Cunard Line Coronavirus update
Cunard Line cancelled all cruises with pre-scheduled departures between March 14, 2020, and August 2021. Operations were planned to resume in June 2021 with mini-cruises from Southampton, but Cunard eventually cancelled the program. Operations resumed in 2021 with the liners QUEEN ELIZABETH (August 13/UK from Southampton, since October 13 - Canary Islands and Iberia), QUEEN MARY 2 (Dec 10/Southampton, follows Caribbean January thru April 2022), QUEEN VICTORIA (April 22, 2022/Europe-Baltic-Iberia).
Cunard Line now has an expanded cancellation policy. All affected bookings were given the option to cancel up to 48 hours (prior departure) without penalties. All affected bookings received a 125% refund in FCC (future cruise credit) transferred to a booking made before December 31, 2021.
Review of Cunard
Cunard Line (cunard.co.uk) is a British-American cruise shipping company and travel brand operated by Carnival UK and since 2005 owned by Carnival Corporation (shipowner). Cunard is headquartered in Southampton (England UK) and is among the world's oldest passenger shipping companies. In 2020 was celebrated company's 180th anniversary. Australia is Cunard's 3rd source market (following the UK and North America) and the company's 2nd (after THE UK) for Around The World voyages.
In 1839, Samuel Cunard (1787-1865, shipping magnate from Halifax, Nova Scotia Canada) was awarded the first British transatlantic steamship mail contract. In 1840, he and Robert Napier (Scottish steamship engine designer and builder) formed the "British and North American Royal Mail Steam-Packet Company". The "cruise line" operated four paddle steamers on the UK-Canada-USA Transatlantic route Liverpool-Halifax-Boston.
Cunard Line's current President is Simon Palethorpe. Carnival UK's CEO is David Dingle (managing both P&O UK and Cunard).
In the 1870s the line fell behind its rivals, White Star and Inman Line. To meet the competition, in 1879 Cunard was reorganized into Cunard Steamship Company, Ltd in order to raise capital. In 1902 the British Government provided the line with substantial loans and subsidies to build a couple of superliners needed to retain Cunard's competitive position. In the late 1920s, Cunard faced another competition when the Italians, French and Germans built large ocean liners.
Because of the Great Depression in the USA (1929-33), the company was forced to suspend the construction on its new superliner. In 1934, Cunard was offered loans by the British Government to finish Queen Mary and to build its second ship, Queen Elizabeth. The condition was Cunard to merge with the White Star line and form Cunard-White Star Ltd. Cunard purchased White Star's 1/3rd shares in 1947. The company's name was changed to "Cunard Line" in 1950.
Cunard regained its position as the biggest Atlantic passenger line upon the end of World War II. By the mid-1950s, the line operated 12 ships to Canada and the United States. After 1958, trans-Atlantic liners became increasingly unprofitable due to the introduction of jet airliners. In 1968 Cunard Line withdrew from year-round service to concentrate on cruising and summer transatlantic sailings for vacationers. The Queens were replaced by QE2 (Queen Elizabeth 2), which was designed for her special dual role.
In 1998, Carnival Corporation acquired Cunard. In 2003, RMS Queen Elizabeth 2 was replaced on its Transatlantic service by QM2 (RMS Queen Mary 2). The company also operates MS Queen Elizabeth (QE) and Queen Victoria (QV). Currently, Cunard is the only shipping company operating a scheduled passenger service between North America and Europe.
With the opening of Carnival House in 2009 in Southampton, executive control of Cunard was subsequently transferred from Carnival Corp. in the US, to Carnival UK, a primary operating company of Carnival plc. Carnival plc, as the UK-listed holding company of Carnival Group, had executive control of all activities of the group in the UK, with headquarters of all UK-based brands, including Cunard Line, in offices at Carnival House.
The 36-year-old Queen Elizabeth 2 was replaced in 2004 on the North Atlantic by QM2 (Queen Mary 2). QE2 continued cruising until her retirement in 2008. Cunard added a big cruise ship, Queen Victoria (QV) in 2007. QV is not a sister for QM2, being ordered as a Vista-class cruise ship by Carnival for Holland America Line (HAL). To reinforce the traditions of Cunard, Queen Victoria has a small museum onboard. In 2010 Cunard Line commissioned a 2nd Vista-class cruise ship, Queen Elizabeth.
In 2011 the three Cunard vessels in service changed their ship registry to Hamilton, Bermuda. For the first time in the company's 171-year history, it had no ships registered in the UK. The captains of cruise ships registered in Bermuda can marry couples at sea.
On May 25, 2015, the three Cunard ocean liners - RMS Queen Mary 2, Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth - sailed down the Mersey into Liverpool and commemorated the 175th anniversary of Cunard. As The Red Arrows performed a flypast, the trio performed exciting manoeuvers including 180-degree turns.
In 2015, Cunard Line was awarded best in the categories "Transatlantic Itineraries" and "World Cruise Itineraries" of Porthole Cruise Magazine's Readers' Choice Awards. The magazine's readers participate in an annual contest that evaluates the world's largest cruise shipping companies and determines the industry's leaders in several categories.
Cunard Line inaugurated the company's ever first regularly scheduled Transatlantic Crossing in 1840 with RMS Britannia. Cunard launched its first World Cruise itinerary in 1922 with RMS Laconia.
In 2020, Cunard Line celebrated its 180th Anniversary. The company planned a special sale on voyages between July 2020-May 2022 fleetwide. The "180th Anniversary Sale" was offered on cruises booked in 2020 (new bookings only, made between February 28-May 18). The promo applied to various itineraries, including Alaskan and Transatlantic Crossings. The promo offered 50% reduced deposit, US$180 pp in OBC (onboard credit with balcony cabin bookings), free drinks package, free gratuities (Grill Suite bookings).
In 2022, Cunard will mark its 100th World Voyage. The first was launched in 1922 when was chartered RMS Laconia (1921-1942) to sail the first continuous world circumnavigation cruise (130-day itinerary with 22 ports).
New ship 2022
At the end of September 2017, Cunard Line officially announced the planned addition of a 4th vessel to its fleet. The investment is part of the shipowner Carnival Corporation's fleet expansion program, adding newbuilds to the fleets of the brand companies AIDA, Costa, Princess, P&O.
Cunard's shipbuilding contract (MoA/memorandum of agreement) with Fincantieri was signed on Sept 25, 2017. The yet-unnamed new Cunard liner (entering service in 2022) has GT-tonnage 113,000 tons (volume), max passenger capacity 3000, and will be Cunard's 249th vessel since the company's establishment in 1839.
Cunard Line's cruising experience
Discerning, well-travelled British and American couples from their late 30s to retirees are drawn to the traditional style of Cunard and the notion of "a cruise aboard an ocean liner". Announcements are made in English, French, German, and, on occasion, Spanish. Travellers on cruises are older than those on crossings. However, there is enough buzz about Cunard Line as to attract a number of young passengers and families. The Kid Zone features a splash pool and a dedicated play area for kids ages one to six. Separate programs are reserved for older ages (7 to 12) and teens up to 17. Activities range from games to educational computer classes. Kids can practice social graces when served their Afternoon Teatime goodies. English nannies supervise the toddlers. Facilities are operated until midnight and group babysitting is complimentary. Infants under 12 months are not permitted. Kids ages 1 to 2 sail free (except for government fees).
The dress code on Cunard ships rotates among formal, informal and casual in about equal proportion. Typical for Cunard cruises are the glamorous evenings. Resort casual clothing prevails during the day, but Cunard's liners are dressier than most cruise vessels at night. To maintain high standards, the company requests its customers to dress for dining in fine restaurants.
Dining aboard Cunard ships is by class and dining-room assignments are made in accordance with the booked accommodation category. You can get as much luxury as you wish to pay for on Cunard liners. Passengers in ships' Junior suites are assigned to single-seating Princess Grill. Queen's Grill serves those booked in duplex apartments and the most lavish suites. The rest of the passengers are assigned to seating in the multideck Britannia Restaurant or Britannia Club Restaurant on QE.
Although Britannia's fare is reasonably traditional and frequently outstanding, off-menu requests by Grill guests are commonly granted. Menus also include low-calorie and vegetarian selections.
The most coveted reservations are those on Queen Victoria and Queen Mary 2 in the restaurants named for Todd English, celebrity American chef noted for his sumptuous desserts and innovative Mediterranean cuisine. Both dinner ($30 cover charge per person) and lunch ($20) are offered in this intimate restaurant.
Aboard QM2, Chef's Galley is a small restaurant, where guests can look on as their food is prepared in an open galley setting. Wine is the only item to be charged here. King's Court buffet is transformed into 3 no-charge alternative dining spots each evening: La Piazza is dedicated to Italian dishes (pizza, pasta). The Carvery is for carved meats, Lotus is for Asian food.
Cunard entertainment has English flavour, with cabaret-style performances, plays and nightly production shows. An authentic pub gives cruisers even more British air. Music for listening and dancing is played in other lounges and bars. In the first-ever shipboard planetarium aboard Queen Mary 2, virtual-reality shows and high-tech presentations offer a virtual ride through space.
Cunard's enrichment programs include expert lectures by top designers, artists, and master chefs. Even navigation and seamanship courses are offered to inspire novice mariners.
Jogging tracks, swimming pools, table tennis, paddle tennis court, golf driving ranges and shuffleboard barely scratch the surface of facilities dedicated to recreation. Cunard fitness centres are top-quality and boast high-tech workout equipment, separate weight room and classes ranging from healthy living workshops to aerobics.
The Canyon Ranch Spa Club aboard Queen Mary 2 is a one-of-a-kind facility offering salon services, including such famous land-based spa signatures like the 80-minute Canyon Stone Massage. A large 30- by 15-foot thalassotherapy pool has a deluge waterfall, neck fountains, air tub, recliner lounges and massage-jet benches located in the pool. The thermal suite features an aromatic steam room, Finnish sauna, herbal sauna, and reflexology basins. All of these special features are complimentary with a body or massage treatment; otherwise, a per-day charge is applied.
Pregnant women must have a letter from their doctor or midwife. They can't travel with Cunard Line after the 24th week of pregnancy. Kids under 12 months old are also not permitted. Kids between 12 and 24 months old travel free as 3rd or 4th person in the stateroom. A child sharing a cabin with 1 adult is charged an adult fare. Children (over 2 years of age) sharing a stateroom with 2 adults are charged as 3rd or 4th person (around half the normal fare).
A toddler-dedicated nursery is staffed by professional young nannies, and available for kids between 1 and 3 yo.
The dedicated "Play Zone" is for kids ages between 4 and 6. "The Zone" is for children up to 17 yo. Kids between 1 and 7 years old are allowed in Play Zone (free of charge) during its opening hours - 9 am-12noon, 2-5 pm, 6 pm-12midnight. Children 1 to 7 yo must be accompanied by an adult outside the Play Zone. Children 8 to 17-year-old can sign themselves in and out Play Zone and are free to wander solo throughout the ship.
Billed to the adult's onboard account is everything available for purchase on the boat - bar drinks, Internet access, shopping, spa and beauty treatments. The cabin card's total is deducted from your credit card at the end of the voyage. Bar prices have 15% gratuity (added automatically).
Mobile phone calls and Internet access are available onboard. The Internet has good download speed and is available in all public areas (including bars) and all staterooms.
Pay-per-item laundry service is available on the ship. Laundry items are collected from staterooms by cabin stewards. On all cabin decks are available small self-service (free-of-charge) laundrettes.
Cunard ships don't have baggage limits (as a number of bags). However, there is a weight limit per bag. Individual bags must not exceed 23 kg (51 pounds). Upon boarding, bags are taken at the cruise terminal and delivered to staterooms. Upon debarkation, they are transferred ashore.
Since January 2017, Cunard offers shipboard wine-themed education courses via a partnership with the world's largest provider of wine and spirits qualifications WSET ("Wine and Spirit Education Trust"). WSET courses were initially available only on QM2's westbound Transatlantic crossings and world cruises, but were later offered fleetwide and on all voyages.
The 5-day course gives WSET Level 1 in wines and covers the basics (wine types, styles, sight, smell, taste, storing, serving, food pairing). The 12-day course gives WSET Level 2 in wines and spirits and explores grape varieties, styles of wines, produce, wine regions, classifications, labelling terminology, categories of spirits and liqueurs.
Classes are led by professional sommeliers and educators from Cunard Wine Academy. Each course finishes with an exam. In addition to the globally recognized WSET qualification certificates, passengers also receive lapel pins.
The first wine cruise was the Atlantic crossing Southampton-NYC (December 15, 2016). The first world cruise with WSET courses was on QM2 (January 10, 2017).
WSET's qualification program is offered to enthusiasts and wine professionals. It ranges from Level 1 Award (Wines, Spirits, and Sake) to Level 4 Diploma (Wines and Spirits).
(Coronavirus crisis) passenger shipping pause 2020-2021
Due to the Coronavirus crisis, Cunard Line cancelled all cruises with pre-scheduled departures between March 14, 2020, and August 2021.
Following a 17-month break, passenger shipping operations resumed in 2021 with the liners QUEEN ELIZABETH (August 13/UK from Southampton/since October 13 - Canary Islands and Iberia), QUEEN MARY 2 (Dec 10/Southampton/follows Caribbean January thru April 2022), QUEEN VICTORIA (April 22, 2022/Europe-Baltic-Iberia).
Cunard introduced an expanded cancellation policy. All bookings were given the option to cancel up to 48 hours (prior departure) without penalties.
All affected bookings received a 125% refund in FCC (future cruise credit) transferred to a booking made before December 31, 2021.
Itinerary of Cunard
Transatlantic crossings with RMS Queen Mary 2 attract British and American passengers (in equal proportions) and from all age groups. Cunard ships cruise to almost all most-popular ship travel destinations in the world, including Caribbean, Mexico, Panama Canal, South America, Alaska, Africa, Europe (Mediterranean and Baltic / Scandinavia and Russia), North America east coast (New England and Canada), Asia, Australia New Zealand.
Queen Mary 2 cruises are often mixed with destinations in the Caribbean, British Isles, Norwegian Fjords, Canada. Queen Victoria usually operates from homeport Southampton to Canary Islands, Mediterranean, Baltic. All Cunard liners operate around the world cruises.
In summer 2021 (July through October), Cunard plans for MS Queen Elizabeth an ex-UK season that includes 10 "British Isles Voyages" and 3 "Sun Voyages". Itineraries range between 3-12 nights. "British Isles Voyages" offer scenic cruising along Britain's coast including Jurassic Coast (Dorset England), Land's End (Cornwall England), Scotland's Isle of Arran, Kintyre Peninsula, Sound of Mull. Four ex-UK cruises visit Belfast Ireland, Greenock, Invergordon, Liverpool, Newcastle, Holyhead Wales (first-time for Cunard). Balcony cabin prices per person (with double occupancy) start from GBP 600/EUR 700/USD 830 (4-night British Isles Voyages), GBP 900/EUR 1050/USD 1240 (7-night Sun Voyages), GBP 1300/EUR 1520/USD 1790 (10-night British Isles Voyage). Bookings are opened only for UK residents.
Cunard World Cruise 2022
The voyage departs roundtrip from Southampton (104-day, booking code M203I) and from New York City (118-day, booking code M202F) and visits Greece, Israel, Dubai, Sri Lanka, Singapore, Vietnam, Hong Kong China, Australia, Bali, Abu Dhabi, Oman, Italy, Portugal. The itinerary also features two Suez Canal crossings (on both the eastbound and westbound route) and overnights in Haifa, Dubai, Hong Kong, Sydney NSW, Singapore, a late-night departure from Colombo.
Queen Mary 2 World Cruise 2022 is bookable either as a full voyage (118-night / 104-night) or in several shorter segments from NYC (to Dubai, Singapore, Hong Kong, Sydney Australia), Southampton (to Dubai, Singapore, Hong Kong, Sydney NSW, Fremantle) and itineraries departing out of Dubai, Singapore, Hong Kong, Australia. The full itinerary visits 27 ports in 16 countries and 33 UNESCO Sites. Customers with full itinerary (roundtrip) bookings enjoy a Welcome Onboard Reception, services by World Voyage Concierges, use of an exclusive lounge, Gala Event ashore, complimentary daily gratuities.
Prices for the 118-night full voyage (NYC roundtrip Jan 3 - May 1) started from GBP 13000 / ~USD 16900 / ~EUR 14300 per person (inside stateroom at double occupancy). Prices for the 104-night full voyage (UK roundtrip Jan 10 - April 24) started from GBP 10100 / ~USD 13150 / ~EUR 11100 per person (inside stateroom at double occupancy).
MS Queen Victoria in 2022 offers a 108-day roundtrip from UK (Southampton) also bookable as 97-day itinerary (Fort Lauderdale to Southampton) and features a Panama Canal transition. The world cruise 2022 (January 10 through April 29) visits 30 ports, 19 UNESCO Sites and offers overnights in the port cities Sydney NSW, San Francisco, Cape Town South Africa, Singapore, Hong Kong. Visited destinations include Bermuda, USA (Fort Lauderdale, San Francisco, Honolulu), Caribbean (Aruba, Panama), Costa Rica, Mexico, Samoa, Fiji, New Zealand, Australia (Sydney, Brisbane, Cairns), Papua New Guinea, Philippines, China (Hong Kong), Singapore, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Mauritius, South Africa, Namibia, Spain-Canaries (Tenerife).
Queen Victoria World Cruise 2022 is bookable either as a full voyage (108-night) or in 6 shorter segments (Fort Lauderdale-Southampton, Singapore-Southampton, Cape Town-Southampton, Southampton-San Francisco, Southampton-Sydney Australia, Sydney-Hong Kong).
Prices started from GBP 14000 / ~USD 18200 / ~EUR 15400 per person (Britannia Inside stateroom at double occupancy).
Cunard cruise itinerary changes (2021-2022)
Cunard's world cruises 2021 are on 2 ships - QM2 (East-West cruise to Australia, Asia, Southern Africa, Indian Ocean, Arabian Gulf, Mediterranean) and Queen Victoria (westbound circumnavigation through Panama Canal, Japan, Australia). QM2's "East-West World Voyage to Australia and Asia in 2021 visits ports in the Mediterranean, Suez Canal, Arabian Gulf, Indian Ocean, Southern Africa. It can be booked as roundtrip from Southampton (99-nights, January 10-April 19) or as shorter segments (2- to 64 nights).
- QM2's 2021 World Voyage offers 45 itinerary combos (3 to 113 nights); 47,000+ nautical miles of cruising travel, 37 ports in 22 countries; overnights in Dubai, Hong Kong, Singapore, Sydney, Cape Town (double overnight), 34 UNESCO sites, transitting the Suez Canal.
- Queen Victoria's 2021 world cruise (via Panama Canal) is a Southampton roundtrip (108 nights, January 10-April 28) with alternative departures from Florida (Fort Lauderdale) and ending in London (97 nights). It starts with a Transatlantic crossing via Bermuda, follows Trans-Panama transit, Pacific crossing (via Hawaii and Samoa) to NZ, from there Sydney NSW, Australia's Gold Coast, Great Barrier Reef, Darwin and Vietnam to Hong Kong.
Queen Victoria's 2021 deployment offers 38 combinations (from 2 to 112 nights); 41,000+ nautical miles of cruising travel, 39 ports in 24 countries, overnights in Cape Town, Honolulu, Hong Kong, San Francisco, Singapore, Sydney; 25 UNESCO sites, Panama Canal transit.
- In December 2020-early 2021, Queen Elizabeth offers a series of roundtrip cruises from international ports with regionally-focused itineraries. In between the deployments are exotic grand voyages. QE is due to operate 4 roundtrip cruises from Melbourne and 4 from Sydney, covering the regions of South Australia, New Zealand, and Tasmania. New in 2021 is a couple of "open-jaw" NZ voyages, sailing from Auckland to Sydney and the reverse.
At the end of her Australian season in March, the ship sails north to Japan via Southeast Asia. The cruise includes destinations like Papua New Guinea, Singapore, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Taiwan, Philippines.
QE's Japan deployment, from mid-April through mid-May 2021, consists of 4 roundtrip journeys from Tokyo. A couple of 9-night trips highlight the nature and cultural roots of Japan's main islands of Kyushu and Honshu and are timed to coincide with the spring blooms across the region. The 3rd roundtrip cruise, a 7-night itinerary, coincides with Golden Week, a celebratory time that features a number of Japanese holidays. The 4th roundtrip cruise is a new itinerary, sailing to Okinawa archipelago and Taiwan. It features a maiden visit to the island of Miyakojima and is due to arrive in the tropical islands of the archipelago at the start of the peak season.
Queen Elizabeth's deployment 2021 include Grand Voyages, 82 itineraries (2 to 39 nights), 49,000+ nautical miles of cruising, 46 ports in 10 different countries, maiden port calls in New Plymouth NZ, Lyttleton NZ, Miyakojima Japan and Hualien Taiwan, overnights in Auckland NZ, Hobart Tasmania, Hong Kong, Singapore and Wellington NZ, visits to 24 UNESCO Sites, scenic cruising in New Zealand's Fiordland Park.
Additional 2020-2021 cruises on Queen Mary 2 and Queen Victoria include Queen Mary 2's 7-night Transatlantic Crossings departing Dec 8 and 15, 2020, Jan 3 and Apr 19, 2021; as well as a 12-night Caribbean roundtrip itinerary from New York departing Dec 22, 2020. In January and April 2021, Queen Victoria offers 2- and 4-night Short Break sailings from Hamburg and Southampton.
Cunard Line's 2021 program features an extended Japan season plus new itineraries visiting Iceland and Baltic Sea ports. QM2 will increase Cunard's regularly scheduled Transatlantic Crossings in 2021, adding New England and Canada voyages and short-breaks in Europe. Queen Victoria has a new 14-night itinerary in Iceland and a new 9-night Baltic cruise with maiden port call Aarhus, Denmark. Queen Elizabeth spends more time in East Asia with 5 Tokyo roundtrips, a maiden port call at Seogwipo (Jeju Island, South Korea), and two Southeast Asia voyages before the relocation to Australia.
QM2 is the world's only cruise liner with regularly-scheduled ocean crossings (between London and NYC New York). The vessel offers 23 Transatlantic Crossings (April through December 2021), including from Hamburg and Le Havre-Paris. QM2's New England and Canada cruise deals include a July 4th itinerary (with Boston overnight) and in early-October - overnights in Quebec City. Other itineraries include the Caribbean, Norwegian Fjords, 5-night short breaks in Western Europe.
Queen Mary 2's itinerary highlights include:
- 23 (7- and 8-night) Transatlantic Crossings, including departures from Hamburg and Le Havre
- 5-night Western Europe Short Breaks, that can be added to a Transatlantic Crossing (booked separately) with stops in Cherbourg, Rotterdam, St Peter Port (Guernsey Island, UK), Zeebrugge
- 3 (7-night) Norwegian Fjord itineraries roundtrip from London (July and August)
- 4th of July (6-night) Independence Day themed voyage roundtrip from NYC with an overnight in Boston MA
- 2 (7-night) New England and Canada itineraries between NYC and Quebec City (October 1 and Oct 8), with overnight in Quebec City
- 1 (14-night) roundtrip NYC to New England and Canada
- 2 Caribbean itineraries (NYC roundtrips) including holiday-themed voyages (Thanksgiving Christmas and New Year).
Queen Victoria cruises in Northern Europe (May-November 2021) plus several Southern Europe cruises in late spring and autumn - all are roundtrips from Southampton UK. The ship makes a maiden call in Aarhus and offers overnights in St Petersburg, Reykjavik, Funchal, Lisbon. Evening departures are offered from Liverpool, Tromso, Narvik, Funchal.
Queen Victoria itinerary highlights include:
- 2 new (14-night) itineraries in Iceland - the first one visits Liverpool and Belfast, the other Invergordon and New Haven, plus the Faroes, Inverness, Reykjavik
- 1 new (9-night) Baltic itinerary to Aarhus (a maiden call), Bornholm, St Petersburg, Helsinki, Kiel, Goteborg
- 1 new (12-night) North Cape itinerary to 6 Norwegian ports
- 1 (13-night) British Isles itinerary to Inverness, Liverpool, Glasgow, Belfast, St Peter Port
- 4 (7-night) Norwegian Fjord itineraries
- 2 (14-night) Western Mediterranean itineraries to Oporto, Barcelona, Cannes, Gibraltar.
- 1 (19-night) Central Mediterranean itinerary to Dubrovnik, Zadar, Sibenik
- 2 (14-night) Canary Islands itineraries to Gran Canaria, Lanzarote, Tenerife
- 1 (4-night) Western Europe mini-cruise to Bruges and Rotterdam.
In 2021, Queen Elizabeth has an extended Japan homeporting season with 2 additional Tokyo roundtrips. The first one visits Busan, Fukuoka, Kagoshima, Nagasaki, with a maiden call at Seogwipo (Jeju Island). The second circumnavigates Japan and visits Aomori, Akita, Busan, Kanazawa, Nagasaki. Following the June-August Alaskan season, Queen Elizabeth returns to Japan for 3 Tokyo roundtrips and then repositions to Southeast Asia with overnights in Hong Kong, Singapore, Shanghai. Since November, the liner cruises in Australia New Zealand.
Queen Elizabeth itinerary highlights include:
- 5 roundtrip Tokyo itineraries (7 to 9 nights) in May, September, and October
- 2 Asian itineraries (8 and 10 nights) to Nagasaki, Hong Kong, Hanoi, Da Nang, Shanghai, Singapore
- 1 (15-night) Asia-Australia repositioning itinerary from Singapore to Sydney NSW (November) visiting Bali, Brisbane, Jakarta
- 1 (11-night) Australia-NZ itinerary (Sydney to Auckland) visiting Melbourne, Bay of Islands, Dunedin.
In September 2020, Cunard Line announced its new 2021 itineraries on Queen Elizabeth. The iconic liner sails on 3- to 14-night European voyages before making her way through Asia to Australia to end the cruise season. Queen Elizabeth is scheduled to sail from Southampton UK and, later in 2021, from Barcelona Spain.
Passengers wanting to explore Europe can experience the British coast, visit Norway or Iberia. For the first time since 2014, Cunard's Queen Elizabeth is sailing a series of Mediterranean fly-cruises departing from Barcelona, and calling at the French Riviera, Italy's west coast, and the islands of Corsica and Majorca. The ship is scheduled to finish her season with a Suez Canal transit and the Indian Ocean crossing to Singapore prior to sailing to Australia.
The new cruise program commences in Southampton UK on April 27 and ends on December 19, 2021, in Melbourne, Australia. The 2021 itineraries feature a series of overnight port calls to Copenhagen, Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Lisbon, Auckland, and Singapore, with late evening departures from Barcelona, Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Colombo, Fremantle, Aqaba.
Cunard's 2022 "World and Exotic Voyage Program" (January through April) features a full World Cruise, itineraries in Australia and Asia (Japan), an Around South America voyage (passing Cape Horn). Cunard's fleet is scheduled to visit 93 destinations in 42 countries, with 5 maiden port calls (Brazil, Australia, Japan, Vanuatu). MS Queen Elizabeth 2021 Alaskan season has 7 roundtrips from Victoria BC or Vancouver BC, ranging from 10 to 12 nights.
2022 marks a special year in the company's history as it is the 100th Anniversary of Cunard's first World Cruise when American Express Company chartered MS Laconia liner for the first continuous circumnavigation of the world by a passenger ship - following in the path of Magellan's fleet 400 years previously. During the last century, World Cruise has become the ultimate travel experience. No other company has taken more cruisers on world voyages than Cunard.
In early-2022, Queen Victoria continues the company's tradition of world cruising via operating a full westbound World Voyage. She is expected to sail more than 37,600 nautical miles and call at 29 ports in 19 countries.
Cunard's 2022 cruise schedule for Queen Mary 2, Queen Elizabeth, and Queen Victoria went on sale on November 17, 2020. 35+ countries feature in the 162 itineraries, covering from the north of the Arctic Circle to the Mediterranean as well from the Pacific to the Atlantic Ocean, via the Panama Canal.
Queen Elizabeth is returning to Alaska with 7 and 10-night sailings, departing from and returning to Vancouver BC, visiting Glacier Bay, Haines, Hubbard Glacier, Skagway, Juneau, Sitka, Ketchikan, and Victoria. 10-night Alaska cruises start at US$1600 per person.
From Alaska, Queen Elizabeth sails through the Panama Canal, across to the Mediterranean, where she is scheduled to embark on a series of 7- and 14-night fly-cruises from Barcelona.
Highlights on Queen Mary 2 include a 7-night Independence Day Celebration, featuring an overnight in Boston and calls at Bar Harbor and Halifax, as well as her transatlantic crossings with 19 new cruises between New York and Southampton UK.
Examples of the new 2022 itineraries include:
- 10-night Alaska (US$1600) on Queen Elizabeth departing June 14, 2022, roundtrip from Vancouver with ports of call Juneau, Hubbard Glacier, Skagway, Glacier Bay, Sitka, Ketchikan, Victoria BC.
- 14-night Panama Canal (US$2100) on Queen Elizabeth, departing July 26, 2022, from Los Angeles to Port Everglades (Fort Lauderdale) with ports of call Cabo San Lucas, Puntarenas, Panama Canal, and Oranjestad.
- 7-night Transatlantic East (US$950) on Queen Mary 2, departing December 3, 2022, from New York to Southampton, including a return flight from the UK to the US.
- 13-night Eastern Caribbean (US$2400) on Queen Mary 2, departing November 20, 2022, roundtrip from New York with ports of call Saint Maarten, Barbados, Saint Lucia, Saint Kitts, U.S. Virgin Islands.
- 7-night Independence Day Celebration (US$1750) on Queen Mary 2, departing July 1, 2022, roundtrip from New York with ports of call Bar Harbor, Boston, and Halifax.
IMPORTANT: In an acknowledgment of the UK FCO (Foreign and Commonwealth Office) guidance and the complexity of operating world cruises, in August 2020 Cunard extended its pause in operations from November 2020 through March 25, 2021, for Queen Elizabeth; through April 18, 2021, for Queen Mary 2 and through May 16, 2021, for Queen Victoria. All Queen Elizabeth cruises due to depart between March 26, 2021-December 13, 2021, in and around Alaska, Japan and Australia, were cancelled. These sailings were replaced with shorter European itineraries (3 to 14 nights) departing roundtrip from Southampton UK. These are scheduled to start at the end of March 2021, with a series of trips around the west coast of Ireland, the coast of Cornwall, and the Scottish Isles. There are short-breaks to Amsterdam Holland (overnight port stays) as well as cruises to northern and southern European destinations (like Norway and Iberia) with some itineraries offering overnight port stays.
The new program of MS Queen Elizabeth is to be completed with a series of 7- and 14-night sailings in the Mediterranean from homeport Barcelona Spain.
NOTE: Cunard resumes operations from July 19, 2021, as Queen Elizabeth welcomes passengers onboard for a series of UK cruises from Southampton England. Beginning October 13, 2021, the ship is to sail internationally with new journeys to the Canary Islands and the Iberian coast. Queen Elizabeth is then due to leave the UK in mid-February 2022 to resume her previously scheduled season in Japan from April 13.
Queen Mary 2 is expected to resume sailing with a Transatlantic Crossing on November 14 as per her existing schedule and will sail on a series of cruises around the Caribbean between January-April 2022, with embarkation options from Southampton UK, New York City, and Hamburg Germany, before resuming her existing schedule on April 24, next year.
Queen Victoria is due to embark on 3 new cruises departing from Southampton UK from April 22, 2022, including the Baltics, the Iberian Coast, and Western Europe, before resuming her existing schedule on May 20, 2022.
Because of the ongoing complexities of navigating global travel, the company announced that they are cancelling the following cruises:
- Queen Elizabeth's voyages from the United Kingdom to Australia and her homeport season in Australia from October 18 up to and including March 9, next year.
- 2022 World Voyages on Queen Victoria and Queen Mary 2.
- Queen Victoria's voyages from September 10 up to and including April 29, 2022.
However, 5 Queen Victoria cruises were transfered onto identical Queen Elizabeth sailings (booking codes V126, V128, V129, V130, V201).
Cunard shore excursions in Alaska
Cunard Line offers 140+ shore excursions in Alaska, including "Whale Watching and Wildlife Quest", "Sea Otter and Wildlife Quest", "Taku Lodge Feast and Five-Glacier Seaplane Discovery", "Dogsled Adventure by Helicopter", "Wilderness Sea Kayaking Adventure", "Cooking in Alaska's Wildest Kitchen", "Bering Sea Crab Fishermen's Tour", "Scenic Mountain Ascent and World's Largest ZipRider". Other Alaskan tours are themed as ATV Expedition, Wilderness Cruise and Silverking Lodge Seafood Feast, White Pass Scenic Railway (Luxury Class), Great Alaskan Lumberjack Show and Crab Feast, Misty Fjords Seaplane Exploration, Ghosts, and Goodtime Girls Walking Tour, Exclusive Burro Creek Waterfall Lodge and Crab Feast.
Cunard also offers pre- and post-cruise train tours inclusive of a 3- or 5-day hotel plus 2 full train travel days on the Rocky Mountaineer.
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Cunard Line confirmed that its “Grand Escape Voyages” are commencing in October 2021. Voyages range from 2 to 40 nights, offering...July 15, 2021
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