Cunard set to "loosen up"

Cunard will be shaking up its itineraries and “loosening up” in 2014 to project a more modern image to loyal Cunarders and first time cruisers.

All new itineraries will go on sale worldwide on 9 April.

Queen Elizabeth will sail on revamped Mediterranean cruises out of Civitevecchia (Rome), Venice and Athens from June to November 2014.

She will embark on seven-, 14- and 21-night voyages and visit a selection of 25 different ports including overnight stays in Istanbul and Venice and maiden calls into seven ports including Elba, Kotor and Palermo.

These new Meditteranean sailings will take place following a special meeting with her sisters in Southampton where the three Queens will join together to celebrate the tenth anniversary of Queen Mary 2 on 9 May 2014 before she embarks on two “Birthday Crossings” to New York featuring past Commodores and celebrity lecturers.

Queen Mary 2 will undertake 18 Transatlantic crossings between Southampton and New York in 2014 including four eight-night crossings and will also call into Halifax, one of the most popular ports for loyal Cunarders.

In addition to the Transatlantic crossings, Queen Mary 2 will embark on four New York cruises taking in Canada and New England specifically catered to the North American market.

Queen Victoria will sail on itineraries to the Fjords, Baltic, Iceland, Black Sea and Atlantic Isles out of Southampton along with a ‘Round Britain’ voyage that will call into Liverpool on the 100th anniversary of the first sailing of Cunard’sAquitania on 30 May 2014.

Making the announcements aboard Queen Mary 2 in Sydney last week, Cunard president and managing director Peter Shanks spoke of the line’s desire to cater to loyal Cunarders as well as the growing number of first time cruisers looking for a luxury holiday.

“By offering the best in cities and destinations, along with the outstanding luxury experience of a Cunard ship, Cunard is a compelling holiday choice for 2014,” Mr Shanks said.

“Our unique international appeal creates a cosmopolitan flavour onboard, which appeals to the growing number of luxury travellers around the world who are looking for a discerning holiday experience.”

Mr Shanks also spoke of the line’s desire to “move with the times” and portray themselves as a more modern option than cruisers may initially expect.

Feedback showed that first time cruisers viewed the Cunard option as “old fashioned and too formal”, so the line plans to “loosen up” without saying goodbye to their heritage and traditions.

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Words: Natalie Aroyan