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Cunard to Partner with English National Ballet on 2019 Queen Mary 2 Cruise
Cunard to Partner with English National Ballet on 2019 Queen Mary 2 Cruise
Queen Mary 2, Caribbean Princess Set Sail on Their First Cruises in 19 Months
Queen Mary 2 (Photo: Cunard)

Queen Mary 2, Caribbean Princess Set Sail on Their First Cruises in 19 Months

Queen Mary 2, Caribbean Princess Set Sail on Their First Cruises in 19 Months
Queen Mary 2 (Photo: Cunard)

December 02, 2021

Aaron Saunders
News and Features Editor
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(8:30 a.m. EST) -- Two additional cruise ships crossed major milestones recently, with Cunard Line and Princess Cruises both returning vessels to the high seas for the first time in over 19 months.

Both Queen Mary 2 and Caribbean Princess had been operationally sidelined since the COVID-19 pandemic began to shut down the travel and cruise industries in March 2020.

Now, both vessels are back on their first revenue passenger voyages.

Queen Mary 2 Debuts in Southampton, Transatlantic Crossings to Resume

Cunard Line's iconic flagship Queen Mary 2 resumed operations on November 28, 2021 from Southampton, sailing a short three-night voyage to Cherbourg, France.

The ship -- which recently underwent a multi-week refresh in Brest, France -- will complete a voyage to the Canary Islands before setting out on December 13, 2021 on its first transatlantic crossing in nearly two years -- a westbound voyage to New York that will arrive at the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal on December 20, in time for a Holiday voyage to the Caribbean.

The world's only true modern ocean liner, the 2,620-passenger Queen Mary 2 then resumes its regular schedule of winter crossings between Southampton and New York, with longer nine-day voyages occasionally offered between Hamburg, Germany and New York via Southampton.

Queen Mary 2 joins its smaller fleetmate Queen Elizabeth as the second Cunarder to re-enter service. The line's Queen Victoria will resume passenger operations next spring.

Cruise Critic will be sailing onboard Queen Mary 2 this coming February for a report on the liner's return to the rugged North Atlantic. Until then, it's reassuring to see this greyhound of the seas back underway once again.

Caribbean Princess Returns to Its Namesake Destination

Caribbean Princess

On the opposite side of the Atlantic, Princess Cruises welcomed back one of its more popular ships on the same day, with the 2004-built Caribbean Princess setting sail from Port Everglades Sunday evening.

Caribbean Princess will spend its winter offering a variety of Eastern and Western Caribbean cruises sailing roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale. Ports of call include as St. Kitts, St. Thomas, Cozumel, Grand Cayman and Princess Cays, Princess Cruises' private island in the Bahamas.

The ship underwent a significant refurbishment in 2019, prior to the global health pandemic, that saw the addition of a new outdoor splash area for kids on the ship's uppermost deck.

Princess notes its weeklong Caribbean sailings can be combined into a single 14-day voyage traversing the Eastern and Western Caribbean.

"Caribbean Princess marks our eighth cruise ship to return to service and our teammates are thrilled to be serving our guests back onboard," said John Padgett, Princess Cruises president.

"This ship was our very first vessel to offer the innovative Princess MedallionClass Experience and features modernized venues and newly imagined spaces like The Reef Outdoor Splash Zone that offers a tremendous setting for the entire family."

Both Caribbean Princess and Queen Mary 2 continue the cruise industry's relaunch plans that began in earnest over the summer, and which are scheduled to carry on into 2022.

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