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The grand old lady, Cunard’s Queen Mary 2, will undergo a multi-million upgrade next year with the addition of 30 balcony staterooms, 15 single cabins and 10 kennels for accompanying four-legged pets.

The announcement came as QM2 sailed into New York City in a blaze of laser lights to mark the 175th anniversary transatlantic crossing from Liverpool.

The 11-year-old QM2 will for the first time have single staterooms as the ship is popular among multi-generational families with grandparents, parents and children travelling together. This often means that one family member travels alone.

As more of the line’s well-heeled passengers travel with their pets, the ship will add 10 new kennels on top of its current inventory, which can take up to 12 dogs and cats.

But the kennels do not come cheap.

For a one-week transatlantic crossing Cunard will charge US$800 for dogs weighing less than 25 pounds and US$1000 for larger dogs.

But cats are even more expensive as they need two kennels – one for the litter tray – so the fee goes up to US$1600.

As part of its kennel development, Cunard will also install a lamp post for English dogs and a fire hydrant for American pooches in deck area reserved for dog walking – a feature that was originally suggested by The Duke of Windsor.

QM2 is the only cruise liner in the world to offer dedicated kennels on its transatlantic crossings.

The ship will undergo her extensive 25-day refurbishment at the Blohm+Voss Shipyard in Hamburg, Germany from May 27 to June 21 next year.

The new accommodation on QM2 is now available on sale for sailings from late June 2016.

For more details on Cunard, visit www.cunard.com, phone 132 441 or contact a licensed travel agent.

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