Cunard has announced that initial sales for its new Queen Mary 2 have exceeded all expectations. Only one day after bookings officially opened on August 1, the line's capacity-controlled early booking discounts have been removed for the January 12, 2004, maiden voyage, which is nearly sold out. The highly anticipated, $800-million ship is the largest, longest, tallest, widest and most luxurious ocean liner ever constructed.
"It's obvious that people consider the maiden voyage of Queen Mary 2 an historic occasion that they want to be a part of," said Deborah Natansohn, Cunard's senior vice president of sales and marketing. "What has been more surprising is the strength of bookings for sailings through-out the inaugural year. We're encouraging clients to reserve now while Early Booking Savings are still in place for most voyages."
Natansohn also advised early reservations for the farewell transatlantic season aboard Queen Elizabeth 2, which has generated great interest as well. "QE2 is an icon, the embodiment of an elegant, Old World style of travel. The 2003 transatlantic season offers a last chance to cross the Atlantic on a legend," she stated. Once Queen Mary 2 takes
over the transatlantic route in 2004, QE2 will
be based in Southampton, England, offering a variety of cruises plus her traditional round-the-world voyage.
The QM2 maiden
voyage is a 14-day cruise from Southampton to Fort Lauderdale, Fla., calling at Madeira, Tenerife and Las Palmas in the Canary Islands, Barbados and St. Thomas en route.
Other Inaugural Season itineraries include Caribbean cruises from New York, Rio de Janeiro sailings at Carnival time, summer voyages to Europe and New England/Canada and 15 crossings between Southampton and New York.
Queen Mary 2 is currently under construction at the Chantiers de l'Atlantique shipyard in France. In the proud tradition of Cunard's legendary liners
, the 2,620-passenger ship evokes a feeling of grandeur and glamour, coupled with contemporary style and amenities and the latest
technological innovations. Sweeping staircases, expansive promenades, stylish restaurants and public rooms on an imposing scale are among the Cunard "signatures" while the sheer size of the vessel, 150,000 gross tons, and a space ratio per passenger of 57.25, makes her among the roomiest of the world's larger passenger ships. Facilities will include 1,310 fully equipped staterooms and suites, nearly three-quarters of which will have their own private balcony. All accommodations will have interactive televisions at sea so that guests can send and receive e-mail from the comfort of their stateroom.
The ship will features 10 dining venues; several elegant bars and lounges; a spa and beauty center operated by the world famous Canyon
Ranch; the world's first shipboard planetarium; a casino; library, staffed by trained librarians; a children's facility, complete with British
nannies; indoor and outdoor swimming pools; hot tubs; duty-free boutiques; and a kennel.