Last Monday, Queen Elizabeth II named the new Cunard cruise liner, Queen Elizabeth, which is the third Cunard ship to have the name Queen Elizabeth; the first was launched in 1938 and the second (Queen Elizabeth 2) in 1969.
This ship “Queen Elizabeth,” is the successor to the QE 2 ocean liner, but Cunard decided not to name it Queen Elizabeth 3 because it wanted to pay homage to the original ship, Queen Elizabeth, which was renowned as a World War II troop carrier, and an icon of the art-deco movement.
The new ship, is already on her maiden voyage, which sold out just 29 minutes. Her onboard décor is adorned with Cunard memorabilia.
Cunard Line Ships
Cunard Line started in 1839 when Samuel Cunard was awarded the first British transatlantic steamship mail contract. Over the years there have been more than 100 Cunard ships, including the Carpathia, which rescued the Titanic survivors in 1912, and the Lusitania, which the Germans sunk in 1915.
In 1935, the British government asked Cunard to merge with the White Star Line, former owners of the Titanic. At the time, Cunard was known more for speed and reliability, while White Star was known for service. So the Cunard name remained, but they adopted the slogan “White Star service,” still in use today.
Cunard has the world’s youngest fleet in terms of the average age, but currently only has three ships.
The oldest, and the flagship, is the Queen Mary 2 launched in 2004 and also named by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. She is fastest passenger ship still in operation, capable of crossing the Atlantic Ocean in less than six days by averaging close to 29-knots the entire non-stop trip. Queen Mary 2 crosses the Atlantic regularly throughout the year and it is one of the most exciting and historically significant trips any ship enthusiast can take.
The Queen Victoria, launched in 2007 and “named” by Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall and the just-launched Queen Elizabeth make up the rest of company’s fleet.
These last two ships are nearly identical sister ships in structure, but are technically cruise ships rather than ocean liners although they possess specially strengthened and streamlined hulls.
All three ships possess stylish similarities, such as a categorical passenger system where the top echelon reside in the “Queen Grill Suites,” named after the dining room where they take their meals. This category includes the master suites at 1100 sq. ft. and the grand suites from 1375 to 2131 square feet (smaller suites are also available).
The second echelon is the “Princess Grill Suites,” with a smaller deluxe stateroom ranging from 335 to 513 sq. ft. Both of these passenger categories get exclusive access to special rooms on the ships including dining rooms, cocktail lounges, al fresco dining and private deck areas.
The remaining passengers are the “Britannia class.” They dine in the two-story Britannia Restaurant and sleep in either balcony staterooms of 242 to 472 sq. ft., oceanview staterooms of 180-201 sq. ft., or inside staterooms of 152 to 243 sq. feet.
Cunard Cruise Bargains
Both the Queen Elizabeth and the Queen Mary 2 are sailing a world cruise in 2011 beginning in January. The voyages both circumnavigate the globe, but one can also be book individual segments between any two destinations. Click here for the current best offers.
Queen Mary II World Cruise Segments:
Queen Mary 2 has a 23-day segment sailing Jan. 13, 2011 from New York to Cape Town, South Africa: Inside $1,888; Oceanview $2,488; Balcony $3,088; Princess Suites $8,688.
Queen Mary 2 has a 23-day segment sailing April 3, 2011 from Dubai to New York: Inside $3088; Oceanview $3288; Balcony $3,388; Princess Suites $8,888.
Queen Mary 2 has a 32-day segment sailing April 3, 2011 from Singapore to New York: Inside $4,123; Oceanview $5,123; Balcony $5,123; Princess Suites $12,123.
Queen Elizabeth World Cruise Segments:
Queen Elizabeth has a 16-day segment sailing Jan. 13, 2011 from New York to Los Angeles: Inside $3,723; Oceanview $4,390; Balcony $5,057; Princess Suites - limited.
Queen Elizabeth has a 23-day segment sailing Jan. 29, 2011 from Los Angeles to Sydney: Inside - limited; Oceanview $6,305; Balcony $7305; Princess Suites $13,139.
Queen Elizabeth has a 19-day segment sailing March 31, 2011 from Dubai to Southampton: Inside $3,573; Oceanview $3,673; Balcony $4,073; Princess Suites $10,573.
Queen Victoria 2011 winter Americas Season:
Queen Victoria has a 17-day Panama Canal Treasures cruise sailing Jan. 13, 2011: Inside $2261; Oceanview $2,461; Balcony $3,061; Princess Suites $6,261.
Queen Victoria has a 14-day Hawaiian Adventure sailing Jan. 17, 2011: Inside $2,049; Oceanview $2,249; Balcony $2,649; Princess Suites $5,449.
Queen Victoria has a four-day Mexico Getaway sailing Feb. 13, 2011: Inside $811; Oceanview $911; Balcony $1,111; Princess Suites $2,011.
Queen Victoria has a 15-day Panama Canal Adventure cruise sailing March 3, 2011: Inside $2,053; Oceanview $2,253; Balcony $2,753; Princess Suites $5,553.
Queen Victoria has an 11-day Roundtrip Panama Canal cruise sailing March 18, 2011: Inside $1,538; Oceanview $1,738; Balcony $2,038; Princess Suites - limited.
I started writing about stock market investing for Motley Fool in 1995, but previously I worked aboard cruise ships. I co-founded CruiseMates.com, the first cruise travel guide on the Internet in New York City in 1999. CruiseMates, one the Web’s top cruise travel guides was acquired by Internet Brands (NASD: INET) in 2006. Once CEO, I am now the editor of CruiseMates – Paul Motter.