New cruise confirmed – and new coffee bar rumoured – for QM2

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Cunard flagship Queen Mary 2 will be going into dry dock in November for a bit of a freshen up, but the bean counters in head office must have been twisting some arms at the shipyard because they are now expecting to complete the work in little over a week.
Which means there’s now time to squeeze in an extra four-night cruise at the beginning of December.
Leaving Southampton on December 8, the ship will visit Le Havre in France and Zeebrugge in Belgium – perfect for some continental Christmas shopping. Entertainment will be provided during the voyage by Brit Award winning four-tenor singing group Blake. Fares start at £599.
Cunard are being uncharacteristically coy about what work is to be carried out during the dry dock, which was originally scheduled for about three weeks and had already been cut to 13 days before today’s announcement. They will say only that “all the cabins and most of the public rooms on the ship will be refurbished.”
There are rumours of a make-over for the under-used Winter Garden which could be converted into a coffee bar, allowing Sir Samuels to revert to its original role as a wine bar. We shall see.
Meanwhile, Cunard will not even confirm where the work is to take place, but my money would be on the Blohm + Voss yard at Hamburg, where the French-built ship had her hull scraped and re-painted during a dry dock in November 2008.
IN CONTRAST, things are not quite going to plan for newbuild Riviera, a sister ship for Oceania’s Marina. Her maiden voyage has been pushed back 10 days, officially “to allow additional time for the staff to familiarise themselves with the ship’s facilities.”
The new 12-night maiden will sail from Athens on April 24 next year and visits Alexandria and Port Said in Egypt, Ashdod (for excursions to Jerusalem) in israel, as well as Rhodes, Patmos and Kusadasi before ending with an overnight stay in Istanbul.
Guests who had booked on the original 10-night maiden voyage can opt to switch to the new sailing at no extra cost, and will also receive $250 on-board credit.

By | 2015-04-12T21:13:32+00:00 5 August 2011|Cruise News, Cruise Ships|2 Comments

About the Author:

John Honeywell is a travel writer specialising in cruise ships and cruise travel. Winner of CLIA UK's Contribution to Cruise award 2017.


  1. Eric 9 June 2012 at 8:31 am - Reply

    I’m just curious, have you ever been on a Carnival crsuie? Or are you some stuck up Royal Carribean groupie . They’re not expensive and there is ALWAYS something to do. I go on crsuies to go to the destinations, therefore the onboard stuff is not what I look forward to but I can say reading the daily capers that there is some interesting fun stuff available. You, however, would rather pay for the trip, the food, and all the extra things you probably dont use. I LOVE CARNIVAL

  2. John Honeywell 9 June 2012 at 9:54 am - Reply

    Pleased to hear you enjoy cruising with Carnival, Eric. I enjoy cruising on different ships and with varied companies. I will be on Carnival Breeze next week

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