Cunard's name will forever be linked with the now-retired QE2, but the Queen Mary has proved a worthy successor and is the only true ocean liner operated by any cruise company, reflecting Cunard's heritage in transatlantic crossings. Her current siblings are the slightly smaller but equally luxurious Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth, launched in 2007 and 2010 respectively, and the line has recently announced plans for a new addition to the fleet scheduled to arrive in 2024. Named Queen Anne, this will be Cunard's first new ship in 14 years and will feature a raft of new technology alongside the more traditional touches that you would expect on board a Cunard vessel.
If Cunard was a jewellers, it would be the kind that wouldn't display any prices. It's not that its disproportionately expensive for the service it offers, it's just that its designed to appeal to those that are more concerned with the experience than the price and its exacting service standards reflect that.
On paper, Cunard provides a reasonable number of family-friendly facilities on board. It does however remain one of the most resolutely traditional and formal cruise lines and accordingly attracts a primarily older clientele, particularly on longer voyages.
Unsurprisingly for a line that can trace its history back over 175 years, Cunard places considerable value on its heritage. Whilst it has been quick to embrace elements of modern engineering technology in its fleet, its ethos and approach to service remains firmly rooted in tradition, and most of its loyal clientele select the line for exactly that reason.
Indeed, the very mention of the name Cunard evokes memories of the grandeur and tradition of early transatlantic ocean travel. Times may have moved on, but a cruise aboard a Cunard vessel provides a rare opportunity to recreate that forgotten splendour and this is very much one place where old-fashioned formality is both embraced and expected.