furry companions on board Cunard’s Queen Mary 2, being the only ship in the world that permits pets to cruise with their owners between the two countries. While traditional in design, the ships are modern in terms of facilities, with wi-fi, computer lounges and shopping boutiques. However, the cruise line has one of the strictest formal dress codes at sea, with even informal nights requiring jackets and dresses, so those seeking a more relaxed and contemporary style of luxury cruising should look elsewhere.
Cunard cruise destinations
Along with its iconic transatlantic voyages, Cunard also offers sailings across the world. Destinations include the Mediterranean, US and Canada, Alaska, South America, Northern Europe, Canary Islands, the Caribbean, Africa, the Indian Ocean, Asia, Australia and New Zealand, and the South Pacific. Cunard’s around-the-world voyages are also fairly legendary, with the cruise line’s RMS Laconia having sailed the first one nearly a century ago in 1922.
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- Breakfast, lunch and dinner in the Britannia, Britannia Pub, Princess Grill or Queens Grill restaurant, or a buffet in the Golden Lion pub, King's Court or Lido
- All entertainment and daily activities
- On-board guest lectures and enrichment
- Use of the library
- Children's club
- Flights and transfers where indicated
Unique selling points
Private Theatre Boxes
Designed in a classic opera house style, The Royal Theatre features 20 private Royal Boxes, which are available for passengers to reserve. These glamorous private boxes, provide passengers with an intimate environment to spend an unforgettable night at the theatre.
Signature White Star Service
Cunard is famous for its signature White Star Service – white gloved officers and crew on hand to provide the highest standards of service.
Queen Mary 2's fantastic Illuminations movie theatre also converts into the only planetarium at sea. Seating 150 guests, shows run approximately four times per sea day. Passengers can enjoy high-tech programmes, including astronomy shows and virtual reality movies underneath the impressive planetarium dome.
The wonderful Cunard Insights programme provides a wide range of speakers, from explorers, academics and historians to scientists, novelists and biographers. Former ambassadors and politicians, award-winning actors and filmmakers have also given talks on historical and contemporary issues.
The Canary Islands
- 12 nights, departs on the 01 Dec 2021
- Cunard Line, Queen Elizabeth
- Southampton, Funchal, Madeira, Santa Cruz de La Palma, + 4 more
Sydney to New York (Centenary World Voyage)
- 49 nights, departs on the 12 Mar 2023
- Cunard Line, Queen Mary 2
- Sydney, New South Wales, Melbourne, Victoria, Kangaroo Island, South Australia, + 13 more
Canary Islands Celebration
- 14 nights, departs on the 23 Dec 2021
- Cunard Line, Queen Elizabeth
- Southampton, Fuerteventura, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, + 6 more
- 14 nights, departs on the 05 Sept 2022
- Cunard Line, Queen Elizabeth
- Barcelona, Villefranche-sur-Mer, Civitavecchia, + 8 more