It is Cunard’s most iconic ship and its last to return to homeport following the global suspension of sailings due to the coronavirus outbreak.
It was therefore unsurprisingly an emotional moment when the Queen Mary 2 sailed into Southampton on Wednesday morning (15 April), having returned from Fremantle, Western Australia.
She was forced to turn back from her cruise following the global suspension of operations and left Fremantle on her way back to Southampton on 16 March.
Photographer Andrew Sassoli-Walker captured the emotional moment when the beautiful ship sailed into Southampton, her silhouette unmistakable in the golden sunlight. Cunard also shared a special video, evidently delighted that its ship has returned home safely.
Following her safe return, president of Cunard Simon Palethorpe has shared a special video thanking the crew and all those involved in QM2’s safe return and also took this moment to provide an update on the cruise line’s fleet and what the brand has got planned for the foreseeable future.
Taking to Twitter, he said: “I’m delighted to announce that Queen Mary 2 has now returned to her homeport of Southampton and the small number of guests who were on board are now making the final legs pf their journeys home. All our ships now only have crew on board.
“I’d like to say thank you, a really big thank you, to Captain Aseem Hashmi and his incredible crew who have sailed Queen Mary 2 home, navigating some extraordinary circumstances along the way.
“I’d also like to extend this thank you to the captains and the crews of Queen Mary 2‘s sister ships, Queen Elizabeth, currently in Asia and Queen Victoria in Southampton. I’m in frequent contact with both ships and they assure me that the crew members are well and in characteristic good spirits.
“Protecting the wellbeing of our crew is currently our number one priority and while we take a pause in our sailings, we are trying to reunite as many crew members with their families back home, quite a logistical challenge as I’m sure you can imagine.”
Simon Palethorpe carried on by saying that the crew on board the ships are being kept busy and well-entertained with the likes of Zumba classes, fencing tournaments and team quizzes.
In a bid to keep guests “connected to the Cunard family” during lockdown, the cruise line is creating a number of videos, the latest of which is a guide to baking the perfect scone, created by executive chef Nick Oldroyd, which will shortly be available on Cunard’s social media channels and website, along with the recipe.
He continued: “We hope we can play a very small part in keeping you entertained while you may be in lockdown while also providing some travel inspiration.”
Palethorpe concluded by asking guests to share their favourite Cunard moments and holiday experiences that inspire them.
Visit cunard.com for more information for the latest updates.