She has no name, and is still being build. But such is the strength of the Australian market for Cunard that there are already discussions about Australia hosting the line’s newest ship after 2022.
David Rousham, vice president of international development, revealed the idea was being actively considered at the World’s Leading Cruise Lines Summit held aboard Majestic Princess last weekend.
“It is likely the new ship will end up doing a roaming deployment and spend a lot of her time in Australia, the Pacific, Alaska and Japan,’’ Mr Rousham said.
The yet-to-be named ship, will do a similar deployment to Queen Elizabeth when she heads down to Australia and spends two months cruising in local waters between February and April 2019. She then returns to spend another 101 days in Australia between December 2019 and March 2020.
Queen Elizabeth is now in dry dock being prepared for her Aussie deployment.
Cunard’s fourth vessel is expected to be named in November 2019, Mr Rousham said.
She will have a new spa concept introduced by Cunard called Mareel which means “sea and fire” and will have a refreshing natural look and feel. Canyon Ranch will operate an exclusive range of new Mareel treatments on the ship.
She will also have a new steakhouse as part of specialty restaurant The Verandah but there will not be a celebrity chef.
“We tend not to use celebrity chefs. We trust Cunard as a brand to have a quality line-up of chefs. The celebrity is Cunard, not the chef,” Mr Rousham said.
The new ship to join Cunard’s fleet of three – Queen Mary 2, Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth – will be the first new built in 12 years.
Bookings on the new ship will go on sale in March 2020.
He said that bookings on Queen Elizabeth itineraries from Australia to New Zealand in 2019 has “sold very strongly” and shorter journeys around Australia has also had a good response.
Queen Mary 2 will host several performances by the world renowned English National Ballet during a special seven-night voyage from Southampton to New York which departs on August 11, Cunard announced this week.
Passengers will be able to have sneak previews of the leading dancers during their morning ballet classes and afternoon rehearsals.
The performances at the Royal Court Theatre will include the all-time classic Swan Lake, contemporary work Dust and Le Corsaire (The Pirate).
Vote in this year’s special Readers’ Choice Awards
No doubt 2020 will go down in cruise history as the year of the pandemic – a once in a generation event. And this year’s Cruise Passenger Readers’ Choice Awards will reflect it.