Named after the late British monarch, Cunard’s Queen Victoria appropriately reflects a regal atmosphere corner-to-corner, despite being part of the world’s big ship ocean-going fleet.

Cunard is the world’s oldest cruise line, founded by Samuel Cunard in 1840 and celebrating its 175th birthday in 2015. Beginning as a Trans-Atlantic steam-ship mail operation in 1839, the line grew into a passenger line and at one point, merged with the White Star Line, taking on its shared history as operators of the most famous shipwreck ever, Titanic.

Despite the line’s extensive history, its fleet today is very modern, with its oldest currently operating ship – RMS Queen Mary 2 – setting sail in 2004. The newest Queen sailing today – RMS Queen Elizabeth – entered service in 2010. The three ships sail on annual World Cruises – Cunard’s most popular voyage – interrupted by occasional loop voyages in select regions and usually return to their home base in Southampton, England during the summer months.

Catering to just over 2,000 passengers and 900 crew, the mid-sized Queen Victoria delivers an elegant cruise experience with fittings such as spiral staircases resembling those of a classic British mansion. It is subtle luxury, featuring pieces such as well-maintained hedges, cane furniture around the pool and rich mahogany stairs. Artefacts of Cunard’s extensive maritime history feature around the ship including artworks, with some of the world’s most acclaimed literary works featuring in an extensively stocked library guests can borrow from.

Guests on Cunard enjoy dressing up for dinner, with jackets required for gentlemen and evening dresses for women, before retreating to the Queen’s Room for ballroom dancing and a nightcap. Alternatively, the elegantly appointed Royal Court Theatre features entertainment and the opportunity to book a private box complete with champagne and chocolates.

The Queens are often in Sydney on their World Cruise in the early months of the year, and Cruise Advice was welcomed onboard to marvel at Queen Victoria‘s grace and reverence.

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