Iconic Ocean Liner Returns to Service After 20 Month Pause

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The flagship of the Cunard fleet is back in service after more than 20 months of inactivity. Queen Mary 2 set sail from her homeport of Southampton on November 28, 2021, sailing a short three-day itinerary to France, before returning on December 1. She halted operations last year on March 15, in the middle of her World Cruise.

The ocean liner will be sailing around the UK until she sets sail on a longer itinerary in mid-December, doing what she does best, crossing the Atlantic Ocean.

The Return of an Icon, Queen Mary 2

After more than 20 months of operational pause, Queen Mary 2 finally returned to sea with guests onboard on November 28. The vessel cast off her lines from the docks in Southampton early in the evening to sail on a 3-day cruise calling in the French city of Cherbourg-en-Cotentin this Tuesday, November 30.

Queen Mary 2 Cruise Ship
Photo Credit: Darryl Brooks / Shutterstock.com

On December 13, the 345-meter long, 148,528-gross ton ocean liner will depart from Southampton sailing on the first in a series of what Cunard Line calls the ‘Grand Escape Voyages.’ It will be a welcome return to what she does best, crossing the Atlantic Ocean.

Guests will have the choice of a 9-night Atlantic Crossing to New York, or a combination of the Atlantic Crossing with a Caribbean Cruise, sailing from and to Southampton. During the Atlantic crossing, guests will have six days at sea and an overnight in New York City.

The Caribbean addition adds stops in the warm Eastern Caribbean such as Tortola Island, St. Kitts Island, Barbados, Dominica, and St. Maarten before she makes her way back to New York City and the return voyage to Southampton.

Queen Mary 2 Cruise Ship
Photo Credit: NAN728 / Shutterstock.com

The Second Cunard Ship to Resume Operations

So far, two out of the three Cunard ships are operational at this time. Queen Elizabeth was the first ship to resume operations back in August; she offered guests British Isles itineraries throughout the summer.

The vessel then departed on sailings along the Western European Coastline starting October 13, 2021. In June of next year, Queen Elizabeth will be repositioning to Vancouver, Canada, where she will sail a series of Alaska cruises.

The third Cunard ship, Queen Victoria, will be the last ship to resume operations when she starts sailing in April of 2022. Her first cruise is a short 5-day sailing to Amsterdam, including an overnight in the Dutch capital. After that, she will sail a series of cruises along the Western European coastline, Northern Europe, and the Western Mediterranean.

Cunard Cruise Ships
Two Cunard Ships (Photo Credit: Jane Rix / Shutterstock.com)

Queen Mary 2 guests will be happy to see that Cunard has not been sitting still during the twenty months the vessel has been sitting still along the English coastline. During September of last year, the ship underwent more than a month of dry dock.

During the time spent in Brest, France, several repairs were made to the thrusters and stabilizers, but she also received a fresh coat of paint, and the interiors received an update in many different areas.

Often called the most beautiful ocean liner in the world and one of the last true ocean liners, Queen Mary 2 is a record-breaking ship. She has a maximum speed of just over 30 knots (56 km/h; 35 mph), her cruising speed lies around  26 knots (48 km/h; 30 mph), significantly faster than a ‘normal’ cruise ship.

The vessel offers its 2,600 guests many entertainment options, including ten restaurants, twenty bars and lounges, a dance hall, and an indoor swimming pool for those cold Atlantic days.

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