Cunard flagship Queen Mary 2 is to be fitted with extra accommodation for passengers and their pets.
During a dry-dock refit next year, the vessel will be given 30 new balcony cabins for passengers travelling in Britannia Club class, and 15 single staterooms for passengers travelling individually, either as part of a larger family group or sailing solo.
QM 2 is the only cruise liner with kennels and these are frequently fully booked for passengers’ dogs and cats on Transatlantic crossings. Ten new kennel places will be created – taking the total to 22 – and a lamp-post and a US-style fire hydrant will be added to the dog walking area for the animals’ convenience.
The 151,400-ton ship, launched in 2004, was originally built to carry 2,620 passengers at double occupancy, and a possible maximum of 3,090 when all berths are filled – plus 1,238 crew. The work will be carried out during a 25-day dry-dock at the Blohm+Voss shipyard in Hamburg, Germany, from 27 May next year.
The balcony cabins will be constructed on a forward section of Deck 13, classified as Sun Deck, part of which is currently occupied by golf nets and a short tennis court. The Britannia Club restaurant will be extended to accommodate an extra 60 covers.
The Empire Casino on Deck 2 will be reduced in size to accommodate some of the single cabins; others (above, not to scale) will be shoehorned into the Deck 3 photo-gallery running between decks in the Britannia Restaurant and leading to the Queens Room.
Cunard say that other developments, some in response to customer research, will be announced in the coming months. Regular passengers will no doubt hope that these will include a substantial re-design of the King’s Court buffet restaurant, and possibly a re-think for the under-used Winter Garden.
The ship’s captains will no doubt be hoping for an improvement to their own accommodation – the restricted quarters have been a regular bone of contention with QM2’s designer, Stephen Payne.
Cunard director Angus Struthers said today: “Queen Mary 2 is an icon in the world of luxury travel. A ship that turns heads wherever she goes, she is the pride of the Cunard fleet and we are committed to ensuring her reputation grows ever stronger.These enhancements are just the beginning of an exciting revitalisation for QM2 and we look forward to making more announcements.”
Bookings for the additional accommodation can be made from today, for sailings from next summer.