VALENCIA, CALIF. - Cunard's flagship liner Queen Mary 2 will set sail this month on her first voyage following an investment in the region of $132 million, one of the most significant refurbishments undertaken by the world's most venerable passenger shipping line, now marking 176 years in operation.
On 23rd June the remastered liner will sail into Southampton Water flanked by fleet royalty Queen Elizabeth and Queen Victoria, to be greeted by a host of high-profile guests. The vessel will then set sail for New York, continuing her schedule of iconic transatlantic crossings, a unique journey that has been enjoyed across the decades by famous personalities from the Golden Age of Ocean travel including Audrey Hepburn, Clarke Gable and Winston Churchill, to political figures and luminaries of today such as Archbishop Desmond Tutu, President George H.W. Bush, film maker Wes Anderson, actress Tilda Swinton, James Taylor, and many others.
The luxury liner has been lovingly remastered with new contemporary interior designs and guest experiences, some of which take inspiration from the original Queen Mary that launched at the height of the art-deco movement in the 1930s. Cunard's investment, marking 80 years since the original liner launched, has ensured every detail from the carpets to the curtains recalls that iconic vessel which became a symbol of British elegance.
The remastering features:
- Redesign and refurbishment of the Queens Grill and Princess Grill suites and restaurants, as well as Britannia staterooms, the latter to be fully complete by the end of the year
- The addition of 30 further Britannia Club staterooms, 15 Britannia single staterooms and five Britannia inside staterooms
- Redesign of key public spaces and restaurants, including the transformation of the former Winter Garden into the Carinthia Lounge, the introduction of The Verandah as the ship's new speciality restaurant, and the complete refresh and restructuring of the Kings Court, the ship's popular buffet area
- 10 additional kennels, complete with Liverpool lamp post and New York fire hydrant to make dogs feel at home in the world's only transatlantic kennel service
- And as befitting the flagship of the Cunard fleet, a complete repaint of the ship exterior and significant technical enhancements and structural changes
Over one million man hours has gone in to the refurbishment, over a 25 day period, 594,000 square feet of luxurious new carpets (the equivalent of 10 British football pitches) has been laid, 4,000 new framed pictures have been brought on board and over 3,900 gallons of paint have been applied to the ship's hull - are just a few examples of the sheer size and scale of these refurbishments.
The essence of Queen Mary 2 lies in allowing guests to lose themselves in a world of glamour, timeless sophistication and luxury. Alongside brand new dining experiences, guests can sample the delights of the world's finest wine cellar at sea, with a unique collection of 486 fine wines and a stunning collection of Ports, dating back to 1840.
This modern icon also plays host to some of the finest quintessential British and international brands, with an exclusive co-branded travel collection from Aspinal of London, and sought after Cartier products available for guests to purchase whilst on board.
The Queen Mary 2 experience is revered for its exceptional crew – in its 176 year history Cunard has seen seven of its Commodores knighted, an honour no other shipping company can claim. On board Queen Mary 2 today the level of expertise and tradition is not forgotten, with highly trained and attentive staff, all graduates from the ship's White Star Service Academy. From skilled personal butlers and concierge teams of the Cunard Grills to the teams of sommeliers and waiting staff across the breadth of dining venues – all are ready to cater for the needs of every guest.
"The significant investment into our flagship, Queen Mary 2, is indicative of our commitment to our guests, and to the special place that the ship holds, not only for those who are passionate about our famed ship, but also for the unique position she holds in the cruise landscape," said Richard Meadows, president, Cunard, North America. "From her spectacular debut in 2004, to her current remastering, Queen Mary 2 continues to capture the imagination of those who experience her classic ocean liner voyages."