New look QM2 sails into Southampton after £90m ‘remastering’

Cunard flagship Queen Mary 2 sailed into Southampton early this morning following a 25-day refit costing around £90 million.

The so-called ‘remastering’ of the 12-year old ship sees 50 new cabins added, including 15 for single travellers.

Ten additional kennels have been added for passengers taking their pets on transatlantic sailings, complete with a lamp post from Liverpool and a fire hydrant from New York to make dogs “feel at home”.

The work at a shipyard in Hamburg has seen a redesign and refurbishment of the Queens Grill and Princess Grill suites and restaurants, as well as Britannia cabins, with the remainder of the accommodation to be fully completed by the end of the year, according to Cunard.

A new speciality restaurant, The Verandah, has been introduced while the Kings Court buffet area has been completely restructured.

The redesign of key public spaces and restaurants includes transformation of the former Winter Garden into the Carinthia Lounge.

Queen Mary arrives in Southampton after Major Refit.

The ship’s exterior has been repainted, using more than 15,000 litres of paint applied to the hull alone, and “significant technical enhancements and structural changes” have been carried out.

More than one million man hours went in to the refurbishment over the 25 days with 55,200 square metres of new carpets laid – the equivalent of 10 football pitches.

A total of 4,000 new framed pictures have been brought on board as part of the refurbishment.

Cunard senior vice president, Simon Palethorpe, said ahead of the ship departing for New York later today: “Cunard’s passion for delivering a service and experience that both meets and exceeds guest’s expectations is transforming the way we travel by sea.

“Remastering Queen Mary 2 honours the heritage and iconic status of our magnificent ship to take our passengers forward into a new era of ocean travel.”

Jazz artist Herbie Hancock to play QM2 crossing

Herbie Hancock

Jazz legend Herbie Hancock is the latest artist to be announced in Cunard Line’s jazz-at-sea themed transatlantic crossings on the Queen Mary 2.

Hancock will perform three 45-minute shows on the Aug. 1 voyage from Southampton, England, to New York.

A pianist, Hancock played early in his career with Miles Davis and wrote several modern jazz standards such as “Maiden Voyage” and “Watermelon Man.”

Jazz singer Gregory Porter is scheduled to play on a crossing departing Oct. 25 from New York as part of Cunard’s partnership with Blue Note Records and Blue Note Jazz Clubs.

Cunard releases details of upcoming QM2 refurb


The Queen Mary 2 is getting 30 solo cabins.

Solo cabins and extra Britannia Club balcony staterooms being added to Cunard Line’s Queen Mary 2 will pay tribute to the liner’s art deco heritage while adding luxury touches, Cunard said in releasing details about the ship’s refit.

Fifteen solo cabins and 30 more Britannia Club rooms will be added to the ship in a 25-day refit scheduled for June 2016.

The designs will include softer color tones to enhance the feel of space and new contemporary carpet patterns inspired by the geometric diamond designs on the original Queen Mary, Cunard said.

Nine of the 15 solo cabins will be on Deck 2. Six larger single staterooms to be built on Deck 3L will feature two circular windows with bench seat cushions and a central console table.

“Catering to the changing tastes of our guests is a priority at Cunard,” said Richard Meadows, president of Cunard North America. He cited U.S. Travel Association figures showing that solo travelers comprise about 23% of all leisure travelers.

Meadows said Cunard was seeing strong demand for the Britannia Club accommodations, as well.