The novelty of travel has been ruined by haste: racing to the airport, dashing through security, a flying visit to the lounge, sprinting to the boarding gate, and praying that your flight leaves on time so that you can arrive at your destination without delay. There’s a luxury to travelling at the sharp end of the plane, too, but even champagne and a fully reclining bed can’t disguise the fact that you’re penned in a pressurised metal tube and will be breathing the same air as 400 other souls for the next 11 hours.
The journey itself was once an experience, before the distances shrank, due to the speed of travel — and there are few more iconic journeys than a Transatlantic crossing between the US and the UK. Cunard Lines has been operating crossings between New York and Southampton since 1847, and offers the only opportunity to do so in the modern age, aboard the Queen Mary 2.
With the retirement of the Queen Elizabeth 2 in 2008, the Queen Mary 2 remains the only true ocean liner in passenger service. An ocean liner is not a cruise ship — it’s more stately, built for stability on the vast, open ocean, and fitted for longer journeys. The Queen Mary 2 is an Art Deco tribute to the lost opulence of travel, and each stateroom — even those at lower price brackets — accommodates travellers in comfort, with queen-size beds, full bathrooms, minibars, complimentary room service, and multichannel flat-screen TVs.