The Uniqueness of Cunards Queen Victoria

Queen Victoria

Only one cruise line can profess to having three ‘Queens’ in their fleet and that is Cunard. The Queen Victoria is a shining example of luxury combined with traditional British style cruising. In 2007, she was unveiled to provide ‘Old World’ charm by reflecting the past amongst the modernity of the 21st Century cruise ship.

There is no uncertainty that the plush and rich design is reminiscent of the romance and tradition of the old transatlantic liners. Heavy woods and marble are commonplace throughout the ship with a touch of glitz. The ship’s theme plays and emphasises upon the long history of cruising, particularly with Cunard, which were famous for their cruises on steamers.

Photographs of past celebrities and famous figures who sailed on their great ships can be observed in virtually every part of the ship.


Queen Victoria can hold over 2000 passengers and there are over a thousand cabins with more than half offering verandas. The cabin system is very unique as it is divided into many different categories that have everything from small but cosy rooms with twin beds, balcony cabins to Grand Suites that have over 2000 square feet of space.

queen victoria balcony a3

All cabins onboard the ship contain well appointed and state of the art features such as flat-screen television with international programming, a refrigerator, a hairdryer, a storage safe, a telephone and a daily paper about activities on the ship. Bathrooms come equipped with a small shower in the standard cabins with baths available in the more expensive staterooms.


There is an attempt to create a few special enclaves that have been an integral part to Cunard story with the class system. Consisting of the Queens Grill premium cabins and Princess Grill suites, passengers have access to exclusive restaurants as well as private lounges.

One bit of tradition that still follows in the Grills is high tea in the afternoons.

afternoon tea

Cunard has placed quite a bit of effort into the other dining options as well onboard the Victoria.

One of the restaurants, the two story high Britannia Restaurant serves casual fare with a warm demeanour. There is also the Lido Café which is a buffet style restaurant. Another option is the Verandah on deck two which serves sophisticated and yet contemporary cuisine under the direction of world-famous Chef Jean-Claude Zimmermann.

There are also many lounges on-board including Churchill’s Cigar Lounge.


Don’t worry about being bored as the Queen Victoria has a wide variety of activities to keep you entertained. There are some very interesting shows every night ranging from Celtic dance to a comedic view of Victorian era life, Victoriana. The Hemispheres nightclub offers a wide range of music to get you out of your seat and into the groove

There’s a casino that, while it’s not too large, it contains all of the standard games to challenge your gambling instincts.

queen victoria casino

Other Interests

The Queen Victoria also plays host to the “world’s first floating museum”, providing insight into the rich history behind Cunard and it’s fleet. In addition, there are two standard swimming pools available that provide a perfect place to cool down after a long day. The young ones can spend time away from their parents at the children’s club on the ship.

For those who want to be rejuvenated, the best place to head to is the luxurious spa and fitness centre. The spa offers a large amount of treatments such as facials, oxygen treatments, “aroma soul” massages and deep tissue scrubs, all of which are guaranteed to make you feel younger. In addition, the fitness centre focuses more on health and cardiovascular rather than muscle tone.



The best part for those who reside in the UK is the Queen Victoria has made her home port in Southampton during the spring, summer and autumn. Travel to the Med, Canary Islands and then sail a transatlantic through the Panama Canal. She has a winter hiatus on the other side of the atlantic with sailings out of Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.

Cunard’s uniqueness is always offering the perception that there is something different about being on one of their ships. They certainly have made that possible on the Queen Victoria.

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What makes Cunard different from other lines?

Eight out of ten cruises I have taken in the last 10 years have been with Cunard. For me it is the cruise line that is so different and unique to all the others that I find that I struggle to pull myself away from stepping aboard their ships. In this article I shares 5 reasons I find Cunard so different and compelling a choice to cruise with:

Cunard is the only cruise line with an Ocean Liner. After jet liners destroyed the business of crossing from Europe to North America by ship, Ocean Liners were replaced with ships designed and more suited to passengers wanting to cruise around the calmer and more forgiving Caribbean and Mediterranean seas.

There was no need for specially designed Ocean Liners with bows to slice through the Atlantic waves, reinforced hulls to withstand the battering and acres of public rooms and spaces to pass away days at sea. Only Cunard has a true Ocean Liner – the Queen Mary 2. This unique ship is the one that everyone turns to look at, even when crammed into busy ports like St. Maarten or St. Thomas with 7 other Cruise Ships.

The other two ships in the Cunard Fleet, Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth, are regular cruise ship designs dressed up in the traditional Cunard colours.

Queen Mary 2

Cunard is the only cruise line with a scheduled transatlantic service harking back to the glory days of crossings. Most cruise lines can take you across the Atlantic twice a year when they re-position their ships to and from the Caribbean to the Mediterranean and vice versa.

Only Cunard retains a scheduled transatlantic service using the Queen Mary 2. Cunard originally pioneered the Transatlantic service from the UK, and today they try to bring the romance, history and experience from when crossing by sea was the only way to cross from Europe to North America.

Daily Afternoon Tea served by waiters in white gloves, Black Tie and Gowns most nights and Ballroom Dancing in the Queens Room Ballroom with a live orchestra. The tradition and feel of the glory days of ocean liner travel permeates through all the fleet, with even the Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth following the Ocean Liner retro Art deco style inside, and follow many of these same routines on their cruise schedules.

Afternoon Tea

Cunard is the only cruise line with a British Royal Family Connection. All the Cunard ships in service, and their previous flagship ships in recent history, have been named by a member of the British Royal Family.

Most of them by Queen Elizabeth II herself. The Royal Family often pay visits to one of the ships at high profile events related to an anniversary or celebration of significant Cunard milestones.

Queen Mary Naming Ceremony

Cunard is still the cruise line that is the choice of the rich and famous. In the 1930s through to the demise of crossings due to jet liners, Cunard was the choice for the rich and famous to travel between New York and the UK.

Today Cunard ships are full of black and white images of these famous people aboard ships like the Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth. This is still true today. Although primarily linked to the flagship Queen Mary 2 Transatlantic or World Cruise, Cunard still attracts the rich and famous.

Crossings will often have famous names ranging from Rod Stewart, John Cleese, Una Thurman through to high profile trips by politicians like President George Bush, Nelson Mandela and Bishop Desmond Tutu.

John Cleese

Cunard retains some of the heritage of “class style” travel and differentiation through the Queens Grill, Princess Grill and Britannia Grill. Unlike most cruise lines, Cunard still has retained some of the class approach in their service. While some may see this as outdated or snobbery, it is not unlike airlines that have First, Business and Economy options. Cunard provides a different service based on very wide range of pricing options.

On Cunard there is Queens Grill (“First”), Princess Grill (“Business”) and Britannia Grill (“Economy”).  In practice the key difference is in the size of Stateroom and where you eat. The staterooms are not on exclusive decks and different “grades” are spread across most decks.

The Stateroom Grade determines which restaurant you eat in, and while the core menu is the same across all grades, in the “Grills” at dinner there is added choice and ability to order off menu. The Grills do have exclusive use of a deck area and a lounge with concierge.

Queens Grill

The Britishness and Heritage of Cunard is what makes it so different to all the other lines. Even the other major British cruise lines P&O, which is actually older than Cunard, does not embrace the past and heritage in the same way.

There is a feeling of the glory days of crossing and romance that appeals to me more than the brightness, newness and modernity of other cruise lines.

About Gary Bembridge

Gary Bembridge blogs and podcasts about luxury travel on land and at sea. Follow him on and at