Cunard Line’s flagship Queen Mary 2 has returned to her homeport of Southampton after a major refurbishment that will prepare her to welcome guests for a luxury cruise vacation on her upcoming Transatlantic Crossings, Europe and World Voyages.
The refurbishment took place at the Blohm & Voss Shipyard in Hamburg, from 24 November to 6 December, with work undertaken in all staterooms and suites, the Canyon Ranch SpaClub, the Queens Grill and Princess Grill Restaurants, the Commodore Club, the Veuve Clicquot Champagne Bar, Sir Samuel’s Bar and Lounge and the children’s Play Zone. The popular Golden Lion Pub also was completely redesigned. Tillberg Design Company who were involved in Queen Mary 2’s original concept, were engaged by Cunard to develop the new designs.
“Queen Mary 2 is an iconic leader in the world of luxury ocean travel and consistently receives high ratings by guests and the cruise industry. A ship that still turns heads everywhere she goes, she is unquestionably the pride of our fleet,” said Peter Shanks, president of Cunard Line. “We are committed to maintaining that impeccable reputation, and this significant refurbishment is an important investment on behalf of our guests.”
A special new portrait of Her Majesty The Queen was unveiled today in honour of her role in launching Queen Mary 2 in 2004. The commissioned oil painting - which will be displayed in the Grand Lobby - depicts The Queen during her final visit to Queen Elizabeth 2 in Southampton on 2 June 2008, and was painted by Gail Graham, an art director of The European magazine. This will be the second portrait of Her Majesty on board a Cunard ship. A specially-commissioned portrait of Her Majesty also hangs in the Grand Lobby of the Line’s newest ship, Queen Elizabeth, which she also launched in October 2010.
“Her Majesty has named four Cunard ships: Caronia (1947), Queen Elizabeth 2 (1967), Queen Mary 2 (2004) and Queen Elizabeth (2010),” said Shanks. “We had a magnificent Cunard-commissioned portrait of her by Sir Oswald Birley which originally hung on Caronia and then aboard QE2, and we have the celebrated official portrait of Her Majesty on board Queen Elizabeth which was painted last year by Isabel Peachey. So, it is with great pleasure that we extend this tradition to our flagship, Queen Mary 2, today.”
“Not only is it a honour to receive a commission for a painting of The Queen, it is a particular honour to receive one for a portrait which will hang in such a significant location aboard Queen Mary 2. Most of my portraits are in private hands, so it is gratifying that this will be seen by so many,” said artist Gail Graham.
Queen Mary 2’s 14-day refit required a team of thousands of workers replacing the equivalent of almost ten football fields of carpet and manufacturing about 18 miles of fabric into over 6,000 individual items.
Specific details of her refurbishments include:
Staterooms – All 1,310 staterooms and suites aboard Queen Mary 2 received a fresh look with new carpeting, curtains, bedspreads and some received new furniture. The revised design is in keeping with current concepts, but with an enhanced sense of comfort, as can be experienced in luxury hotels around the world.
Golden Lion Pub – With its increasingly popular traditional British pub lunch menus, busy bar, exciting sports events and nightly music offerings, the Pub has benefitted from a complete refurbishment and redesign to enhance its endearing appeal. The new design retains the British pub atmosphere with warm colours and plush seating in keeping with the same venues aboard sister ships Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth. Upgraded plasma television screens also have been installed.
Canyon Ranch SpaClub – An extensive refurbishment of the first Canyon Ranch SpaClub at sea included reconditioning the teak surrounds of the hydrotherapy pool and adjacent wet areas and a general upgrade of all the facilities. In addition, new exercise machines in the fitness centre and new and improved features in the Beauty Salon have been installed.
Queens Grill and Princess Grill Restaurants – A new, lighter carpet design for both of Queen Mary 2’s exclusive Grill restaurants will enhance the existing ambience as guests get decked out to experience the finest dining at sea.
Commodore Club – One of the most popular public rooms on board, this lounge overlooking the ship’s bow has been refreshed with a new carpet design and additions to the white leather furnishings of chairs, sofas and bar stools.
Veuve Clicquot Champagne Bar – This venue featuring the exquisite Veuve Clicquot brand of champagne has a new carpet and new soft furnishings.
Sir Samuel’s – This busy venue, which features specialty coffees during the day and an impressive menu of wines at night, received new carpeting and furniture coverings.
The Play Zone – These facilities for younger guests underwent a complete refurbishment, including new soft play areas, plus upgrades including the very latest in electronic gaming technology and entertainment.
Queen Mary 2 was recently named the world’s Top Large Resort Ship in the 2012 Berlitz Complete Guide to Cruising. By continuing to invest in both her technical and hotel areas as well as retaining the status of having the largest ballroom at sea, the only planetarium at sea, the first Todd English Restaurant at sea, the first Canyon Ranch SpaClub at sea and the largest library at sea, Cunard will ensure a consistently enchanting experience for its guests.