March 4, 2015
Posted in: Forever Cunard
Today’s oceans are a crowded place, metaphorically speaking. There are many cruise lines plying the waves on all seven seas and each in their own way lays claim to one superlative or other. “The most luxurious ships”, “the largest number of facilities” and “the best cuisine at sea” are typical claims one sees on a daily basis. As a cruise line, Cunard is not inclined to join in this bunfight of superlatives. We like to think that the integrity and authenticity bestowed by a 175 year history speak volumes on our behalf without any recourse on our part to boastful claims. Indeed one such volume has recently been published by Cunard’s in house historian, Michael Gallagher.
So should you find yourself in one of the libraries aboard the Cunard Queens, we’d recommend you have a nose around in this book. You may find yourself in Queen Mary 2’s library which, with its 8000 volumes, is among the best stocked libraries at sea or in Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth’s libraries where the two decks of bulging book-lined shelves are linked by a helical staircase. Note, these are often erroneously referred to as spiral staircases but a spiral is an ever decreasing circle like a snail’s shell or a Mr. Whippy ice cream serving. These staircases are emphatically helical.
Anyway, I digress somewhat. The book is a right, riveting romp through Cunard’s history from the birth of the British & North American Royal Mail Steam Packet Company (my, what a mouthful, no wonder from the beginning it was known as the Cunard line) until the present day, via major historical events and significant inovations. This very well researched book contains some entertaining anecdotes and marvelous photographs and illustrations. For those of you who might not have time to read it all, here’s a handy and concise video synopsis where you can relive the past 175 years in 5 minutes!