Tag Archives: Cunard

Queen Mary 2 World Voyage for 2022

Cunard announces Classic World Voyage on Queen Mary 2 for 2022

Queen Mary 2 charts a stunning 104 night escape through Asia, Australia, the Middle East and Europe

Cunard’s 2022 classic World Voyage on their iconic flagship Queen Mary 2 goes on sale today (September 8 2020).

The ocean liner will make calls to Greece, Dubai, Sri Lanka, Singapore, Vietnam, Hong Kong, Australia and Bali, Abu Dhabi, Oman, Italy and Portugal. The World Voyage will cruise through the Suez Canal on both the outbound journey and return.

Intrinsic Glamour and Heritage

Cunard president, Simon Palethorpe, said, “Our guests have told us they want memorable destinations which combine intrinsic glamour and heritage.” Spanning 16 countries, this unique cruise offers 33 UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

The 104 night voyage departs Southampton on January 10th 2022 and returns on April 24th 2022. The itinerary will include overnight stops in Haifa, Dubai, Hong Kong, Sydney and Singapore. In addition, Columbo will offer a late night departure.

Choose From Six Sectors

Palethorpe continued, “This 104 night voyage can be split into six sectors and booked individually, which is tailored to those who want to fully immerse themselves in the Cunard experience for just a portion of the journey. It truly is the ultimate exploration of east meets west experienced from the magnificent setting of the world’s only ocean liner, the Queen Mary 2.

“Guests on board will be able to take advantage of a multitude of luxurious offerings whether they want to be entertained, learn something new, get active or simply relax, while the ambience throughout the ship is warm, friendly and inclusive.”

Those sailing the full World Voyage will enjoy a welcome on board reception, plus all the services of a World Voyage Concierge. These include the use of a private lounge, a gala event ashore and complimentary daily gratuities.

Prices for an inside stateroom for the complete 104 night voyage start from £11,499 per person.

For the latest information about the steps Cunard are taking to ensure the very best protocols are in place to guard against Covid-19, visit www.cunard.com/sailing-with-confidence

Ocean Liners Speed and Style – V & A Exhibition 2018

The romance of the golden era of cruising is something most of us can now only imagine. So, I was honoured and thrilled to be invited to the private view of Ocean Liners Speed and Style at the V & A last week.

This new exhibition is being sponsored by Viking Cruises, and gives an insight into the history of some of our most loved ocean liners through the decades. If, like me, you love the elegance, grandeur, opulence and extravagance of cruising, you will be in your element.

It’s not all about the glamour though. The curators have also shown the dangerous aspects of cruising in those days. Items on display include belongings that have been recovered from wreckages or salvaged before disaster struck. These include a Cartier tiara saved from the Lusitania which sank in 1915, and the the exhibition’s final piece is a panel fragment from the first class lounge on Titanic, where the ship broke in half. (See bottom of page for video)

Ocean Liners Speed and Style Photo: Piers Macdonald

As you step inside the V&A’s Ocean Liners Speed and Style exhibition it feels like you have travelled back in time.

The collection consists of over 250 objects spanning the years 1850 – 1970. A simply mesmerising exhibition that covers all aspects of the ocean liner, including engineering, safety and design, promoting and advertising through the eras to high society lifestyle and fashion.

Ships featured in the exhibition include; Queen Elizabeth, QE2, Titanic, Bremen, The Great Eastern, Canberra, Normandie, Queen Mary, Olympic, France, Lusitania, Mauretania, SS United States and more.

Advertising and Promoting The Ocean Liner

An enviable 1:48 scale promotional model of Queen Elizabeth made for Cunard in 1949, is the magnificent centrepiece of the first room at the exhibit. The walls are adorned with posters advertising grand voyages. This one (above) offers a first class return ticket to Australia for £140. Sounds affordable until you realise that would be over £7000 today. The ports of call from London would typically be, Gibraltar, Toulon, Naples, Port Said, Suez, Colombo, Fremantle, Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane. So that is proof that cruising is much better value for money these days as for as little as £3,000 more you can see the whole world.

“The Largest Steamers In The World” poster for Olympic and Titanic, White Star Line 1911.

A selection of posters adorn the walls of the exhibition. Our obsession for the ill-fated Titanic is well catered for with plenty of pieces to capture the imagination.

Eerie: This poster advertising the first sailing of the Titanic that tragically never happened.

The Geeky Bit

If you are more interested in the technical side of things, there is a lot for you to get your teeth into. An entire section is dedicated to shipbuilding materials, engines, propulsion, hull design, speed, safety and comfort. Detailed design drawings and models of engine systems will captivate and fascinate you.

Politics and War

Footage of Adolf Hitler walking the decks of the Robert Ley in 1939, and details of how ships were designed to be able to quickly convert into armed merchant cruisers, serves as as a reminder of how important these vessels were in times of political unrest.

Glamour and the Grande Descente

The Grand Staircase on Olympic, with the Honour and Glory Crowning Time panel in situ c.1911

Making an entrance was an important part of the cruise culture for the First Class passengers. The Ocean Liners grand staircase leading into the dining room, was the perfect place for them to show off their most fashionable evening wear. This pre dinner ritual was often referred to as the Grande Descent.

Ocean Liners Speed and Style Photo: Piers Macdonald

There is so much to see at the exhibition that I haven’t even touched half of what is there, but go and see it for yourself. This really is a charming, fascinating and enjoyable exhibit that will appeal to all ages. I am already planning a return visit with my son.

Ocean Liners: Speed and Style will be open from 3 February until 17 June 2018, at the V&A in London. It will then move to the V & A Dundee opening on 15 September 2018 until 24 February 2019.  Please purchase your tickets in advance to avoid disappointmen and are available at vam.ac.uk/oceanliners.

Ocean Liners Speed and Style Photo: Piers Macdonald

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Cruise People – Gary Bembridge

Gary Bembridge Talks About What Makes Cruising So Magical

Having recently picked up yet another award for his blog Tips For Travellers, Gary Bembridge tells us how he became hooked on cruising and gives some vital tips for newcomers.

How long have you been writing Tips for Travellers?

I started Tips For Travellers as a podcast in September 2005 and soon added a YouTube channel when that opened in 2006, followed by the blog around the same time.

What made you start it?

I had a global marketing job for a multi-national (Johnson & Johnson) and was travelling all over the world for around three weeks a month. I would try and stay a day or two either side of my work in every place I went to. As I had so little time there, I would research the destination like crazy before I went so I knew what to see, do and how to get around. I thought since I had all the content overlaid with my experiences that I should share it as it would likely be helpful to others. It took off quickly as there were not a lot of travel podcasts or content on YouTube back then. As of today my YouTube channel has 30.2 million views and the podcast over 1.5 million downloads.

Wow, that’s an incredible achievement. So what is an average day in the life for you?

I retired from corporate life in 2012 when I turned 55 and so I do not have a very typical day nowadays, and I can pretty much do as I please which is fantastic. I travel quite often of course and so that is never typical, but if at home I tend to go to the gym in the morning around 8 / 8.30, head to Starbucks and have a coffee while catching up on emails and then head home and spend a few hours writing, editing videos or doing podcasts and then binge watch TV before getting evening meal ready for my partner and I (as he still works full-time as a corporate lawyer and works long hours).

When was your first cruise? Which ship was it and where did you cruise to?

My first cruise was a work one. I was invited to speak at a marketing conference being held on board P&O Cruises Aurora. The ship was chartered every year and hosted marketing directors and marketing services companies. We sailed from Southampton and docked near Guernsey. It was just two nights but as we sailed down the Solent and out to sea I realised what was magical about cruising.

What made you book your first cruise?

I was one of those that thought cruising was not for me. So having been “made” to try it through the conference I was speaking at on board “Aurora” I realised it was fantastic. Since a boy I had ways wanted to travel on iconic transportation and so once I realised I like being at sea I immediately booked a crossing on the QE2.

What did you like/dislike about your first cruise?

The feeling of heading out to sea and the peacefulness of being at sea. That as a revelation to me. Gliding through the ocean with nothing around thrilled me. There were only a couple of things I disliked. One was the  fixed time and seating dining, so I now try and only cruise where there is open seated dining.  The other thing is the constant selling. I soon realised that the model for many lines is to get people on ships at attractive fares and then sell and add on charges and you have to keep getting your cruise card out. I tend to prefer and try to cruise more on all-inclusive lines if I can.

What is the best cruise you have been on and why?

Silversea Silver Explorer to the Arctic. It was incredible. Sailing right into the polar ice cap and exploring places hardly any people go to felt special, unique and we saw amazing wildlife. I am a keen photographer and like photographing wildlife and landscapes and so this was just perfect for that. It was also a luxurious and an attentive way to see the place. There were 120 passengers and basically the same amount of crew, with 15 being the Expedition team.

Image: Gary Bembridge

Sounds absolutely amazing. What is it that appeals to you about cruising in general?

Travelling has become very stressful and time-consuming. Flying especially. I like to see lots of places when on a trip rather than staying in one place as I want to see and do so much, and so cruising makes that easy and much less stressful. The cruises I like most, are the ones that take me to regions and places I have not been to so I can get a flavour of them and decide where to go back to explore much more. I also like that cruises can take me to and let me experience things you cannot really do easily other ways like the Arctic, Alaska, Panama Canal, Antarctica and so on.

Do you have a bucket list of places you want to visit?

Antarctica, Alaska (going there in May 2018) and Polynesian Islands

What’s the first thing you do when you step onboard a cruise?

Eat! Usually one boards after my usual lunchtime and so am starving after travelling there. Then I run about the ship taking it all in. I love exploring ships and finding out what they have to offer.

What items do you always take with you on a cruise?

My music and speakers. I love music and have to have it playing all the time and so always take my portable BEATS speakers so I can have good quality music through the cruise. I also always take earplugs and eye shades as I sleep best with them. The other item I always take is a tooth repair kit as while you can get medical help on board, there is no dentist and it can be an ordeal if something goes wrong on sea days or based on the ports and days of week you are calling on. It has helped me big time!

What was your last cruise and what did you like/dislike about it?

Windstar Gaelic Explorers from Edinburgh to Dublin. I prefer being on small ships and this is a luxury experience but very informal and friendly. The cabins are huge, food good and really interesting people and crew. Getting into smaller and more unusual places is another plus. Dislike was probably that the fitness centre is a bit dated and has low ceilings so they cannot fit a cross trainer in which is my cardio of choice!

What is your next cruise? What are you most looking forward to?

Heading off shortly on Avalon Waterways Rhine cruise from Cologne to Amsterdam. I have only been on a handful of river cruises and keen to see what they offer and how they are different. River cruise lines do seem to be fairly similar and offer much the same thing and so eager to try different ones and see what they do well. This is something that my followers and audience also like to hear so I know it will be welcome content for them too.

What is your dream cruise?

I did 10 weeks of a world voyage in 2016 and we want to do a whole world cruise in the next few years. It was such a remarkable experience and we met and made some great friends as there were such interesting people and crew. doing the world voyage.

Image Credit: Gary Bembridge

What would you say to someone who is thinking about trying a cruise but is worried they will feel trapped on a crowded cruise ship?

You won’t! Everyone thinks that and once they go they all come back saying their biggest frustration was not having time to do everything there was to do. I always say that if you are worried, remember that the longest you will spend on most ships will be from about 6pm to 8am and during that time you will be eating, drinking, watching shows, partying and sleeping. There will be no time to feel trapped.

Do you have any tips for booking a cruise

Always use a cruise agent. They will help guide you towards the right cruise line, ship and itinerary based on what you like – and also will know the best and latest deals and offers. They will also often have additional perks or benefits to include. I have been cruising for over a decade and have been developing content for that same time – and I still book through an agent.

Can you offer any onboard tips for people who have never cruised?

Before you go make sure you know exactly what is (and is not included) in your fare and prepare for everything that is excluded (especially drinks, internet, excursions, transfers, speciality dining and gratuities). Set a target budget for on board and track it. Estimate what you think you will drink, how much you will use the Internet and other items not included and then cost and compare with the packages the line may be offering. Only buy them if they will actually save you, as for example to save with some drinks packages you have to be a VERY heavy drinker! Review your bill regularly to check how you are doing.

Image Credit: Gary Bembridge

For the latest news and information from Tips For Travellers click on the links below.

Tips For Travellers – YouTube

Tips For Travellers – Website

Gary Bembridge – Flickr

Tips For Travellers – Facebook

Recommended Reading Cruise People – Captain Greybeard

Steve Dunlop – Photographer

Steve Dunlop – A Proper Photographer

I don’t know the official statistics, but whenever I have been to a significant cruise event, Steve Dunlop always pops up out of nowhere like a stealth meerkat. By the time you’ve noticed him, he’s halfway across the room. When flicking through the weekly trade magazines, you can guarantee to see his name credited to the big events photos. So let’s find out more about the man of mystery.

What was the first cruise ship you photographed and when?

P&O Oriana at the naming ceremony in 1995.

You have been the official photographer for many naming ceremonies. Have you ever met one of the Royals? If so, which one(s) and can you tell me about it?

Her Majesty The Queen on three occasions; with P&O Cruises in 1995 for Oriana and 2015 for Britannia, and with Cunard for the naming of Queen Elizabeth in 2010.

Also there was, Princess Anne at the naming for P&O Cruises Aurora in 2000, The Duchess of Cambridge  at Princess Cruises Royal Princess naming ceremony in 2013, and Camilla Duchess of Cornwall for Cunard Queen Victoria naming ceremony in 2007.

You can’t chat with the Royals so they’ve never had the benefit of hearing about my favourite Draught Bitter.

Many years ago I was photographing The Duke of Edinburgh at his Awards scheme. He unexpectedly asked me directly if I was certain I wouldn’t get the rather voluptuous Rubenesque figures featured on the paintings in the room in any of the shots I took of him.  I didn’t.

Steve in the media throng at the Britannia naming ceremony

Can you name other Celebrities you have photographed? Do you have a favourite to work with and why?

I love Jonathan Ross because he once said I looked like a proper photographer!

As Brucie would say (and I’ve photographed him at The P&O Cruises Britannia Naming), ‘They are all my favourites.”

In cruise I’ve been fortunate to have worked with all the P&O Cruises Food Heroes; Marco Pierre White, Eric Lanlard, Olly Smith, James Martin. Attul Kochhar.

I’ve also photographed many guest celebrity chefs in the Cookery School onboard P&O Britannia, such as Carluccio and Alex James.

Marco Pierre White and Eric Lanlard are wonderfully nice people. I’ve enjoyed many days at sea over many years aboard P&O ships with each.

I once spent a day with Marco, island hopping en route back from a promotional shoot in the Caribbean.  We had 8-9 hours to spare in Antigua before our transatlantic flight. My wife who was also out there working, sourced a beach bar nearby. We  spent the afternoon eating chicken wings and drinking cold beer. He’s great company. At the airport he insisted on sitting with us in the main terminal instead of seeking refuge in the Business Lounge.

I’ve met many famous people attending as celebrity guests at all of the Naming ceremonies.  I’m a  big Corrie fan so meeting Liz Dawn (Vera Duckworth) at the Cunard Queen Elizabeth naming was a biggie for me.. nearly outstripping being part of the Royal Rota photographing the Queen for that ceremony.

Twiggy at Seabourn Sojurn Christening 2010. I had to report to Twiggy’s cabin so that she could OK the pictures I’d taken of her.   Sat with her going through the shots and chatting. I told her I was great fan and that she reminded me of my Aunty Diane. She looked at me (not surprisingly) in a quizzical manner. I had to explain that looking like my Aunty Diane was a good thing…

Some ship Namings:

Dame Kelly Holmes, P&O Cruises Arcadia 2005

Dame Helen Mirren, P&O Cruises Ventura 2008

Darcey Bussell CBE, P&O cruises Azura 2010

Dame Shirley Bassey, P&O cruises Adonia 2011

Nina Barough Celebrity Cruises Eclipse Launch 2009

Emma Pontin  Celebrity Cruises Eclipse 2010

Dame Joan Collins, Uniworld Joie de Vivre Christening 2017

What are the biggest challenges you face in your work?

Deadlines are usually easy to meet. You can send images immediately so unless someone wants it before I’ve taken it then I should be ok.

Biggest challenge is keeping up with ever changing technology

Is there an occasion that you have worked on that you are most proud of?

P&O Cruises Britannia Naming and being on the Royal Rota for Cunard Queen Elizabeth and Queen Victoria Namings.

Do you have a favourite photograph that you have taken?

A portrait of Marco Pierre White taken way back in 2006 which was first time I’d met him. The photo was taken at his restaurant in St James’s Street and was used throughout P&O promotional / marketing material for years and years. I still see it in use now. I think it was  because I managed to capture him smiling.  

The Queen smiling at P&O Cruises Britannia naming.

Cunard Queen Elizabeth’s arrival in Southampton from a helicopter.

Steve’s feet in a helicopter taking a photo of Queen Elizabeth arriving Southampton 8th October 2010

If you could do any other job, what would it be?

A gardener.  My younger brother is a gardener by profession. I’d be hoping that I could look as fit, lean, sun kissed & healthy as he does

What is an average day like for you?

If I’m at home in Bayswater like to start at 6.30am with walking our two Tibetan Terriers in Kensington Gardens. It’s the most relaxing start to a day. I take my iphone and shoot the sunrises and misty mornings for instagram & Twitter as I go.

I try to clear as much of a shoot off my desk on the day I shoot it. After a Big Awards Night this can mean working through to 4 or 5am. The incentive for doing this is to start the day relaxed in the park.

Most days I have a shoot during the daytime but  if I don’t then I’m usually at my desk updating social media feeds and website. Equipment needs preparing ready for the next shoot. The dogs will need an afternoon walk… sometimes to the local pub.

Is there a ship that you would love to photograph that you haven’t done yet?

I feel as though I’ve been on the best. I’ve certainly had the Best of Times on the ships I’ve photographed.

Do you cruise yourself?

Yes . I’ve been on two cruise holidays. Both with Celebrity Cruises. 

What was your last holiday

Long weekend in Mykonos in May with my wife.

Do you have your next holiday booked? If so, can you tell us about it?

I will be cruising up the Mekong on AMA Waterways AmaDara River cruise ship. I am travelling with my wife and four other friends we all work in the travel and/or cruise industry. I don’t usually take my camera on holiday but will be making an exception on this occasion.

Do you have a dream destination or cruise?

Would love to cruise the Antarctica or Alaska.

By Andrew Mandemaker

Do you have a funny or embarrassing story to tell?

Not a cruise story but it is water related.  I was shooting Sir Steve Redgrave for the Leander Club Henley Regatta brochure. It was in the days of shooting on film . I think he only had the two medals at the time.  It was FIVE in the morning in Henley. I’d just driven across London from Greenwich. Oooof.  Got some great shots of Steve training on the river from a launch following them tight in their wake .  On reaching dry land I was busy chatting away with them – probably not concentrating enough.  The roll of film dropped from my hands as I unloaded , rolled slowly along the jetty, and dropped into the Thames.  He looked at me with a smile and said “see you here tomorrow then”.

Can you give any tips for people to help capture great moments while on their cruise?

Don’t take too many photos or videos. Enjoy the moment. Live it in real time.   Failing that – step up to your subject and think about what it is you are photographing. That will help you frame & compose the shot to best effect. Don’t just shoot away hoping. Don’t use filters!

Visit Steve’s website for more information stevedunlop.com

Steve Dunlop

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