MAGAZINE: Cunard flagship Queen Mary 2 sets sail on first voyage following Â£90m investment
The world's only ocean liner '“ Queen Mary 2 '“ sailed into Southampton Water yesterday alongside fleet mates Queen Elizabeth and Queen Victoria following the most significant refit ever undertaken by Cunard.
Later in the day she set sail to New York on her first transatlantic crossing following her extensive remastering in Hamburg for the past five weeks.
Cunard has made the major investment in the iconic ship in the same year as it celebrates the 80th anniversary of the original Queen Mary, the liner that heralded a new era of luxury ocean travel in the post-depression 1930s. Many of the refurbishments to QM2 have taken their design inspiration from the art deco era of stylish ocean travel. The remastering also includes:
Redesign and refurbishment of all of its luxury staterooms and penthouse suites, which will be completed by the end of 2016
The addition of a further 30 staterooms due to the growing demand for first class luxury accommodation
For the first time on board Queen Mary 2, 15 single staterooms, built for growing number of solo travellers
Redesign and refurbishment of its lounges, fine dining restaurants and buffet areas
An additional 10, taking to 22 in total, comfortably furnished kennels on the world’s only cruise liner kennel and cattery plus the addition of a Liverpool lamppost and New York fire hydrant to make them feel at home while they are being taken for walks by the Cunard Kennel Master
A full repaint of the entire superstructure and major mechanical and engineering improvements
The global cruise industry is enjoying an extended period of growth. In 1990 the industry carried 3.7 million passengers worldwide. Last year that figure had reached 22.2 million and it is forecast to reach 25.3 million by 2019.*
As the number of travellers taking cruise holidays is increasing so is the age range and the demographic. No longer the preserve of retired couples, more and more single travellers are choosing to cruise solo but also larger multi-generational family groups as well.
Before beginning the remastering, Cunard carried out extensive consultations with customers who said they wanted to enjoy greater luxury at sea. Post the 23rd June, the 176-year-old Cunard will continue to make improvements, therefore ensuring that the evolving needs of guests and being both met and exceeded.
*Figures taken from Cruise Market Watch 2015 report www.cruisemarketwatch.com