With a history spanning back to the year 1840 – when the company was founded by Samuel Cunard as a mail carrying service for Britain’s Royal Mail – Cunard Cruise Line is, perhaps, the most venerable and classic cruise lines in the world today. During the late 1920s, Cunard started a regular transatlantic service that became one of its mainstays. Indeed, transatlantic crossings continue to be one of the things that Cunard is best known for, all these years later. With a reputation for first class taste, style and amenities – and a steadfast adherence to the old standards while still keeping an eye on the future – Cunard is sturdy, reliable and respected.
In November 2008, the Queen Elizabeth 2 – perhaps Cunard’s most well-known ships – was sold off to a Dubai company, where it will be turned into a hotel. This marked the end of an era for the cruise line, who resolutely looks forward to launching newer, more modern ships going forward. However, longtime fans of Cunard are undoubtedly wistful about the end of the Queen Elizabeth 2’s service, since it was such a regal ship and created so many fond memories for its passengers. A royal send-off from New York – and goodbyes to Southampton and other common ports of call – marked the official end of the Queen Elizabeth 2 as a cruise ship.
Cunard offers an enticing mix of the old and the new, with a bevy of fine characteristics that help keep it among the top of the major cruise lines. Consider these noteworthy features:
Not only does every ship in the Cunard fleet offer an afternoon tea, but it is the most formal – and intriguing – afternoon tea offered by any other cruise line. White gloved crew members dispense the tea to passengers, adding a regal air to the proceedings. Indeed, if you’re on a ship enjoying high tea in style, it’s probably a Cunard ship.
One thing that really makes Cunard stand apart from the other major cruise lines is the fact that it has held on to the tradition of the top class cabins dining in separate quarters from the more modest classes. In this way, Cunard can confidently state that first class passengers will enjoy the most exquisite meals – they’ll be paying for them, of course, but they will be getting something special.
During the 1920s, steamer rugs were regularly used on passenger vessels in order to chill the cold bones of those on board. In a nod to its venerable heritage, Cunard continues the tradition to this day. Chairs along the promenade are draped with steamer rugs as a courtesy to guests.
In addition to the refined aura that goes along with any Cunard ship, the cruise line has made a concerted effort to keep things on board fresh and exciting as well. The line boasts the only at-sea planetarium, for instance, and acting workshops are including in some itineraries.
Cunard boasts one of the most extensive South American itineraries in the cruise world today. Ports of call that are included in these 38-day odysseys include Acapulco, Callao, Montevideo and St. Kitts.
The Queen Elizabeth 2 ferries passengers on around the world adventures for Cunard. Indeed, Cunard’s world cruise itineraries are a huge part of its overall fame.
Just as in its earliest days, Cunard continues to run a regular transatlantic service. Their Canada/New England/transatlantic itinerary includes stops at Quebec City, Halifax and St. John’s, Newfoundland.
Explore Norwegian fjords and enjoy Icelandic vistas by booking a Cunard cruise to this chilly part of the world. Some of the most amazing sights on Earth are yours to see on this unique itinerary.
Cunard’s newest ship has the cruise world abuzz with excitement. The Queen Elizabeth boasts some of the most modern amenities of any ship in the Cunard line. With 1,046 cabins, it has plenty of room; an incredible 85% of them face outside, making it easy to book a cabin that has a view of the sea. The Yacht Club – which had been a mainstay of the Queen Elizabeth 2 – is now on board the Queen Elizabeth, providing passengers with a nice place to enjoy drinks with a view. The ship’s shopping parade includes top of the line shops like Hermes and Harrods.
Queen Mary 2
Private balconies are par for the course on this elegant ship, which was purpose built for transatlantic crossings. The double-deck Britannia dining area – where most of the passengers on board dine – is a sumptuous feast for the eyes. Todd English – the immensely popular alternative restaurant – books up early and often; if you want to enjoy it, you’ll have to plan ahead. The on board planetarium is also a huge hit with passengers, and a unique way to enjoy a cruise.
Considered by many to be Cunard’s most beautiful ship, the Queen Victoria is also its most modernly designed ship as well. The Princess Grill and the Queens Grill are reserved for the upper class passengers, but the main dining area is also very well appointed. A large library with a spiral staircase helps lend a pleasant dose of character to the ship, allowing it to maintain Cunard’s reputation for classic design.