Cunard Cruises have been a popular choice for honeymoons for many years. Newly weds have long enjoyed the luxury and opulence onboard the cruise ships as they travelled from one exotic destination to another. From April this year, for the first time, couples will be able to say ‘I do’ onboard the Queen Elizabeth, Queen Mary 2 and the Queen Victoria in a ceremony conducted by the Captain.
Carnival cruises, Cunard’s American based parent company, conducted over 2,000 weddings last year on its ships, which shows demand grow strongly year on year. Unlike American law, British law does not allow ocean cruise liners to hold a licence to carry out weddings as it is viewed as a ‘closed venue’, not allowing those who object to the wedding the opportunity to voice their objections.
To avoid this legal restriction, Cunard have moved the registered home of their ships from Southampton, England to Hamilton, Bermuda. This is because Bermuda law allows weddings to take place onboard cruise ships.
Couples wishing to wed at sea can choose from the full spectrum of Cunard’s worldwide voyages lasting seven nights or more. In addition to Crossings, destinations include the Mediterranean and Scandinavia, Canada and New England, the Caribbean, Hawaii, the Far East and Australia, and Panama Canal cruises.
A wedding on board a cruise ship not only offers a glamorous backdrop but is also extremely practical for the bridal party and their guests. The onboard facilities such as spa’s, beauticians and hairdressers allow the bride and her bridesmaids to indulge in some pampering prior to the wedding.
The superb restaurants and chefs onboard are able to host the wedding reception, including The Verandah on Queen Elizabeth and Todd English on Queen Mary 2 and Queen Victoria. In order to ensure each wedding remains special, only two weddings a day take place, one at 11am and one at 3.30pm. The ceremonies are exclusive to an individual wedding.
“There is nothing quite as special as the setting of a Cunard ship,” said Peter Shanks, president of Cunard Line. “Saying ‘I do’ at sea aboard Queen Mary 2, Queen Elizabeth or Queen Victoria promises so much more than a land-based venue. With a backdrop of the world’s most exotic coastlines in the Mediterranean and across the world, or the extraordinary sense of timelessness that you only experience mid-Atlantic, a Cunard wedding promises the happy couple a ceremony of classic style and sumptuous luxury.”
Shanks continued, “And the ships are so much more than simply a setting for the ceremony itself – they are also honeymoon destinations, offering newlyweds a fresh view to wake up to each morning and a trousseau of unforgettable destinations to discover together ashore.”
Cunard are expecting that their new offering will be extremely popular with many couples deciding on a sophisticated and memorable location for their wedding. Cunard also offer a range of all inclusive cruises 2012.