December 30, 2011
We Are Cunard
Posted in: Updates
I hope you enjoyed your Christmas – now it’s time to look forward to 2012. We have an exciting year ahead at Cunard Line and I thought I would share with you some of the highlights coming up next year. Of course we all hope that you will be sailing with us in 2012 and if you have not yet made up your mind – then perhaps this will trigger some ideas for you.
10 January – Off Around the World – Both Queen Elizabeth and Queen Mary 2 will set off from Southampton and we will make sure it is a spectacular send off. Queen Elizabeth will be on her way across the Atlantic to New York and Queen Mary 2 on her way to South Africa.
4 February – Queen Elizabeth in San Francisco – Well I for one am not going to miss this one. When Queen Mary 2 first sailed under the Golden Gate Bridge it was a wonderful moment. We are hoping that this maiden arrival will be just as good – there is just something special about seeing the famous Cunard ships arriving in spectacular cities.
Let’s go around Australia – We worked out that all the best parts of Australia are on the outside. So for 2012 we decided to send Queen Mary 2 on a 23 night Royal Circumnavigation of Australia. There is some limited availability if you would like to join us. For me Sydney will be a highlight, I am hoping to be there when one of our ships is in town – and for the third year running I hope to climb the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Honestly – if you have not done it yet it is a must whatever your age – on my first climb we had a gentleman from California who was 85 with us and he said ‘It was on my bucket list – so here I am’ (In 2013 – Queen Mary 2 will be going around New Zealand)
Three Queens for the Diamond Jubilee – it is quite remarkable that Her Majesty will have been on the throne for 60 years. On the very day that the country will celebrate this – 5 June – we will have our three Queens in Southampton for an event to pay our own tribute to Her Majesty. There are many ways for you to join us. If you book to travel on one of the voyages that end in Southampton that day (Queen Mary 2 New York-Southampton 29 May, Queen Elizabeth 13nts Mediterranean 23 May, Queen Victoria 14nts Fjords 22 May) – then you will enjoy a wonderful early morning three Queens arrival. If you book to travel on one of the voyages departing that day – then it will be a special day in Southampton. In the evening – after dinner – we will light up the sky over our three ships with our own tribute to Her Majesty. You can choose to sail that day on Queen Mary 2 5nts Getaway Break, Queen Elizabeth 14nts Baltic or Queen Victoria 17nts Adriatic Explorer. Please don’t miss being with us on the 5 June – a great day for Queen, country and Cunard Line.
The London Olympics – a great celebration of sport. Happily – as I play field hockey – my wife has managed to secure 4 tickets for the Mens Hockey final. And the Cycling Road Race (which I can assure you will be won by our own Mark Cavendish) goes past the end of the road where we live. So the Shanks Family are looking forward to the Olympics. For our friends in North America – why not spend a few weeks in the UK – you could travel over on Queen Mary 2 from New York on the 6-13 July, take in the Olympics and then travel back on Queen Mary 2 on the 21 August – perfect. Of course there may be those who say they just don’t want to be around for the Olympics – well what better way to escape than on a Cunard Voyage.
Queen Elizabeth Maiden Fly Mediterranean Season – Now if I was looking for something special then this is what I would choose. She will be sailing on 7 twelve night voyages in the Mediterranean from September to November– you can choose to join her in Rome, Athens or Venice. Last year I took an Eastern Med voyage on one of our sister lines and it was fabulous. The best way to do it is to fly out a couple of days before the voyage and explore Rome, Venice or Athens. That way, when you board Queen Elizabeth you will be completely relaxed and ready to enjoy the voyage. The itineraries are very rich – and the prices are very keen. I was in North America recently – and read of and heard a lot of concern about travelling to Europe. Well – it’s OK over here you know – we are all still here. I am hopeful that the ‘Arab Spring’ disruption will have calmed down – in fact much of it already has. And in terms of value for money – well the European resorts thrive on tourism and there has probably never been a better time to come. And if you do come over – then joining Queen Elizabeth on her maiden season down in the Mediterranean would be a great way to see all the best places in style.
So there is much to look forward to – and here are a few things that I recommend you think about – either if you are already planning to join us and can look forward to this year or your mind is not yet made up;
Relaxing – so important on holiday – reading a book in our libraries, chilling out in Canyon Ranch or our Royal Spas, dozing on a steamer chair in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean – or sleeping on our most wonderful beds.
Eating – dining in Princess Grill or Queens Grill in my book is as good as any top restaurant in any top city in the world. The atmosphere in the main Britannia Dining Room on a formal night is a sight to behold and will make you feel very special indeed. A night out in our award winning Verandah Restaurant on Queen Elizabeth is stunning. And for lunch on all three ships you can now have one of our famous 7 minute fresh pizzas – always one of my favourites. Or if you want to be really British then join us for a pub lunch in The Golden Lion.
Exercise – as hard or as soft as you like. Our famous promenading (three times round deck 7 on Queen Mary 2 is a mile), our many pools and Jacuzzis – our excellent state of the art gyms with personal trainers – with Cunard you can relax as hard as you like.
Unique Experiences – the arrival into New York as the sun glints off the Statue of Liberty beats them all. But whichever port you arrive into – it’s not like being on any other white ship – the fact that you are on a Cunard Liner will make you feel rightly special.
Things to do – Julliard School of Music, Royal Academy of Dramatic Art plays and workshops, 3D cinema, Planetarium, fencing lessons, dancing, internet and iPad master classes, fascinating Insight lectures, art classes, awesome theatres (with private boxes) – there is so much to do and so little time.
And everything you do and experience with us in the year ahead will be supported and made possible by our wonderful ship’s company. You will hear us talking more of our famed White Star Service – it is what sets us apart and we are fortunate to have such wonderful people working with us to look after your every need.
So there is a lot to look forward to in the year ahead. And recognising that the economic outlook remains challenging – we have made sure that we offer the best possible value for our guests.
I do hope you are able to sail with us in the year ahead. If you have already booked – thank you so much and we look forward to taking great care of you. If you have yet to book – then I hope my outlook for the year ahead has nudged you in the right direction.
All of us at Cunard Line wish you and your friends and families a very Happy New Year!