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New Partnerships Add Excitement to Cunard’s 2016-2017 Program
PHOTO: Queen Mary 2. (Courtesy of Cunard)
The Pulse: Cunard Announces 2016-17 Itineraries
Why it Rates: As the line strives to jazz up its onboard entertainment and enrichment, the new program highlights partnerships with The New York Times and Blue Note Records, which are sure to strike a chord with the Cunard passenger. The line also will make maiden calls at two ports in Canada.—Theresa Masek, Cruise Editor
In 2016 the Cunard fleet will travel more than 205,000 nautical miles visiting incredible places across Europe and around the world. The famous ocean liners, Queen Mary 2, Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth, will call at nearly 100 destinations in 34 countries, and embark on nine maiden calls between the three ships.
“Cunard’s 2016 voyage program features new calls to some of the world’s most sought-after, breathtaking landscapes and culturally important sites, visits to iconic destinations and Cunard’s uniquely glamorous and sophisticated onboard experience,” said Richard Meadows, president, Cunard, North America. “Each itinerary has been designed to offer plenty of time on board for passengers to relax and experience all the ships have to offer: from the grandeur of the Britannia restaurants and our storied Princess & Queens Grill accommodation, to elegant White Star Service, and compelling enrichment and entertainment program.”
Program Highlights: The New York Times and Blue Note Records
Cunard recently announced a new collaboration with The New York Times with experts joining Cunard’s long-running, award-winning Insights program on 11 Eastbound Transatlantic Crossings on board Queen Mary 2, including two calling on Halifax, Nova Scotia. These special themed Crossings aboard Queen Mary 2 will run from Jan. 3 2016 through Jan. 3 2017, with launch fares starting from $1,199.
Cunard also recently announced a new entertainment partnership with venerable jazz label Blue Note Records debuting aboard Queen Mary 2 on the Oct. 29 2015 Transatlantic Crossing. Jazz lovers can now look forward to two more special Jazz at Sea Blue Note cruises in 2016:
Westbound Transatlantic Crossing: eight nights departing Aug. 1 2016
Eastbound Transatlantic Crossing: eight nights departing Oct. 26 2016
Guests will enjoy intimate jazz performances by Grammy Award winners Robert Glasper and Derek Hodge, as well as many other performances in a variety of venues around the ship. Don Was, President of Blue Note Records – a celebrated musician and Grammy Award winning producer for Bonnie Raitt and the Rolling Stones - will join the first Blue Note Crossing on Oct. 29 2015.
Cunard will explore five new destinations and nine maiden calls between the three ships. Queen Mary 2 will call on two new cities in Canada: Gaspé and Saguenay, both firsts for the current Cunard fleet.
Considered the “birthplace of Canada,” the isolated Gaspé Peninsula is a hauntingly beautiful oasis, carved by wind and sea. Located on the far end of the Appalachian chain, it was here that French navigator Jacques Cartier landed in 1534 and claimed the region for France. The picturesque region is brimming with lush national parks, ancient harbors, historic fishing villages and rugged coastlines, offering Cunard passengers maritime history in a stunning scenic landscape.
Situated on the banks of the dramatic Saguenay river fjord, the Saguenay Fjord National Park offers spectacular scenery with plenty of hiking trails and breathtaking wildlife. The waters are home to a wide variety of whales, from the Blue Whales to Beluga and Humpback. Inland, visitors may spot hanging waterfalls, crystalline lakes, eagles and bears.
Passengers can book either a seven- or 14-night cruise aboard this Canadian maiden voyage with launch fares starting from $1,399.
Queen Victoria will sail into Genoa, Italy, and Pointe-a-Pitre, Guadeloupe, also both firsts for the current Cunard fleet.
One of the largest and wealthiest cities of Renaissance Europe, Genoa, boasts treasure-filled palaces, elegant marble churches, and the largest medieval center in Europe. Today, the boyhood home of Christopher Columbus still stands near the medieval walls in this mesmerizing city of old and new.
On the other side of the world, Guadeloupe is a fascinating Caribbean archipelago featuring two main islands, combining beach resorts and rolling hills with a contrasting mountainous volcanic national park in a country that retains its rich Franco-Caribbean culture. Its largest city is palm-fringed Pointe-a-Pitre, the gateway to popular island attractions including La Soufriere, an active volcano offering stunning summit hikes.
Launch fares for these Queen Victoria voyages start from $2,349.
Five new cities will welcome Queen Elizabeth, including Zadar in Crotia, Skagen in Denmark, Stornoway in the United Kingdom, Villefranche in France, and Tangier in Morocco.
Of these destinations, Stornoway will be welcoming its first Cunard Queen, making it the fifth new destination Cunard is thrilled to visit during its already impressive 2016 roster of top-rated ports. The major population center of the Outer Hebrides, Stornoway has a rich history dating back to the 9th century. From here one can visit the major historic settlements across the Isle of Lewis and view the diverse local wildlife including golden eagles, seals, otters and deer.
Launch fares for these voyages aboard Queen Elizabeth start from $1,999.
Queen Mary 2, the reigning monarch of the Atlantic, will continue to set the gold standard offering the only regular Transatlantic service from the U.S to Europe. Queen Mary 2 will make 19 Crossings from May to December 2016 and one in January 2017, and sail on a series of cruises to and from New York that offer passengers the opportunity to visit the Caribbean, New England and Canada, the Arctic Circle and Europe.
Launch fares for Queen Mary 2’s Transatlantic Crossings start from $1,199, with other voyages starting from $2,049.
Queen Mary 2 won’t be the only Queen in the Atlantic. Sister ship Queen Victoria will operate two of its own upcoming Transatlantic Crossings – a Westbound departing on 22 May 2016, calling on Southampton, Halifax and New York, and an Eastbound, departing on 31 May, calling on New York, Cobh, and Southampton - offering a rare opportunity for loyal and new Cunard passengers. Each Crossing is nine nights with its own unique itinerary. Launch fares start from $1,549.
Queen Victoria will also sail an exciting series of Mediterranean holidays from July to October, offering seven-, 14- or 21-night cruises covering the Western, Central and Eastern Mediterranean regions. Queen Victoria will visit 26 different ports, offering guests a choice of embarkation in Rome, Venice, Athens or Barcelona. Queen Victoria will also offer overnight stays in Venice, Istanbul and Barcelona, as well as late evening departures in Barcelona, Dubrovnik, Istanbul, Koto, Monte Carlo, Mykonos, Naples, Trieste and Valencia. Launch fares Queen Victoria’s Mediterranean cruises start from $1,449.
A range of roundtrip Southampton cruises will be available from May to December, primarily focused in Europe. Queen Elizabeth will operate regular roundtrip Southampton voyages while Queen Victoria and Queen Mary 2 will offer select departures during the year. Guests can enjoy 30 roundtrip Southampton cruises ranging from a three-night Western Europe Cruise Break to a 24-night Caribbean cruise.
All referenced fares are per person, based on double occupancy.
SOURCE: Cunard press release
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