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APRIL 2018

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Club member exclusive EDGARS CLUB MAGAZINE APRIL 2018 EDGARSCLUB.CO.ZA

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RECAPTURE THE

luxurious charm OF TRAVEL

A Transatlantic Crossing on the Queen Mary 2 harks back to the glamour days of global travelling. By Trevor Crighton


L I V E T R AV E L

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ravel should be all about unique experiences: tasting, seeing, touching, smelling and experiencing something far removed enough from your everyday reality that you can’t help but enjoy yourself. And there are few more iconic experiences than crossing the Atlantic on Cunard’s luxurious ocean liner, the Queen Mary 2. The vast floating city – a 345metre-long, 80 000-ton marvel of engineering with a capacity of nearly 2 700 passengers and more than 1 200 crew members – is an experience in itself, but sampling all it has to offer while traversing the Atlantic between New York and Southampton over the course of seven days will provide enough holiday memories to last a lifetime. There are quicker ways to get between the USA and UK – but not many of them involve a plush queensized bed with nightly turn-down service, a couch to relax on or a private balcony. And that’s just your stateroom… The experience is a striking one from the moment you can see the ship’s funnel standing proud above the harbour buildings. Passengers arrive

in the grand lobby – a soaring double-volume space that immediately sets the Art Deco tone that extends throughout the interior. There’s no waiting around – access to your stateroom (nope, not ‘cabin’) is immediate and while waiting for your luggage to arrive at your door, it seems prudent to pop the cork on the waiting bottle of chilled champagne and marvel at the views of southern Manhattan from your personal balcony. The Eastbound Crossing departs from the dedicated cruise terminal in Brooklyn, affording passengers the opportunity to toast the twinkling lights of Manhattan from the aft deck as the ship sets sail at dusk. The Westbound Crossing departure view of Southampton is probably slightly less spectacular, but the thrill of experiencing all that’s on board the Queen Mary 2 more than makes up for that. Cruising on an ocean liner is a nod to the glamorous days when travel was a novelty and exploring the world was done in style. When travel stops being a novelty, it’s time to shut the box and have a few friends shovel some dirt over you, but the thrill does tend to be tarnished somewhat when you’re wedged between two snoring slobs in economy class for 11 hours.

The vast floating city is a 345-metre-long, 80 000-ton marvel of engineering.

Every day on board the Queen Mary 2 is an adventure – and every night is an occasion. ‘Informal’ dressing on board still requires a jacket and smart pants for men and dresses for the ladies, while some evenings are designated as ‘formal’, requiring a jacket and tie, dinner jacket or tuxedos for gents and evening gowns for women – especially the nights capped by the Masquerade Ball or Black & White Ball. Jeans are not allowed to be worn in public areas after 6pm and dress is generally expected to be quite respectful. For passengers who’d prefer not to dress up, the Kings Court Buffet restaurant is open for a more relaxed experience – and also serves breakfast, lunch and snacks throughout the day and night. Guests in the Britannia cabin category on board dine in two assigned seatings at specific tables in the Britannia Restaurant, which is quite a sight to behold as up to 1 200 diners converge on two levels, enjoying three courses that appear with astonishing speed, along with wines from a phonebook-thick menu featuring varietals and vintages from around the world – including some from South Africa – EDGARSCLUB.CO.ZA

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L I V E T R AV E L

EDGARS CLUB APRIL 2018

the journey should always be as important as the destination. Transatlantic Crossing prices vary, depending on the time of year and departure point, but are generally priced from about R23 000 per person, which includes all meals (barring surcharged dining options, wine, whisky and cocktail workshops and excluding drinks in the bars, or with meals) and access to all amenities on board, bar the Canyon Ranch Spa. For more, visit the White Star Cruise & Travel website at whitestar.co.za or the Cunard Lines website at cunard.co.uk.

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topped off by a R73 000 bottle of Domaine de la RomanéeConti Montrachet! For a small surcharge, it’s possible to eat at the fine-dining Verandah restaurant or experience à la carte options at a type of ‘pop-up’ restaurant, which takes over part of the Kings Court each evening, offering Italian, Indian or Mexican options, in some style. The Verandah’s Frenchinspired cuisine is beautifully plated and incredibly inventive – much more so than many top-class restaurants that aren’t producing food thousands of kilometres from land in the middle of the ocean. The sommeliers make excellent wine-pairing suggestions that needn’t break the bank, and the opportunity to try many of the wines by the glass means you can sample some you wouldn’t ordinarily get to taste without springing for an entire bottle – including English Pinot Noir, Spanish reds, Hungarian sweet wines or even Sake. It’s almost impossible to run out of things to do on board, even with seven days to explore. There are nightly themed shows in the Royal Court Theatre, fascinating Cunard Insights lectures from a variety of high-profile speakers, musicians sprinkled across the bars throughout the day and night, the only planetarium at sea (which doubles as a 3D cinema), a fitness centre, dance and card-game lessons, trivia games, a casino, high-end duty-free shopping, lounge areas, a wood-panelled library with over 8 000 books, art classes, the Clarendon Fine Art Gallery, wine-tasting experiences, a nightclub, a ballroom with the largest dance floor at sea, deck games, golf, and loads more. There are even kennel facilities on the Transatlantic Crossings, allowing passengers to take their cats or dogs along! A must-do luxurious experience is the afternoon tea, served in the Queens Room ballroom. Enjoying crustless sandwiches, fresh scones with jam and cream, and endless quantities of specially blended tea while listening to a string quartet can’t help but remind you why

Edgars Club Magazine April 2018 - Travel  

Recapture the luxurious charm of travel A Transatlantic Crossing on the Queen Mary 2 harks back to the glamour days of global travelling. By...

Edgars Club Magazine April 2018 - Travel  

Recapture the luxurious charm of travel A Transatlantic Crossing on the Queen Mary 2 harks back to the glamour days of global travelling. By...