Posts Tagged ‘Cunard’

My Most Unique Ships

August 17, 2018

There are hundreds, of cruise ships out there, but only one modern day Ocean liner.

In 2003, when she entered service, Cunard’s QM2 at 151,400 gross tonnes was the biggest, the longest, tallest and most expensive passenger ship in the world,

The QM2 was built as an ‘Ocean Liner’ for the rigours of the North Atlantic, even in winter. Other cruise ships are now bigger than her, but the QM2 will still retain the crown of world’s biggest ‘Ocean Liner’ for many years to come.

The QM2 is a unique one-off design. She is stronger, more powerful/faster and has a longer endurance than all other cruise ships, which are often designed for fair-weather cruising in the Caribbean.

The other Queen’s (Victoria and Elizabeth) are actually vista design ‘cruise ships’ with Ocean liner decor.

The Queen Mary 2 is DEFINITELY one of my most unique ships, that I have cruised on.

Queen Mary 2 review: HERE


Featured Ship: Cunard’s Queen Victoria

May 1, 2018

MS Queen Victoria (QV) is a Vista-class cruise ship operated by the Cunard Line and is named after the British Monarch Queen Victoria.

Queen Victoria is of the same basic design as other Vista-class cruise ships including Queen Elizabeth. The external and internal designs are more in keeping with Cunard’s style and at 90,049 GT, and is the smallest of Cunard’s ships in operation.

Queen Victoria’s facilities include seven restaurants, thirteen bars, three swimming pools, a ballroom, and a theatre.[3]

Unlike many previous Cunard ships, Queen Victoria is not a traditional ocean liner as she does not have the heavy plating throughout the hull nor the propulsion system of a dedicated transatlantic liner. However the bow was constructed with heavier plating to cope with the transatlantic run, and the ship has a high freeboard. The Queen Mary 2 had cost approximately $300,000 US per berth, nearly double that of many contemporary cruise ships, so Cunard made the economical decision to base Queen Victoria on a modified Vista-class cruise ship, and Queen Elizabeth retains the same design with some minor changes.

Originally destined to be an addition to the Holland America Line fleet, the order for a Vista-class vessel put into Fincantieri was soon transferred by Carnival Corporation & plc (parent company to Holland America, Cunard, and P&O) to Cunard with the intent that the vessel would become the MS Queen Victoria.


Cunard Queen Victoria review see: HERE

Queen Elizabeth to be Based in Australia

February 20, 2018

(Courtesy Cunard)

Cunard have  announced that the Queen Elizabeth will be based in Australia for a 101 days for the 2019-2020 cruise season.

The Queen Elizabeth will sail on six roundtrip cruises from Melbourne and two from Sydney during the season, which will feature an array of itineraries to South Australia, Tasmania, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea between December 2019 and March 2020.

The new 2020 Australian deployment will be almost double the length of Queen Elizabeth’s scheduled 54-day season Down Under early next year, which will see the ship sailing from Sydney and Melbourne during February-March 2019, according to a statement.


2022: A New ‘Pinnacle Class’ Cunarder

September 25, 2017

New Cunarder: 2nd from left – click to enlarge  (Cunard)

Over the last few years we have had so much to be proud of at Cunard – from the magnificent celebrations for our 175th anniversary, that drew crowds of more than a million people in Liverpool, to the stunning £120m refurbishments of our flagship Queen Mary 2 and Queen Victoria. And, as we mark 50 years since the naming of our much loved liner QE2, we wanted to share our most exciting news yet.

In 2022, a new ship will join Queen Mary 2, Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth as the fourth member of the fleet, the first new Cunard ship in 12 years and the first time since 1998 that we’ll have four ships in simultaneous service.


(Courtesy Cunard)

Sharing the iconic livery and red funnels, the new ship will accommodate up to 3,000 guests. Distinct Cunard signatures and brand new experiences will combine as part of this next generation of the Cunard fleet and we’re looking forward to sharing exciting details in the coming years.

Yours sincerely,

Simon Palethorpe
Senior Vice President, Cunard.


(Courtesy Cunard)

Malcolm says: Well that was a surprise. I did not see that one coming.  She will be the biggest Cunarder yet, in terms of passenger capacity (not volume/gross tonnage). She’s the first new Cunard ship to enter service in 7 years, making it the first time since 1998 that Cunard will have four ships in simultaneous service.

Cuanrd have not revealed very much as yet. We do know that the new ship will be 113,000-gross-tonne and will carry 3,000 passengers. It will be built by the Italian shipbuilder, Fincantieri.

However the design will be based on Holland America Lines’s  ‘Koningsdam’. This ‘Pinnacle’ class design is a slightly bigger version of the ‘Vista’ class, like Cunard’s QV and QE are. Using existing ship designs is a cheap way for Carnival to add tonnage to thie brands.

QV and QE are around 91,000 gross tonnes and carry up to 2,547 passengers. The new ship will carry 453 more passengers. (The Queen Mary 2 is around 150,000 gt  but only carries up to 2,620 passengers. That’s spacious!)

The new ship is no  beauty Queen either, she looks a bit like ‘Norwegian Epic’ to me, with a very top-heavy superstructure, when compare to QV and QE.

 The ‘Koningsdam’ design does have a walk-around promenade deck, but it is not the traditional design, which has always been a popular Cunard feature. The lifeboats sit on the promenade deck with just a narrow walkway behind them, obscuring much of the promenade view. I hear ‘HAL’ regulars were not impressed with this aspect of the design. Will the new Cunarder have the same design flaw?

Cunard is currently undertaking a fleet-wide upgrade programme that saw $90 million spent on the refurbishment of Queen Mary 2 in 2016 and $40 million spent on Queen Victoria earlier in 2017. Queen Elizabeth is expected to undergo a similar upgrade in 2018.

Click to enlarge (Courtesy Cunard)

Cunard’s ‘Vista’ class cruise ships are quite different, from a technical point of view, from the bespoke ‘ocean liner’ Queen Mary 2. She is specifically designed for the rigours of the North Atlantic during transatlantic crossings. The other Cunarder’s (and the new one) are all conventional ‘cruise ships’.

Queen Mary 2 review: HERE

Queen Victoria review: HERE

Queen Mary 2 Interior Design

November 6, 2011

The QM2 is a wonderful ship, but like all ships she does have some quirks.

Have you ever wondered why the QM2’s ‘Kings Court’ (buffet) has a long, confusing, far from ideal, design?  Why is the Night Club (G32) is so out of keeping with the rest of the ship in terms of decor and can only accesses through the ‘Queens Room’. ( The dance music can leak through G32’s doors out into the more sedate ‘Queens Room’.) Why was ‘Todd English’ picked for the alternative dining restaurant.

Gerry Ellis, a former chief officer of the Queen Elizabeth 2  served as the QM2 project coordinator.  He explained for how the QM2’s design was all a compromise:

The layouts of the rooms were a continually changing scene through the 5 years leading up to the delivery of the ship. Many of the locations are where they are for good reason, often structural, sometimes compromise for operational reasons.

Todd English was originally to be a Lido style restaurant that opened up onto the aft deck. It was also intended to be linked strongly to the Lido on deck 7 through the staircase on the port side. That staircase was considered as an escalator or a wider sweeping stair to ensure the connection was made. There was then a campaign to get recognisable chef’s or restaurants on-board that would match the product that was being sold. Originally, Todd English was to be “Rules” restaurant. Rules is the oldest restaurant in London, is very popular amongst politicians and city business men. Their menu is very traditional old style English – surprisingly good. Actually exceptionally good. They have their own land and parks in Scotland where you can bag your own fowl and the restaurant will serve it to you a little while later in London. It was all very old style upper class England, very authentic and would have been lapped up in the States. It was then decided that that was too specific and narrow spectrum and Todd English came on scene. By now of course, the idea of going back to a simple Lido restaurant was forgotten and we have what we have now. The link to the Lido on deck 7 was not required to be as strong so the staircase was reduced to the one on the port side that we have now.

The Grills need a specific galley with different equipment and layout. The supply for these needs to be on elevator and crew stairways in line with the stores, below. The one galley serves both restaurants and this means the Grill chef’s can operate together. One of the only viable locations for this was where they are now. They needed to be somewhere next to open deck as this gives them a cache that would not exist if they were internal or lower down.

G32 was originally “The Yacht Club” by the way and was a much more gentile, cocktail bar like the one on QE2 – It was then decided we needed a conventional night club and we changed the decor and the name – (G32 was my idea). The transition between the entrance and the Queen’s room was always going to be awkward. The challenge was the change in deck level between the aft end of the Britannia restaurant, through the Queens room and into G32. There is a half deck height change in order to accommodate the ‘tween deck passages through the restaurant between the upper and lower levels (it was very difficult to envisage this in the design stages and caused many headaches…)

In addition, there is no passenger staircase at the entrance to G32 as there is crew area above and stores below. Only a small crew staircase. We were taking advantage of the availability of space that could be used for a public room but that could only be accessed through the same deck. Because it is so isolated, it means it is a good space for a nightclub as no passenger cabins are disturbed. That brings us back to the challenge of the transition from the Queen’s room. There was just enough space to put an ‘airlock’ with a double door arrangement. This is negated when both sets of doors are opened at the same time. This arrangement was obviously a compromise but the alternative was to use the space as storage. There was not sufficient capacity on the stairs to build extra cabins.

The Lido (Kings Court) was going to be a sprawling affair and an attempt was made to give each section a character of its own to break it down, this led to the idea of using the space in the evening in separate restaurants. I think this works well, actually better than during the day when the theming may not be strong enough to delineate the areas. The design of the ship did not help here. She has a very strong ‘backbone’ in the centre of the ship that acts like a structural spine. It means that the space outboard of this structure is slightly less than on a conventional cruise ship without this very strong box spine. It was always going to be a challenge.

There was a great deal of planning went into the ship. The team wrestled with this type of problem for many, many hours. There was often a challenge due to the nature of the ship being an Ocean Liner with non conventional shape and not an empty box to layout as freely as normal. She is a very different animal and I stand by the design and layout as the best that could have been done with the restrictions and parameters that we had, some of which I have touched on here.

Source: Gerry Ellis/Travelpage (2006)