Newcomer To The Cunard Fleet

Which two ‘Royals ‘are expecting the arrival of a new queen? Sounds like a ‘Weakest Link’ question, doesn’t it?

For followers of Cunard Cruises the question isn’t all that cryptic. The vessels, Queen Mary 2 and Victoria are being joined by the new Queen Elizabeth in October of this year. She will be the second largest liner in the company’s history and of course she will be following in the wake of all the other Queens in providing luxury ocean travel.

Needless to say, Queen Elizabeth will be technologically one of the most modern liners at sea today, but Cunard Cruises have been at pains to maintain the tradition of traditional, deluxe onboard accommodation for which they are synonymous.

The huge dimensions of the Grand Lobby and dramatically curved stairway presented special design problems that were solved after much thought and consultation. The original Queen Elizabeth, an icon in maritime history, will be featured in a specially commissioned 5-metre marquetry panel using a variety of nine different natural wood veneers.

Viscount Linley, a respected designer of fine furniture, was awarded the commission and he has produced a stunning masterpiece that spans two and a half decks and will be a breathtaking welcome to passengers as they explore the ship. The rest of the design throughout the ship is retro, a nostalgic link to the great Queens of the past.

The new ship will have 1,046 cabins, 85% of which are outside, with a high proportion of private balconies. Overall the cabins have been designed to provide a little more storage space (a must for long cruise holidays ) and more shelf room in the bathrooms.

As well as the usual excellent eateries that passengers have come to expect on Cunard cruises, there are some new innovations. On deck ten Cunard have created a reminder of the old QE2 days – the Yacht Club bar, which they are sure will just as popular with passengers as was the original.

The Garden Lounge was inspired by Kew Gardens in London. With its high, arched glass dome, it will provide a splendidly airy space for relaxation. It will also be the perfect setting for Cunard’s Supper Club, which will offer music, dancing and food tasting menus.

A real innovation will be found on the forward sun deck – a bowling green, and a croquet lawn… artificial grass, of course – even Cunard draws the line at mowing the real stuff.

Another ‘first’ for Cunard will be the introduction of a la carte pricing at the Queen Elizabeth’s Verandah Grill. The new Verandah Grill will be serving classic and contemporary cuisine and the pricing (per plate) is going to be very reasonable, Sadly, for those hoping for late cruise deals, Queen Elizabeth’s maiden voyage in October sold out in 30 minutes.