An extensive program of themed voyages, special event sailings, celebrity guest speakers and curated one-time events onboard the line’s three ships, to take place during the 2017/18 calendar years has been detailed by luxury British cruising brand Cunard.
Covering the period from June 2017 to the end of November 2018, the near 18-month season features events and themed appealing to a huge range of niche and mainstream interests. Voyages take place in a wide variety of locations around the world and onboard all three Cunard ships Queen Mary 2, Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth.
The lineup includes, in chronological order:
New York Times Insights Series: From May to December 2017, six experts from the iconic newspaper covering fields such as climate change, global security, economics, sports and politics will join selected east-bound Cunard trans-Atlantic voyages on Queen Mary 2. These guest speakers will host special presentations in the ship’s theatre.
Festival of Flowers – June 8, 2017: This 14-night Queen Victoria cruise from the UK port of Southampton visits ports in Portugal, Spain and the Canary Islands. It is a floral theme cruise, with excursions to the gardens and flower markets available in many of the ports visited. Also includes dinner at the Quinta Jardins do Lago botanical garden hotel in Madeira, Spain and workshops onboard focused on the floral arts.
Kiel Week – June 10, 2017: A voyage for sailing enthusiasts, this Queen Elizabeth cruise to St Petersburg, Russia stops in Kiel, Germany during Kiel Week – a festival of classic and modern watercraft as well as German music and food. Other ports include Hamburg, Copenhagen, Stockholm and Tallinn.
Fourth of July – July 1, 2017: Setting sail from New York, this cruise on Queen Mary 2 takes in America’s Independence Day in Boston, also calling in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
Arts & Literary Tour – July 1, 2017: A cruise of the British Isles and Western Europe on Queen Elizabeth, this cruise visits Rotterdam, Newhaven and Liverpool and features Book Club gatherings and events focusing on the works of Jane Austen, Beatrix Potter and more. Special guests include Charles Dickens Museum trustee Louise West and actor Robert Powell.
Queen Elizabeth Big Band Ball – August 20, 2017: Cunard will have a big orchestra onboard for this cruise to the Netherlands and Belgium. Aimed at fans of ballroom dance, the Queen’s Room Ballroom will be playing classic Glenn Miller, Count Basie and Duke Ellington.
Trans-Atlantic Fashion Week – August 31, 2017: This second annual cruise on Queen Mary 2 features fashion shows, exhibitions, lectures, hosted dinners and audiences with special guests including well-known designers and commentators, arriving into New York in time for the start of New York Fashion Week.
Fiftieth Anniversary of QEII – September 8, 2017: A mighty 17-night voyage into the Eastern Mediterranean from Southampton, this voyage visits Spain, Greece, Croatia and Italy among others, with a highlight being a special formal dinner on 20 September celebrating the 50th anniversary of the elegant and graceful ship QEII, which sailed from 1969 to 2008.
Five-Hundredth Anniversary of Le Havre, France – September 14, 2017: A big party is planned for the French port town to celebrate its 500th birthday. Queen Mary 2 will visit as part of a Trans-Atlantic crossing before continuing on to New York.
World Space Week – October 6, 2017: This cruise is aimed at those who gaze into the open sky and wonder what else is out there. This Trans-Atlantic crossing on Queen Mary 2 features special guests including a former space shuttle pilot and astronaut, a representative of Virgin Galactic and a renowned NASA historian.
Queen Victoria Big Band Ball – November 13, 2017: Similar to the aforementioned cruise on sister ship Queen Elizabeth, this cruise will offer dancing to the melodic tunes of Ella Fitzgerald, Frank Sinatra and Michael Buble among many others.
New York Times Crossword Fans – December 8, 2017: If you’re a fan of problem solving and crosswords, this Trans-Atlantic cruise on Queen Mary 2 will feature New York Times crossword editors hosting daily game sessions, lectures and crossword activities.
Voyage Du Vin – June 1, 2018: The first Voyage Du Vin for Queen Victoria, this cruise takes guests to some of Europe’s most well-known wine and port destinations including Oporto, Lisbon and Vigo in Portugal. Cunard’s full 400-strong wine list will be on show, with numerous tasting opportunities, special dinners and master classes. Guests can also join the Cunard Wine Academy and enrol in the Wines & Spirits Education Trust Level 1 course.
Land of the Midnight Sun Photo Voyage – July 1, 2018: Wildlife and landscape artist Ross Hoddinott will be onboard this Queen Elizabeth cruise, providing specialist tips to guests as the ship visits the Norwegian Fjords and the Arctic Circle to photograph the ‘Midnight Sun’.
A Journey of Genealogy – November 4, 2018: In partnership with Ancestry.com, Cunard will cater to travellers eager to trace their family trees on this Queen Mary 2 Trans-Atlantic cruise. Ancestry experts will be onboard, helping travellers scour records and learn more about their family timeline and even ethnic origins.
Cartoonists at Sea – June-November 2018: Regular east-bound Trans-Atlantic cruises over this five-month period will feature guest cartoonists as they host lectures & workshops, sharing the secrets of how to design a cartoon and accurately send an intended message.