The Queen Mary 2 arrived into New York in style recently, lighting up the harbour to commemorate her 175th anniversary transatlantic crossing. On the heels of this occasion, Cunard has announced the next chapter in their long nautical story: a big refurbishment for their flagship ocean liner.
Going into drydock in Hamburg, Germany for a 25-day extensive refit in May 2016, the Queen Mary 2 will emerge fresh and sporting some new additions and changes which are aimed at pleasing her passengers. The refit has been developed with a strong focus on what Cunard has heard and seen of their guests' needs, while remaining in keeping with her sense of tradition and luxury, and her status as a true ocean liner rather than just a cruise ship.
The company's pride in their flagship vessel was evident in words from Cunard Director Angus Struthers: "Queen Mary 2 is an icon in the world of luxury ocean travel. A ship that turns heads everywhere she goes, she is the pride of the Cunard fleet and we are committed to ensuring her reputation grows even stronger."
Loyal Cunard fans don't have to worry too much - the Queen Mary 2 will be the same wonderful vessel as always, just a bit fresher and with a few new strings to her bow.
The full list of refurbishments has not yet been released, but Cunard has mentioned some of the changes cruisers can expect after her renovations next year. Here's what we know:
Staterooms for solo cruisers
There's no denying that solo cruisers are making themselves heard on the cruise scene. Single-occupancy staterooms are a in high demand, and NCL and Cunard are among the few lines to provide them. Fifteen single staterooms will be added to the Queen Mary 2 during the refurbishment, and we can imagine that they will be a hot commodity! Good work, Cunard.
Britannia Club Balconies
The line will add thirty Britannia Club balcony staterooms, which give cruisers not only a private balcony but access to the Britannia Club restaurant (to be expanded) with its flexible dining schedule. This is a bonus for the many cruisers who like to eat at a time of their choosing.
Cunard is going to the dogs
But it's not bad news! Ten new kennels will be added to the Queen Mary 2 to accommodate part of the line's passenger base - the furry, four-legged variety. The 12 current kennels on the QM2 transport canines on transatlantic crossings, and sell out frequently, so it is hoped that the new additions will meet demands. Feline friends can also make the crossing.
In the spirit of bringing together both sides of the Atlantic, the dedicated dog walking area of the deck will feature both a fire hydrant (for the American dogs) and a lamp post (for the British ones). Every dog deserves to feel at home when doing their business, after all.
Post-refurb sailings will be on sale soon, so check out our Queen Mary 2 cruises and see what's on offer.
Transatlantic crossings are what she is built for, and there are plenty of these available in 2016 and 2017. Capturing the beauty and glamour of an ocean crossing is done best on the fabulous Queen Mary 2. With an elegant ballroom, afternoon teas, a promenade deck and beautiful traditional decor, she makes you feel as if you've been transported back to the golden era of liners.
If a week at sea isn't your cup of tea, you can give the QM2 a whirl with some other itineraries too. Short breaks from New York and Southampton, sojourns in the Norwegian fjords and voyages to Canada and New England are on the menu for 2016 and 2017.
Top image photo credit: Jonathan Atkin for Cunard