If you are British, you know how the proud lyon of the Cunard Line reigns on the seas since the 19th. The shipping line is one of the oldest companies in the maritime trade. Samuel Cunard created that first British regular line between Europe and the United States in 1839. After a long and proud independance, the Cunard Line was purchased by Trafalgar House, a consortium of shipping companies in 1971. Two decades later, the Cunard Line is purchased again by the Carnival Corporation, an American cruise line.
Since the end of the 20th, the Cunard Line reborn like a phoenix. The trio of the first 'Queens' composed to the sister-ships, the Queen Mary, the Queen Elizabeth and later the Queen Elizabeth 2 (QE2) evolved in the new era of the post WW2. The QE2, the QM and the QE are heroes by being transformed in troopships.
The QE2 (1967-2008) introduced a new chapter at the beginning of the cruises era. His main rival, the French transatlantic liner, the SS France, disappeared in 1974. At that time, the QE2 became the only liner to rotate between transatlantic crossings and tropical cruises in an awkward atmosphere where the new ships and the new cruise companies grew up fastly. It marks the end of the Golden age of the Transatlantic crossings as a unique way to travel between the old Europe and the new continent.
In 1998, the 'new' Cunard Line prepared the arrival of a modern liner, the RMS Queen Mary 2, the last real transatlantic liner, which is 14 years now. Then, the Cunard Line evolved fully in the cruises business by building two 'smaller' ships, the Queen Victoria (294m) and the Queen Elizabeth (294m) in 2007 and 2010.
The two new sister-ships replaced the QE2 in 2008. The third 'Queen' travelled on the seas and contributed to the modernization of the Cunard Line. With the international safety regulations imposed by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), the QE2 couldn't sail easily. Moreover, the old liner didn't satisfy the passengers during their cruises. Enhancing the standards in luxury ships appears as a hard thing to do when you are a maritime company. The concurrence is rude. Every new ship is not simply a ship with propellers and engines. You must respect vital environmental and technical regulations on the atmospheric and marine pollutions. You have to control the engineering machines are certified without compromises. Modernizing a forty years ship would have cost millions of dollars than build a new ship. The QM2 will be 18 years in 2022. In 2011, it was refited to respect the new maritime regulations. The motoring is far from all those rigourous requirements.
The last week, the Senior Vice-President of the Cunard Line, Simon Palethorpe, announced another chapter will debute in 2022 with a next generation of cunarder on the seas. The new ship hasn't had a name. It will be the third cruiser (and not a liner) which will be designed differently than her youngest sister-ships, the QV and the QE. More than another ship amongst the others, the new cunarder would perpetuate the global luxury standards as the Lamborghinis or the Ferraris do it in the motoring. The new cunarder will be huge with its 126.560 tons and additional decks.
Further news will release in 2018. Be patient to discover the name of that fourth modern cunarder which will build in the shipyards of Fincantieri in Italy. By waiting for having more surprises and news, you can try to guess what would be the name of the future 'Queen'. Some of my friends said me it would be named 'Queen Anne' or 'King George'. Tell me in the comments your ideas on that important question.
Credits : Cunard Line.