VALENCIA, Calif., Nov. 1 -- The Great Wall of China, the Taj Mahal, Mt. Everest -- these are a handful of sought-after experiences that inspire the world's most sophisticated and adventurous travelers. Crossing the Atlantic aboard Queen Mary 2, the world's grandest ocean liner, is also considered a pinnacle travel event.
Since 1840, when Cunard introduced the first regularly scheduled transatlantic liner service, the experience has been reserved for those on an unrelenting quest for soul-stirring experiences, inspired by the maritime travels of earlier generations.
In the grand Cunard tradition, Queen Mary 2 holds the distinction of being the only ocean liner providing regularly scheduled transatlantic service between New York and Southampton, and in 2006 she will traverse the Atlantic 20 times.
According to Jan Swartz, senior vice president of customer service and sales for Cunard Line, the popularity of transatlantic crossings indicates a growing trend toward luxury adventure travel and nowhere is it better reflected than aboard Queen Mary 2. "Traveling aboard QM2 recalls a bygone era of glamour and sophistication providing the ultimate luxury: time. For a growing number of travelers, it is for these compelling reasons that they wish to forgo the speed of air travel in favor of a true adventure on the open seas," she said.
New 2006 Transatlantic Crossings
On April 15, 2006, Cunard begins sailing from its brand-new terminal facility in Brooklyn, a move designed to streamline the embarkation and disembarkation process, with convenient access and comfortable amenities.
Also new for 2006: QM2's four eight-day transatlantic crossings to/from Hamburg and one seven-day voyage from Southampton to Ft. Lauderdale. On July 8 and August 17, the ship will depart New York and arrive six days later in Southampton. Guests will have the opportunity to take in the local sights before leaving that evening as the ship makes her two-day journey to Hamburg. Westbound Hamburg sailings to New York depart on July 16 and August 25. On November 11, the 2006 transatlantic season concludes with QM2's only seven-day transatlantic crossing from Southampton to Ft. Lauderdale, arriving on November 18. Fares for the New York/Hamburg voyages start from $2,199, and fares for the Southampton/Ft. Lauderdale crossing start from $1,299.
On transatlantic voyages, even longtime Cunarders have an opportunity to experience many "firsts" and "largests" at sea. QM2 boasts the world's first and only floating planetarium, the first Canyon Ranch Spa at sea, the first Veuve Clicquot Champagne Bar at sea, the largest library at sea, the largest ballroom with the biggest dance floor at sea, the longest jogging track at sea and the largest and most extensive wine cellar at sea.
One of Cunard's signature characteristics that has long set the line apart is its commitment to providing guests with a broad and academically unparalleled range of onboard enrichment opportunities. The Oxford University Discovery Program, for example, touches on a wide range of thought-provoking subjects, including literature, popular culture, theater, poetry, modern art, creative writing, architecture and astronomy. Likewise, London's Royal Academy of Dramatic Art has an outpost onboard, featuring superlative performances, as well as acting classes for aspiring thespians. For those captivated by seafaring lore, the Maritime Quest can be viewed throughout the ship, illustrating Cunard's history via a visually compelling, multi-paneled display.
For a truly grand holiday, guests can take advantage of Cunard's "Connoisseur Collection," a variety of luxurious pre- or post-sailing adventures in the United Kingdom and Paris including hotel accommodations, one-way economy airfare and transfers. Not-to-be-missed excursions include a tour of the English countryside, concluding with a train ride on the Venice- Simplon Orient Express to London; the enchanting "Glimpses of Ireland" tour, featuring the best of Dublin, the city of poets and playwrights; a "Royal Scotland" visit showcasing eclectic Edinburgh, Scotland's dreamy Lake District and the silver waters of Loch Lomond; and a dazzling four-night Paris/London journey, transporting guests to the most in-demand sites and sounds of these iconic metropolises. Guests wishing to spend more time experiencing New York can take advantage of special rates with selected city hotels.
Cunard has an illustrious history of hosting royalty, society luminaries and famed entertainers with peerless cachet. Earlier Cunard "Queens" have welcomed such famous personalities as Elizabeth Taylor, Rita Hayworth, Marlene Dietrich, Cary Grant, Bing Crosby, and Clark Gable. Since Queen Mary 2's launch in January 2004, she has played host to such notable guests as Barbara Walters, George Lucas, John Cleese, Katie Couric, Rod Stewart, Donald Trump, and Dame Shirley Bassey, while eminent visitors have included Her Majesty The Queen, His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh, Her Royal Highness Princess Michael of Kent, Former President George Bush, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Senator Hillary Clinton.
Aboard the famous ship, like-minded travelers will enjoy the Cunard hallmarks of impeccable White Star Service(SM), fine dining, sumptuous surroundings, civilized adventure and the legacy of historic voyages and transatlantic travel.
For more information about Cunard or transatlantic crossings on Queen Mary 2, call 1-800-7-CUNARD or go to www.cunard.com.
Cunard Line has operated the most famous ocean liners in the world since 1840. Cunard vessels have a classic British heritage and include the legendary Queen Elizabeth 2 and Queen Mary 2. Queen Victoria joins the fleet in 2007.
Cunard Line is a proud member of World's Leading Cruise Lines. The exclusive alliance also includes Carnival Cruise Lines, Holland America Line, Princess Cruises, Costa Cruises, Windstar Cruises and The Yachts of Seabourn. Sharing a passion to please each guest, and a commitment to quality and value, member lines appeal to a wide range of lifestyles and budgets. Together they offer exciting and enriching cruise vacations to the world's most desirable destinations.