Cruise History: Nostalgia will rule the waves on Cunard’s Queen Elizabeth. New ship will honor the first liner by the same name. Stepping on board Cunard’s latest cruise ship, the Queen Elizabeth, will be like walking onto the set of Poirot.

Yesterday, Cunard Line revealed itinerary and design plans for its newest ocean liner, Queen Elizabeth, which is scheduled to enter service on 12 October 2010, giving one of the oldest names in shipping the strength of operating the youngest fleet in the industry.

Queen Elizabeth will be the third new ocean liner to be introduced by Cunard in six years and the second largest Cunard ship ever built.  She will be a living testimony in style and grace to cruising the past.

Queen Elizabeth will feature the unique Cunard traditions linking her with her sisters Queen Mary 2 and Queen Victoria, and their predecessors. She will also debut some exciting features that will give the vessel her own style and personality, plus all the modern day luxuries Cunard’s guests have come to expect.

Likewise, Cunard’s renowned White Star Service will be ever-present, ensuring that travellers who seek a return to tradition will enjoy proper, authentic experiences that reflect the line’s 170-year heritage of formality and civility at sea.

In announcing the first details of the new ship, Cunard President Carol Marlow said “Cunard holds the distinction of sailing the most famous ocean liners in the world and I’m delighted to announce this magnificent addition to our fleet, which marks the return to our operation of three Queens simultaneously.

For more than 70 years there has been an ‘Elizabeth’ in the fleet and this beautiful modern-day celebration of our past ‘Elizabeths’ will ensure this proud tradition continues far into this century. Sir Samuel Cunard would be rightly proud.”

Queen Elizabeth is named after Cunard’s first Queen Elizabeth, the famed Cunard ship which was launched in 1938 as the world’s largest liner.

The first RMS Queen Elizabeth.

The new ship will reference her predecessor in interior grandeur, décor and style, but with a modern twist.

From the outside, her distinctive black and red livery will hint at the experience that differentiates a Cunard liner from a modern-day cruise ship. This will be most evident in the ship’s adherence to liner decor, with elegant double and triple height public rooms on a grand scale, intricately detailed interiors replete with rich wood panelling, mosaics, gleaming chandeliers, and cool marbles.

Art Deco features will pay homage to the original Queen Elizabeth, and will allow the new ship to reflect a more civilized era of travel. And in addition to the extensive Cunard entertainment programme onboard, Queen Elizabeth will offer some unique strands inspired by the era of the first Queen Elizabeth, including country house parties, lively piano evenings and a variety of dancing from that time – including the jitterbug and jive – all within the setting of this 21st century ship.

As a successor to Queen Elizabeth 2, the ship will also reflect this great liner via artwork and memorabilia and will have its very own ‘Yacht Club,’ named after the lively aft lounge on QE2. Offering guests 270 degree views and the perfect setting for activities and gatherings during the day, it will also double as a dramatic evening venue for cocktails and dancing.

Similarly, through photography, memorabilia and exhibits, the ship will recognize the historic links Cunard has enjoyed with Royalty over the years.

–Photos are artistic renderings and appear courtesy of Cunard Line.

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About Michael L. Grace

MICHAEL L. GRACE is part of the award winning team that created the internationally performed award winning musical SNOOPY, based on PEANUTS by Charles M. Schultz. SNOOPY continues to be one of the most produced shows (amateur & stock) in America/Worldwide and has had long running productions in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and in London's West End. There are over 100 individual productions every year. He has written movies for TV, including the award-winning thriller LADY KILLER, various pilots and developed screenplays for Kevin Costner and John Travolta. Besides co-writing and co-producing SNOOPY, he wrote and produced the one-man play KENNEDY. He produced P.S. YOUR CAT IS DEAD by pulitzer prize winning author James Kirkwood. He wrote the stage thriller FINAL CUT which had productions in the UK, South Africa and Australia. His one-man play, KENNEDY - THE MAN BEHIND THE MYTH, was developed for HBO and has starred Andrew Stevens, Gregory Harrison and Joseph Bottoms. He has recently been involved in European productions with CLT-UFA, Europe's leading commercial television and radio broadcaster. He wrote MOWs THE DOLL COLLECTION, THE BOTTOM LINE and LAST WITNESS for German television. While in college and graduate school he worked as a foreign correspondent for COMBAT, the famous leftwing Paris daily, and as a travel writer. He visited more than 50 countries. He struggled as an actor, then joined the enemy and entered the training program at William Morris. He became a publicist and worked for Colonel Tom Parker, Elvis Presley's manager, at Paramount and MGM. He followed with a brief stint as a story executive, working in the frantic horror genre period of the early 80s and wrote THE UNSEEN. He went onto write for episodic television and develop series pilots. He was a continuing writer on such series such as LOVE BOAT, PAPER DOLLS, and KNOTS LANDING. He developed screenplays for such major award winning directors as Nicolas Meyers, Tony Richardson and J. Lee Thompson. He has written for all the major networks and studios. He has been hired numerous times as a script doctor, doing many uncredited rewrites on TV movies and features. He is currently writing A PERSON OF INTEREST, a thriller novel, and, IT'S THE LOVE BOAT... AND HOW IT CHANGED CRUISING BY SHIP a non-fiction book dealing with how the hit TV series as a major cultural phenomenon and altered the style of cruising by ship. He was raised in Los Angeles. He attended St. Paul's, USC and the Pasadena Playhouse. He received a B.A from San Francisco State University where he majored in theatre arts and minored in creative writing. He is listed as a SFSU leading alumni. He also apprenticed at ACT - The American Conservatory Theatre. For a brief period he had intentions of becoming an Episcopal(Anglican) priest and attended seminary at Kelham Theological College in the UK. When "the calling" wasn't there, he left seminary and did graduate work at the American University of Beirut. He has guest lectured at USC, UC San Diego, McGill, Univ. of London and the Univ. of Texas on the business aspects of making a living and surviving as a writer, focusing on development hell, in the Hollywood entertainment industry. Grace is a lifetime member of the Writers Guild of America, the Dramatist Guild and former regional chairman of the Steamship Historical Society of America. He resides in Palm Springs.

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