Social History: History of The Cunard Line
Cunard Line was the only company to continue regular transatlantic ocean crossings by liners after the 1970s. The French Line, Italian Line, the United States Line had gone out of business. Swedish America Line, Holland America Line along with Home Lines continued but only operating cruise ships. Liner service between New York and Europe was only offered by Cunard. The QE 2 made numerous crossings into the 21st Century – making Cunard Line the only way to cross the pond and continuing the tradition of “getting there is half the fun.”
Of all the cruise lines in the market of today, perhaps the most venerable would be the Cunard line. A name that is synonymous with transatlantic crossing, the Cunard Cruise Ship Line is known in some capacity to just about everybody who knows anything about ships. The famous old brand is of course most famous for its White Star Line ships of the early part of the last century, and in particular the tragic and ill-fated liner Titanic, which even those who care nothing for travel of any sort know at least something about. Even if it is only in connection with Leonardo di Caprio and Kate Winslet, surely there is no-one reading this who does not know what happened, ultimately, to this most ambitious of passenger liners.
Today, the Cunard line still sails the sea, though today it is owned by the Carnival Corporation and has just two active ships – the Queen Mary 2 and the Queen Victoria. There are also plans afoot to build a third ship, which will be named for Britain’s current monarch Queen Elizabeth, after the old Queen Elizabeth II (or QE2) was retired from active service pending its conversion to a hotel ship, which will be moored off the coast of the United Arab Emirates. The current fleet is used principally for world cruises, and mixes the stately grandeur of its forebears with the inescapable touch of modernity – no cruise liner of the present day can afford to be without a spa complex, after all.