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Queen Elizabeth Review

Our Ship Review
Deal Expert / Travel Blogger

Queen Elizabeth, launched in 2010, is Cunard Line’s second Vista Class ship and sister to 2007’s Queen Victoria. This midsize vessel carries 2,081 passengers and features glamorous Art Deco décor (polished and refined during a major refurbishment in 2018) and exudes a proper British flair that draws a largely British clientele. More than any other line, Cunard offers a time-honored ocean liner experience, with wood-paneled décor, ballroom dancing in the evenings, a traditional English pub, croquet on the Games Deck, and a formal, multicourse afternoon tea.

What We Love

Varied Itineraries: Queen Elizabeth is scheduled to cruise global itineraries through at least 2026, with many sailings lasting two weeks or more and calling on Japan, Australia, New Zealand, and the South Pacific. 

Lecture Programs: Cunard’s speakers — from entertainment experts sharing their knowledge of British comedy or BBC history to historians discussing the royal family and authors sharing their recently published books — are among the best at sea.

Best Known For

Proper Afternoon Tea: The daily event, accompanied by a live band, is hugely popular, and for good reason. The service offers everything you might expect at a top London hotel, from the fresh scones to the white-glove attendants and tiered silver trays of sweets. Our advice: Don’t tarry; seats fill up quickly.

Impressive Library: Cunard is serious about its libraries, and the cozy two-level space on Queen Elizabeth is home to several thousand books. There's a professional librarian at the helm, and keepsake Cunard maritime memorabilia for sale.

Who It's Best For

Older Cruisers: Apart from school holidays, the ship mainly caters to an older British clientele, as well as Germans and other Europeans. Expect North Americans to be in the minority.

Don't Say We Didn't Warn You

The Formality is Real: If you’re seeking a casual cruise experience, you won’t find it here. Cunard is as traditional and formal as they come, so pack for several black-tie-optional evenings (suit jacket and tie for gentlemen and cocktail dress for ladies) and prepare for an overall ambiance that feels like a throwback to a bygone era.