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Keep up to date with the latest news from Cunard regarding the fleet, special guests, new ship enhancements and more.

Cunard invites you to Dance the Atlantic as new partnership with English National Ballet is announced

In a ground-breaking partnership – the first of its kind – luxury cruise line Cunard is proud to announce that the world renowned English National Ballet will join Queen Mary 2 for a unique voyage from Southampton to New York from 11th - 18th August 2019.

Guests on the seven night Transatlantic Crossing will have the opportunity to meet the leading dancers from the British ballet company, including Lead Principal Erina Takahashi and First Soloist James Streeter, watch their morning ballet class and drop in on afternoon rehearsals. Guests will also enjoy spectacular performances in the ship’s beautiful Royal Court Theatre, including extracts from the enthralling all-time classic Swan Lake, the poignant contemporary work Dust and the stunningly visual Le Corsaire - demonstrating the huge breadth of the company’s repertoire.

In another first, dance workshops will run daily throughout the week at sea, offering a fantastic opportunity for guests to learn directly from English National Ballet associates. There will also be insight talks, offering a fascinating understanding of the dedication and exhilaration of the dancer’s life, along with dance themed films and documentaries.

Angus Struthers, VP Marketing, Cunard said: “Dance in all forms is a passion for our guests and this unique partnership with English National Ballet is a great example of how Cunard wants to provide the very best of the arts on board. This voyage is a celebration of dance and what better lead partner than one of the world’s most revered dance establishments.” He added: “The epitome of luxury, Queen Mary 2 is the flagship of the Cunard fleet and provides the perfect stage for what promises to be a very special experience.”

Patrick Harrison, Executive Director, English National Ballet said: “English National Ballet is thrilled to be partnering with Cunard on this exciting voyage. Guests will get to experience the joy of ballet including performances and glimpses of behind-the-scenes. We’re very much looking forward to sharing our artform with the guests on board Queen Mary 2.”

World-renowned designer appointed Creative Director of new Cunard ship

Adam D Tihany to lead the creative team

Luxury cruise company, Cunard is proud to announce that world-renowned designer, Adam D Tihany has been appointed Creative Director of its upcoming new ship.

Tihany will oversee the entire interior design process of the much-anticipated, but still unnamed ship, which will join the Cunard fleet in 2022.

Widely regarded as one of the world’s most talented designers, Tihany has made his name creating beautiful spaces for luxurious and iconic hotels, restaurants and resorts across the globe, including The Beverly Hills Hotel, Belmond Hotel Cipriani and The Oberoi New Delhi.

“The name Cunard is obviously magical and I’m very excited to be involved in this project,” he says. “If you look at the history of Cunard, it has always been a forward-looking brand. It has a classic image but actually each ship has been innovative for its period. We want to continue this tradition and move the brand forward with the creation of an exciting and spectacularly beautiful new cruise liner.”

Work is now ongoing and Tihany promises plenty of surprises. “Guests can expect a much lighter, contemporary feel, but crucially it will still feel like a Cunard ship and Cunard’s loyal guests will feel very at home. The new ship will celebrate Cunard’s British heritage but with a whisper, not a shout. Everything a guest expects to see on a Cunard ship will be there, but in a different way to the other three.”

Tihany has led the way in restaurant design, creating signature restaurant interiors for such culinary stars as Thomas Keller and Heston Blumenthal. He and his expert team of designers are currently working on plans for the new ship’s dining areas and he confirms that Queens and Princess Grill restaurants will feature among the dining options.

Design work is well underway in preparation for construction at the Fincantieri shipyard in Italy. The ship, Cunard’s first new-build for 12 years will be the 249th vessel to sail under the Cunard flag and when she joins Queen Mary 2, Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth in the Cunard fleet, the luxury cruise brand will have four ships in service for the first time since 2000.

Simon Palethorpe, Senior Vice President, Cunard said: “We are immensely excited about Adam’s appointment. Cunard offers unrivalled luxury ocean experiences and to have such a renowned designer as the Creative Director for the new ship shows our commitment to providing our guests with a whole new experience. Adam is working with a great team and there are some stunning ideas and concepts in the making, but still with the unique Cunard luxury and distinctiveness that our guests know and love. We look forward to sharing more of our designs next year as they come to life.”

Cunard announces exhilarating and enlightening shore excursions for 2019 Alaska voyages

From dog sledding and seaplane adventures, to whale watching, cooking and indigenous storytelling excursions, Queen Elizabeth’s guests can enjoy Alaska like never before!

Luxury cruise line Cunard has announced exciting new shore excursions when the legendary brand returns to Alaska with Queen Elizabeth’s 2019 voyages.

Queen Elizabeth will sail four 10-night Alaska voyages roundtrip from Vancouver, departing May 21, 31, June 10 and 20, 2019 with port calls in Skagway, Juneau, Ketchikan, Sitka, Icy Strait Point and Victoria. Highlights include scenic cruising through the famous Inside Passage, Tracy Arm Fjord, and Hubbard Glacier.

“As Cunard returns to Alaska, we’re thrilled to offer guests the most exciting ways to explore and enjoy the region’s epic landscapes and culture,” said Angus Struthers, Vice President Marketing, Cunard. “Our 10-day round-trip Vancouver itinerary offers guests more time and more ports with breathtaking shore excursions such as discovering the secrets to catching and cooking fresh Alaskan salmon or dog sledding across a massive glacier. We invite Cunard guests to experience Alaska in ways that appeal to their individual interests and passions like never before.”

Cunard will offer more than 140 shore excursions in Alaska including:

· Whale watching and Wildlife Quest: A specially designed catamaran takes guests past snow-capped peaks and glaciers in the island-studded waters of Stephens Passage, a world-renowned feeding ground for humpback whales. Alive with Orca whales, sea lions, harbor seals, porpoises, bald eagles, Sitka Blacktail deer and bears, this region offers a wonderful opportunity to see wild Alaska up close.

· Dogsled Adventure by Helicopter: This jaw-dropping combination tour features two ways to experience Alaska’s glacial scenery. Guests embark on a thrilling helicopter ride over rainforest, alpine ridges and glacier-carved peaks only seen from the sky. To round off this unforgettable experience, guests drive a team of huskies over Juneau's famed Mendenhall Glacier.

· Taku Lodge Feast & Five-Glacier Seaplane Discovery: A floatplane allows guests to soar over waterfalls, mountains, deep crevasses and the azure meltwater pools of five mighty glaciers. Guests also enjoy a unique visit to remote Taku Glacier Lodge, only accessible by floatplane, where they learn about historic hunters and trappers and explore pristine forest trails teaming with wildlife, including black bears.

· Sea Otter & Wildlife Quest: Guests embark on a deluxe catamaran in search of sea otters, whales, Steller sea lions, porpoise and harbour seals. Back on dry land, an expert escorts guests through the world-famous Alaska Raptor Center, bird of prey and education center on the edge of Tongass National Forest. The experience will culminate with the acclaimed Fortress of the Bear sanctuary, a rescue facility for orphaned brown bears, where guests can observe the bears in residence from a viewing platform.

· Wilderness Sea Kayaking Adventure: This exhilarating guided kayak tour along the rugged Alaskan coastline begins with a scenic cruise via motorised Seahawk craft to a floating kayak base camp tucked away in a picturesque, tranquil cove. Guests paddle through rocky inlets in a two person kayak, enjoying a diverse intertidal zone filled with colorful marine life. They discover a lush, coastal rainforest and may even witness sea lions, eagles, brown bears, and spouting whales.

· Bering Sea Crab Fishermen’s Tour: The thrill of commercial fishing comes to life on the Aleutian Ballad, one-time star of the award-winning Discovery Channel television series “Deadliest Catch.” On the waters of the Inside Passage off the coast of Ketchikan, guests onboard enjoy a front row seat to the action as 700-pound crab pots are hauled out of the sea to show how Alaska King crabs are caught.

· Cooking in Alaska’s Wildest Kitchen: An award-winning wilderness chef and author demonstrates how to prepare wild, natural and sustainable Alaskan seafood in a hands-on tasting session, explaining what sets Alaskan seafood apart, including how to handle an alder-wood grill.

· Scenic Mountain Ascent & World’s Largest ZipRider: Guests soak up sweeping views of Icy Strait and Glacier Bay as they ‘fly’ 300 feet over treetops on a ZipRider cable ride — the highest in the United States. The ride begins on towering Hoonah Mountain, where steep flanks are swathed in rainforest. Gliding at up to 60 miles per hour, this mile-long zip-ride adventure ends with a gentle touchdown on the beach at Icy Strait Point.

Other excursions include:
· White Pass Scenic Railway -- Luxury Class
· Great Alaskan Lumberjack Show & Crab Feast
· ATV Expedition
· Ghosts & Goodtime Girls Walking Tour
· Wilderness Cruise & Silverking Lodge Seafood Feast
· Misty Fjords Seaplane Exploration
· Exclusive Burro Creek Waterfall Lodge & Crab Feast

Cunard will also offer pre-and post-voyage Rocky Mountaineer rail tours, which include either three- or five-nights’ accommodation and two full days aboard the train. The expedition travels through a spectacular array of scenery including the glacier and snow-capped peaks of the Canadian Rockies, winding river canyons, mountain passes and remarkable tunnels.

Cunard announces new 2020 programme

Luxury cruise brand Cunard has today unveiled its 2020 programme. From March to December 2020 the Cunard fleet will travel over 169,000 nautical miles calling at 110 destinations in 34 different countries.
The new itineraries continue to offer guests a greater choice on the type of voyage, destination and amount of time spent in port. There are 14 overnight stays and 19 late evening departures, with an average time in port of 10 and a half hours which will allow our international guests an opportunity to explore the most spectacular destinations at their leisure.

Cunard continues to be the only cruise line offering regular transatlantic crossings. Summer 2020 sees 19 more crossings added on board the exceptional ocean liner, Queen Mary 2 with six chances to take the increasingly popular transatlantic roundtrip crossings (departing Southampton or New York.) Guests can also choose a roundtrip voyage, (originating in and returning to New York), to destinations like the Caribbean, New England, Canada or Europe. In addition, the summer 2020 programme on Queen Mary 2 offers short breaks and cruises to Northern Europe from Southampton with overnight stays in some destinations.

Queen Victoria has seven maiden calls in summer 2020 - Bornholm (Denmark), Riga (Latvia), Ringaskiddy (Ireland), Nordfjordeid (Norway), Leknes (Norway), Bodo (Norway) and Skjolden (Norway). There are voyages from Southampton to the Mediterranean, Canary Islands, Western and Northern Europe with overnight stays in Amsterdam, Barcelona, Reykjavik and St Petersburg. Plus there are two opportunities to voyage to Norway to see the Northern Lights.

There are five maiden calls for Queen Elizabeth - Jakarta (Indonesia), Kushiro (Japan), Ishigaki (Japan), Tokyo (Japan) and Seward (USA). Guests can enjoy roundtrip voyages from Tokyo and Grand Voyages covering the North Pacific, East Asia and Australia with overnight stays in Hong Kong and Singapore. Voyage lengths range from two to 18 nights.

Angus Struthers, VP Marketing, Cunard said: “Summer 2020 is another exciting time for Cunard filled with inspiring destinations for our guests. This programme has been designed to offer our guests more freedom and time to explore some of the world’s most beautiful and iconic destinations at their leisure.

“Once guests have chosen their 2020 voyage they can look forward to Cunard’s unique on board experience offering the freedom of time and space with exemplary service that is second to none. Whether it's listening to one of our Insight Speakers, indulging in outstanding cuisine, enjoying world-class entertainment in one of our theatres, or simply reading a book in a quiet corner of the ship, guests will be spoilt for choice when it comes to how they spend their time.”

Cunard announces exciting new insight programme with experts on board for Alaska 2019

Luxury cruise line Cunard has announced culturally-rich on board programming for its 2019 voyages as the luxury brand returns to Alaska to offer its iconic experience, ‘The Last Frontier.’

Queen Elizabeth will sail four 10-night roundtrip Alaska voyages out of Vancouver departing May 21, 31, June 10 and 20, 2019 with port calls in Skagway, Juneau, Ketchikan, Sitka, Icy Strait Point and Victoria. Highlights include scenic cruising through the famous Inside Passage, Tracy Arm Fjord, and Hubbard Glacier.

For its return to Alaska, Queen Elizabeth will bring Cunard’s iconic luxury experience to one of the most magnificent places in the world. The team has curated some of the most interesting and engaging speakers to join the Insights programme in Alaska. Our guests will have the opportunity to gain a deep understanding of Alaska and its breathtaking landscape, rich cultural heritage and local cuisine.

Cunard’s new Alaska Insights programming will include:

• Dr. Rachel Cartwright, an award-winning naturalist with 20 years’ experience in Alaska. Author of “Alaska Cruise Companion: A Naturalist’s Guide to the Inside Passage” and renowned expert on the behaviors of humpback whale mothers and their calves, Dr. Cartwright will offer presentations on the Alaskan ecosystem including whales, marine life and glaciers. Dr. Cartwright will also offer expert commentary live from the bridge during scenic cruising throughout the Inside Passage on all 2019 Alaska itineraries.

• Alaska Native Voices along with members of the Huna Tinglet tribe, a group native to Glacier Bay and Icy Strait, will offer lectures and workshops about their history, culture, and storytelling while cruising the Alaskan coastline. On all 2019 Alaska voyage, guests will have more opportunity to learn about Alaska’s indigenous people at an information center hosted by cultural heritage guides on board Queen Elizabeth.

• LaDonna Rose Gundersen, commercial fisherwoman and cookbook author, will be sharing her experiences and expertise with guests on board the May 20, 2019 Alaska voyage. A fisherwoman in Alaska for more than two decades, Gundersen has made a career out of catching and cooking delicious salmon and other fish using simple ingredients while at sea. She will be joined by her husband Ole Gundersen, a fellow fisherman and accomplished photographer known for his images inspired by life in Alaska.

Other festivities on board Queen Elizabeth during her time in Alaska will include:
• Live bridge commentary to narrate scenic cruising areas
• Dedicated Alaska in-room entertainment, including Emmy Award-winning documentary series “The Ketchikan Story”
• Complimentary blankets and hot cocoa on deck for taking in the beauty of the Alaska coastline

Cunard will also offer Rocky Mountaineer rail pre-and post-voyage tours, which include either three- or five- nights’ accommodation and two full days aboard the train. The expedition travels through a spectacular array of scenery including the glacier and snow-capped peaks of the Canadian Rockies, winding river canyons, mountain passes and remarkable tunnels.

Cunard reveals more literary greats for Queen Mary 2 inaugural Literature Festival at sea

Internationally acclaimed author Louis de Bernières is the latest name to be revealed joining the line-up for the inaugural Literature Festival at Sea, in partnership with Cheltenham Literature Festival and The Times/Sunday Times.

Cunard guests will join Bernières, the bestselling author of Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, which won the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize, Best Book in 1995, plus more of the world’s best loved authors and literary experts aboard Queen Mary 2. Internationally acclaimed author Louis de Bernières is the latest name to be revealed joining the line-up for the inaugural Literature Festival at Sea, in partnership with Cheltenham Literature Festival and The Times/Sunday Times.

Cunard guests will join Bernières, the bestselling author of Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, which won the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize, Best Book in 1995, plus more of the world’s best loved authors and literary experts aboard Queen Mary 2.

The transatlantic voyage on Cunard’s flagship liner leaves New York for Southampton on 10 November 2019.

Also recently added to the line-up are Robert Harris, Mark Billingham, Damian Barr and Ben Macintyre. Harris is the author of twelve bestselling novels and Billingham is one of the UK’s most acclaimed and popular crime writers. His series of novels featuring DI Tom Thorne has twice won him the Crime Novel of the Year Award. Barr is an award-winning writer, journalist and host of his own infamous Literary Salon and Macintyre is a multimillion-copy bestselling author of many titles.

Bringing Cheltenham’s 70-year track record of curating world-renowned festivals to the stunning surroundings and elegant spaces of the Queen Mary 2, this special programme celebrates the written word in all its variety with events across literature, art, film, history and politics, all underpinned by the quality of delivery that is Cheltenham’s hallmark.

These latest acclaimed authors join the already impressive line-up of bestselling novelists Sebastian Faulks and Victoria Hislop, journalist and broadcaster James Naughtie, acclaimed American political satirist P.J. O’Rourke and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Elizabeth Strout. There will also be journalists from The Times joining the event - Deputy Editor, Emma Tucker; Fashion Director, Anna Murphy; leader writer and columnist, Philip Collins; Literary Editor of The Times, Robbie Millen and Literary Editor of The Sunday Times, Andrew Holgate.

Angus Struthers, Vice President Marketing, Cunard said: ‘We are so excited to welcome yet more acclaimed authors aboard for this event. This, the first ever transatlantic literary festival, is already proving to be a very popular choice for literature lovers around the world and we know our guests will delight in the immersive nature of the experience in truly beautiful surroundings.”

Luxury cruise liner Queen Victoria to make her maiden call in Killybegs

The 294 metre long ship will dock in Cork, Dublin, Donegal and Belfast in May!

Luxury cruise brand Cunard, will be offering guests the opportunity to enjoy some of its renowned White Star Service in Killybegs for the first time this May, as Queen Victoria heads to Ireland.

Guests on board the luxury liner will enjoy a 13-night tour of the British Isles, visiting some of the most remote and picturesque landscapes in and around the Emerald Isle. Starting this Saturday (12 May) from Southampton, Queen Victoria will visit Cork (Monday, 14 May) followed by Dublin (Tuesday, 15 May) before making her maiden call on Sunday, 20 May at Killybegs, County Donegal. Queen Victoria will then head to Belfast (Monday 21 May) before continuing her voyage.

Angus Struthers, Marketing VP Cunard, said: “Cunard is dedicated to providing our guests with unforgettable experiences and this voyage will certainly deliver that. We are delighted that we will be able to offer unprecedented views of some of the most remote and breath-taking locations in and around Ireland, all whilst our guests enjoy the comfort and luxury of a Cunard Queen. As Queen Victoria prepares to dock in Killybegs for the very first time, guests will be able to enjoy the awe-inspiring Slieve League cliffs of Donegal, a truly unforgettable moment.”

In 2017 Queen Victoria underwent an extensive €39 million refurbishment, which saw the addition of an exquisite lido sun deck for sun seekers as well as a stunning Winter Garden, refreshed and enhanced for guests looking to relax while looking out over some of the best views at sea. The distinctive Cunard elegance remained with many of the design cues taken from previous Cunard ships, such as the original Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth.

Ed Sheeran documentary filmed on board Queen Mary 2 to be shown at Tribeca film festival

A documentary capturing Ed Sheeran recording his divide album on board Cunard’s flagship Queen Mary 2 will shown at a prestigious film festival, Tribeca, tonight. (8.30pm EST)

Ed Sheeran made the voyage from New York to Southampton while in the process of recording his album, divide. Staff on board set up a pop up studio for the singer so he could record tracks while making the seven night transatlantic crossing.

Filmed by his cousin, who also travelled on board Queen Mary 2, the documentary shows Ed meeting the Captain of QM2 and recording in his temporary studio.

Single handed yachtsman and the Queen Mary 2 crew who rescued him reunited for the first time

Mervyn Wheatley, an experienced yachtsman was reunited with Cunard’s Captain Wells, at the Ocean Cruising Club today.

Wheatley, who has sailed over 400,000 miles, including three transatlantic crossings in one year, will be reunited with the man who navigated Cunard’s Queen Mary 2 and coordinated his rescue at a ceremony held at SS Great Britain in Bristol on Saturday 21st April.

After a huge wave knocked over Formosa 42 Tamarind and shestarted taking on water, Skipper, Mervyn Wheatley activated his distress beacon. In heavy seas and rough weather, with the help of RAF Hercules and Canadian search and rescue services, the crew of Queen Mary 2 took on the task of bringing the skipper to safety.

Captain Wells coordinated the crew who launched of a tender which plucked Wheatley from the water and took him back to the shores of Southampton.

Captain Wells, Master of Queen Mary 2 said: “I am honoured to be reunited with Mervyn.

“He is a highly experienced mariner and was hugely unlucky to have been hit by such a large wave, I was extremely glad we could help get him back to shore safely.”

QM2 guests will be first to board the QE2 Hotel in Dubai

Dubai will welcome the most famous ocean liners in the world when the arrival of Queen Mary 2 coincides with the opening of the Queen Elizabeth 2 hotel.

Guests travelling on QM2 will have the opportunity to join VIPs and local media at the opening of the QE2 on 18th April. Future guests will also have the chance to visit when QM2 returns to Dubai in January and March 2019 as part of her World Voyage.

QM2 is the biggest (151,400-tons), the longest (1,132 feet / 345 metres), the tallest (236 feet / 72 metres) the widest (135 feet / 41 metres) passenger liner ever and the most luxurious cruise liner in history.

QE2 was launched by Her Majesty the Queen in 1967 and was the Cunard flagship liner (a role she relinquished to Queen Mary 2 in May 2004), undertaking 25 world cruises, crossing the Atlantic more than 800 times and carrying more than 2.5 million passengers. QE2 is owned by PCFC Hotels - part of the Dubai government’s Ports, Customs and Free Zones Corporation and will reside permanently at Mina Rashid, Dubai.

Simon Palethorpe, Senior Vice President, Cunard said: “We feel very privileged that our flagship QM2 is able to join these celebrations and that our guests will have an opportunity to visit QE2. We hope that her new permanent home will be enjoyed by many visitors in the years to come and are delighted that her spirit lives on for future generations.”