July 6, 2011
We Are Cunard
Posted in: Updates
Hello all, on 14 July we go on sale with our 2013 World Voyages & Exotic Discoveries. We will have both Queen Victoria and Queen Mary 2 on World Voyages and of course Queen Elizabeth at the same time will be undertaking a voyage which starts in Southampton and goes right out through the Americas, through the Pacific, round New Zealand and back to Southampton. So for the very first time all three of our Queens in early 2013 will be away on long voyages.
We have been going round the world for many, many years, but I thought I would share with you how we pull these programmes together and the unique aspects of a long voyage with Cunard Line.
These days planning has to be done further and further in advance. We have yet to finish the selling cycle for our early 2012 World Voyages and here we are putting on sale the cruises for 2013. We find that with longer voyages our guests like to plan ahead, especially if it’s a full World Voyage, which could be between 105 and 110 days away from home. As the world of cruising grows in popularity we are also having to book key ports and destinations further in advance – this is especially true when it comes to destinations like Sydney and Hong Kong.
Planning World Voyages is one of the most fun things we do. You will find us in the office huddled around maps and atlases trying to find that unique blend of what we call “big hitting” ports as well as those smaller and more cultural destinations where our guests can really get a sense of local community and tradition. We also take account of how fortunate we are to have guests joining us from many different countries around the world. Where we can we use Queen Mary 2 to link different ships and itineraries between Southampton and New York and for 2012 and 2013 we have created the ability for our valued German guests to go right around the world with Cunard from Hamburg. You can even go round the world with us on two different ships – that is proving to be very popular. It is a chance to experience different ships and meet different people.
We also work hard to make sure we get a good balance between the full World Voyage and also some of the sectors so that guests can choose shorter duration holidays but still get a real sense of some of the exciting destinations that we visit. For example, going through the Asian destinations proves to be very popular, as do some of the longer voyages, say from Sydney to Cape Town or Hong Kong to Sydney. So for 2013 we believe we have a really good variety of offering for our guests – both our valued loyal guests and those looking to try a longer voyage for the first time.
As I mentioned, Queen Elizabeth is doing a very interesting long voyage from Southampton, but this can also be bought by our North American guests as a 36 night “Circle Pacific” voyage from Los Angeles, visiting the best destinations in the South Pacific and going round the beautiful islands of New Zealand.
Our most traditional World Voyage offering for 2013 will be on Queen Victoria. Now of course Queen Victoria spends 2011 and 2012 on her “Americas” deployment, visiting the Caribbean, Panama Canal and Hawaii. For 2013 she returns to a full circumnavigation of the world and our most traditional World Voyage offering. We expect this to be very popular with our guests right around the world. For example our North American guests can take this voyage from New York right the way round the world to Southampton and then join Queen Mary 2 on the same day to travel back to New York. Our North American guests can also pick this voyage up in Fort Lauderdale or San Francisco. Our British guests can board in Southampton with as much luggage as they can muster and go right around the world without ever seeing an airport – marvellous.
Queen Mary 2 on the other hand, is doing a different long voyage. Many of you will know that for the forthcoming 2012 World Voyage Queen Mary 2 will undertake her first Royal Circumnavigation of Australia. This 21 night voyage around all the best bits of Australia has sold extremely well and is popular both for those of our guests going right around the world and many Australians who will join for that sector. There is something rather cool about showing Australians the best of Australia. It wasn’t too difficult to work out the itinerary because all the best bits of Australia are in fact on the outside.
For 2013 we had to find a way of following that and therefore we have decided as part of the 2013 World Voyage with Queen Mary 2 to go round New Zealand from Sydney. I actually decided on this idea when I was visiting New Zealand earlier this year, both on Queen Elizabeth and Queen Mary 2. New Zealand is beautiful – it was my first time there and I was struck both by the beauty by the scenery as we sailed along the coast of South Island, but also from the very welcoming approach of both Wellington and Auckland. It was very sad that we were unable to visit Christchurch due to the tragic earthquake that took place just three days before Queen Mary 2 was planning to be in town. We instead went to Wellington and the way in which that particular port welcomed us and looked after our guests was terrific. It was there and then that I decided that for 2013 we would send our ships to New Zealand and send Queen Mary 2 around New Zealand – we hope in a little way that that we will give something back to New Zealand, but we also know that it is a beautiful destination for our guests to visit.
We look forward to welcoming many of our valued regular guests back to World Voyages with us, both in 2012 and for the new programme in 2013. We also look forward to welcoming the very special “once in a lifetime” guests who join us for their first ever World Voyage. There are, believe it or not, a lot of people who aspire throughout their career and working life to go around the world as soon as they retire. We look forward to welcoming them on board one of our ships in both 2012 and 2013.
Do have a look at the different offers that we have available, both for the forthcoming 2012 World Voyage and the very attractive offers we now have available for the launch of the 2013 World Voyages.
There are a number of cruise lines that offer Round the World Voyages, but we believe that with Cunard there are some experiences that are extra special when you go round the world on one of our ships. In recent years I have been fortunate to experience events such as:
- Hosting Archbishop Desmond Tutu on Queen Mary 2 sailing from Mauritius to Cape Town and listening to his awesome and frank lectures.
- Departing New York earlier this year with all three of our Queens under a festival of fireworks alongside the Statue of Liberty in New York.
- Sailing under the Golden Gate Bridge into San Francisco. Now I missed the arrival of Queen Mary 2 on her maiden call into San Francisco, but I am certainly not going to miss the maiden call of Queen Elizabeth into San Francisco next February. And we will be back there in 2013.
- I have twice witnessed the meeting of Queens in Sydney Harbour and it is quite remarkable. Whilst we don’t have a meeting of the Queens in Sydney in 2012 or 2013, we will of course have our ships calling into Sydney Harbour separately. The sight of a Cunard Queen coming into Sydney Harbour, whether you are standing on the steps of the Opera House or whether you are lucky enough to be on board, is indeed a sight to behold. It makes you proud to be British and it shows Sydney off like nothing else can. (By the way I challenge all of our guests to climb the bridge whilst in Sydney – I have done it the last two years and intend to be up there again next February).
- Being atop Queen Mary 2 a few miles of the coast of South Island of New Zealand with all the lights off seeing the most incredible night sky and hear our astronomer gasp out loud as he saw a star with his own eyes for the very first time.
- World Voyage Dinners – well they are something of a Cunard secret. A secret known very well to all those who have joined us on a full World Voyage, but not something that many other people know about. By way of saying Thank You to all those guests who book a full Round the World voyage with Cunard Line, we choose a sparkling venue in a major destination somewhere around the world and take all of our guests off the ship for a Gala Dinner. It is indeed a very special event and we will make it just as special in both 2012 and 2013. It is our small way of thanking those guests for their wonderful loyalty.
- Sailing into Dubai on one of our new Ocean Liners and berthing alongside our dearly beloved QE2. She remains much loved by all of us and going into Dubai each year gives us the opportunity to see the cherished past of Cunard Line from one of our new ships.
Many big white ships sail into many famous harbours around the world. But there is something unique and special about sailing in on a Cunard ship – with our famous colours and famous red funnel we turn heads. Thousands of boats and well-wishers often come out to greet us in key destinations – that makes us feel very special and reminds us all of the special history we have in so many ports around the world.
Lastly – and this was a pretty cool idea – a couple of years ago on Queen Mary 2 I met a recently retired surgeon. He was also a very keen golfer. He had decided that upon retirement he would go around the world on Queen Mary 2 and play a round of golf at the best golf club in every port we visited. He kept our Purser’s office quite busy. I think that too many of our Senior Officers were tempted to go and play golf with him. But what a fabulous way to spend over a 100 days and I never did check whether his handicap had improved as a result.
So I hope I have helped explain the magic and opportunity of a World Voyage with Cunard Line – be it a full circumnavigation or a sector to some of the more interesting ports and destinations around the world. We go on sale on 14 July for the 2013 programme. We also have some availability and keen offers on the 2012 World Voyage. So whichever one – or hopefully both – you plan to join us on we very much look forward to welcoming you on board.
That’s all for now