Cunard Ships by Size, Age and Class (2022)

Queen Victoria bow view at Queen's Wharf, Auckland, New Zealand
Queen Victoria bow view at Queen's Wharf, Auckland, New Zealand

Cunard Line has an active fleet of 3 ships currently. They plan to launch a further ship in 2024. (Queen Anne) which will bring them to 4 ships, one of the smallest cruise line fleets in the world.

Whilst they might be one of the smallest fleets in the world, they are certainly one of the most well-known cruise lines with over 180 years of history and an infamous link with a rival company that owned the ill-fated ship, Titanic.

Introduction to Cunard Line

Cunard Line is a brand of the Carnival Corporation. Originally, Cunard Line started as the British and North American Royal Mail Steam-Packet Company over 180 years ago (1840).

Cunard Line is probably best well-known for their formal nights, extremely decadent and classy ships and also having the only active ocean liner in the world – Queen Mary 2.

Cunard’s fleet is fairly small but modern and with the addition of the upcoming ship Queen Anne, will continue the tradition of transatlantic and world cruises that they are known for.

Cunard Ships Frequently Asked Questions

This can be answered in several ways! Queen Mary 2 is the longest ship in the fleet and currently, Queen Elizabeth is the biggest in terms of GRT. Queen Anne will carry the most passengers when she launches in 2024.

The newest Cunard ship is Queen Elizabeth. She took her maiden voyage in 2011 from Southampton.

The oldest active Cunard Line ship is Queen Mary 2. She took her maiden voyage back in 2004 from Southampton. She was originally constructed in Saint-Nazaire in France.

Cunard has two classes of cruise ships and Queen Mary 2 is a class of her own, as the only unique ocean liner at sea.

Queen Elizabeth is the larger of the two sisters. She was designed with a straight-back stern compared to Queen Victoria’s sloping stern (later modified) which allowed more staterooms to be added and extra passengers.

This depends on the type of voyage you wish to take. For a transatlantic crossing, there is no other ship in the world that would beat or be as more comfortable to sail on as Queen Mary 2. Whereas for itineraries such as the Norwegian Fjords or Canary Islands, people prefer Queen Victoria or Queen Elizabeth.

No. Whilst Queen Victoria does have a strengthened bow to allow her to sail across the Atlantic Ocean easier, she has a flat-bottomed hull and her bow isn’t as pointed as Queen Mary 2 – which is the only ocean liner at sea.

The Cunard Queens are the common name affectionately given to the current three Cunard ships. The Cunard Queens sometimes sail together from one port each year, drawing many visitors to the port to watch them sail out. This has been done numerous times and is usually done to mark special occasions, such as the Queen’s Birthday or a milestone in Cunard history.

Cunard Ships by Size (from largest to smallest)

Ship NameTonnage (GRT)Passengers (Max)Length (Metres)Decks
Queen Mary 279,3002,69534518
Queen Anne113,000 (TBC)3,000 (TBC)322 (TBC)16
Queen Elizabeth90,9012,09229416
Queen Victoria90,0492,08129416

What does ‘Tonnage (GRT)’ mean?

GRT (Gross Registered Tonnage) is a term used to calculate the volume inside a ship. It is a measure of cubic capacity and is calculated by the total volume from inside the hull and decks of the ship. 1 GRT = 100 cubic feet of space. In essence, the bigger the GRT – the more ‘space’ the ship has for passengers, cargo, etc.

How are ‘Passengers (Max)’ calculated?

You’ll see multiple numbers for passengers on ships – this is because many ships include extra beds in cabins (such as the sofa/couch can convert to a pull-out bed) – but the majority of cabins or staterooms (as called by Cunard) usually have 2 people in them. the ‘Max’ number is if every cabin used their additional pull-out bed, etc. This number is unlikely to be reached very frequently.

Cunard Ships by Age (from newest to oldest)

Ship NameBuilt
Queen AnneDue 2024
Queen Elizabeth2011
Queen Victoria2007
Queen Mary 22004

Are all Cunard ships new builds?

Yes. All of the ships in the Cunard fleet are new builds. However, Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth use the same ship class as other Carnival ships. The Vista-class has been used for other brands in the Carnival fleet such as P&O Cruises, Costa Cruises and Holland America Line.

Queen Mary 2 is the only totally unique build for Cunard Line. This ship was designed specifically for Cunard and is a one-off.

Cunard Ships by Class (from newest to oldest)

Ship NameClass
Queen AnnePinnacle class
Queen Mary 2Bespoke ocean liner
Queen VictoriaVista class
Queen ElizabethVista class

What class is Queen Mary 2?

Queen Mary 2 is her own class as she is a purpose-built Ocean Liner. The only ocean that is sailing today.

Queen Mary 2 is different by having a v-shaped hull and a more pointed and strengthened bow. This allows her to sail ‘point-to-point’ via Southampton and New York across the Atlantic Ocean. Due to the rough weather, she may endure her pointed bow allows her to cut through the ocean easier, allowing a much more comfortable and faster voyage for her passengers.

What is the Pinnacle-class?

The Pinnacle-class design of a cruise ship was first used by sister brand Holland America Line and their MS Koningsdam ship. The future Queen Anne cruise ship for Cunard will be based on the Pinnacle-class build but with her own unique distinct Cunard style.

What other ships are Vista-class?

Both Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth are Vista-class ships, which have been used for other Carnival brands in the past.

These include:

  • Arcadia for P&O Cruises
  • MS Noordam for Holland America Line
  • Costa Luminosa for Costa Cruises

Final Thoughts

When it comes to choosing a Cunard Line ship for your cruise then a lot of people either pick Queen Mary 2 if it is a transatlantic or world cruise or Queen Victoria or Queen Elizabeth if sailing elsewhere.

Whilst Queen Mary 2 can be enjoyed for any cruise, she excels on transatlantic voyages due to her unique ocean liner design.

Queen Elizabeth and Queen Victoria are very popular ships for sailing in Norway – as their promenade deck is much lower than Queen Mary 2 it brings the feeling of being closer to the water for many.

Queen Anne, when she launches in 2024 will likely homeport at different places around the world throughout the year, giving passengers a chance to try out the unique style of cruising that Cunard Line offers.

Enjoyed this article? Check out our other guides on MSC Cruises, Disney Cruise Line and Royal Caribbean.

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