Cruising with Cunard

26 Sep 2022, by Laura May

Cruising with Cunard - 10 things you need to know

Worldwide destinations, luxurious details and remarkable history, cruising with Cunard offers exceptional experiences that live long in the memory. Founded in 1840, this exclusive operator boasts incredible entertainment, an award-winning speakers programme, and plenty of time for rest and relaxation. Whether you’re sailing on one of their iconic transatlantic cruises, winding your way through the Norwegian fjords or watching the Caribbean sunset from your private balcony, Cunard cruises are nothing short of spectacular. Here’s everything you need to know about cruising with Cunard. 

Cruising with Cunard

Cunard pioneered the Golden Age of cruising

While Cunard was founded in 1840 by Samuel Cunard, a war veteran and timber merchant from Halifax, Nova Scotia, it wasn’t until around 1950 that the industry entered what is known as the Golden Age of cruising. At this point, many of Hollywood’s biggest names travelled the seas in style, with Cunard playing host to icons of the silver screen such as Elizabeth Taylor, Cary Grant, Frank Sinatra, Rita Hayworth and Judy Garland. Seeing the rich and famous sipping cocktails, dancing, and being entertained aboard a cruise ship prompted an uptick in interest from travellers around the world, keen to get a taste of the good life at sea. Cunard was irrevocably associated with this period, when glamour and the good life made its way to the waves.  


Sail in a ‘floating palace’

Launched by HRH Queen Elizabeth II in 2010 at a cost of £400 million, and named in her honour, the Queen Elizabeth has been described as a “floating palace”. Spacious and stylish, the ship has a refined feel fit for royalty. Expect art deco features and gleaming chandeliers alongside contemporary comforts that will make you feel right at home. Enjoy croquet on the Games Deck, incredible entertainment in the Royal Court Theatre, or simply relax in the elegant conservatory. Happily accommodating 2,081 guests, a trip on the Queen Elizabeth is an unforgettable voyage that all cruise aficionados should experience at least once. 


You can dress up for dinner

Cunard’s dress code is firmly linked to its golden, glamorous age, so if you like putting on the ritz, you’ll be in excellent company. While casual wear is absolutely fine during the day, evenings exude a sense of occasion. The majority of guests enjoy the opportunity to dress up for dinner, while Gala Evenings – which occur every few days – require guests to observe a black-tie dress code. So, push out the boat, amp up the volume, and bring on the ‘ol razzle dazzle in a welcome break from the old routine. 

Huben Cta (1)

Ben says...
"When we were on Cunard's Queen Elizabeth, we sailed to the Norwegian fjords. We booked a spa pass and it was an idyllic place to spend the cooler days. Laying on a stone-heated longer, wearing a robe and watching the fjords pass by through the floor-to-ceiling windows is one of my cruise holiday highlights."

Hugh says...
“If you’ve got questions about cruising with Cunard, just ask! We’re on Live Chat or on the other end of the phone line seven days a week. We’re more than happy to talk you through what the experience is like and help you plan your own adventure.”


Top-tier evening entertainment

When you’re cruising with Cunard, you’ll never be stuck for something to do courtesy of their heaving entertainment schedule. Evening performances include international cabaret artists, dance and West End-calibre theatrical productions. Fancy getting involved? No problem. Take to the gilded ballroom for a whirl around the floor, or throw some shapes at the nightclub until the small hours. Elsewhere, enjoy live music, film screenings and lively deck parties. And Cunard’s legendary Gala Evenings will make you feel like the main character in your very own Hollywood movie. So, dust off your glad rags and get ready to have fun. 

Discover a remarkable history 

Founded in the middle of the nineteenth century, cows were originally kept on board for fresh milk each day. One of the UK’s most influential writers, Charles Dickens, sailed with Cunard to Boston, followed later by Mark Twain, Charlie Chaplin and Walt Disney. In the 1850s, Cunard ships carried horses to the Crimean War, and 20 years later introduced the first flushing toilets at sea. And during the mass immigration to the US in the 1880s, Cunard transported over half of the 2.5million choosing to settle in the land of opportunity. As the most historic cruise line in the world, Cunard’s legacy is arguably the history of the modern cruise experience.   


Sail to destinations around the world

From Africa to Australia, Alaska to Asia, cruising with Cunard means selecting from an incredible range of different adventures and experiences. Gasp at wildlife in Namibia, sail through the Panama Canal, or simply let the turquoise waters lap at your feet in the Caribbean. Whatever time of year, and however your dream trip looks, Cunard can help make that a reality. From bucket-list favourites, such as chasing the Northern Lights, to World Voyages, you’ll be spoiled for choice on a Cunard cruise. 

Award-winning cruises

Cunard’s catalogue of accolades is almost as long as its list of destinations – and growing by the year. From industry specialists to reader favourites, Cunard comes top time and again, evidence of its quality reputation across the cruising sector. In 2019 alone, Cunard scooped five top awards at the British Travel Awards, including Best Luxury Cruise Line, Best Midsize Cruise Line, Best Specialist Cruise Line, Best No-Fly Cruise Line and Best Large Ships Cruise Line. In the same year, Cunard was awarded the Best Large Ship Cruise Line at The Telegraph Travel Awards, and also picked up Porthole Cruise Magazine’s Readers’ Choice Award for Best World Cruise. Phew! Take a look at Cunard’s dedicated awards page for more details of their successes.

Feed your imagination

Prepare to be impressed, entertained and enthralled on a Cunard cruise, courtesy of their award-winning Insights programme. Attracting some of the greatest minds from the arts, sport, politics, science, academia and beyond, Cunard’s speaker programme sees everyone from astronauts to actors appearing to dispense their wisdom. Expect exclusive access, interactive learning, talks, seminars and discussions by top diplomats, explorers, historians and more, for a unique experience you won’t forget in a hurry. Booker award-winning author Bernardine Evaristo MBE, author and presenter Richard Osman, politician Ed Balls, and explorer Kenton Cool are just a handful of those forming the 2022 cohort. 

Space to breathe

Wherever you are on a Cunard cruise, you can expect plenty of space to relax and recharge. 

As well as boasting some of the most spacious staterooms at sea, with more square footage than many other cruise lines, guests can also enjoy a harmonious sense of spaciousness. Take time out on Cunard’s broad open decks and airy atriums and discover the real meaning of relaxation. 


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