I surmised the last installment of this travel piece inspired by Conde Nast’s Travel Golds List would be best presented on the anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic. After all, it discusses cruises. Morbid tie in? Yes. Cheeky reference? Of course!
This was by far the most difficult sub-list to comb through despite being the shortest list provided. Most current cruise line companies were founded in the 21st century. Ironically, neither of these cruise lines are actually on the Golds List. I did, however, mange to exhume two organizations that were established in the 19th century and have endured to modern times. Talk about a testament of business acumen!
Cunard Line, 1840
Cunard was actually part of White Star Line merger during the time period of the infamous Titanic disaster. Today, Cunard is the only cruise line with regularly scheduled Transatlantic passenger voyages. Still in the luxury cruise line business, Cunard continues to offer its white gloved White Star Service. The Queen Mary 2 is the flagship for Cunard and even has its own planetarium! Other services include . . . Book Club hosted by the Ship’s Librarian?! Ohmygosh! Where do I sign up?! I live for Book Club! *Ahem* Pardon, I got carried away there for a spell. –The Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts company from England presents edited versions of renowned plays and literary adaptations on Transatlantic crossings. Julliard School professors and students also board the vessels to provide special jazz showcases. Cunard has lecture series by a host of intellectuals and professionals. You shall not find any zip lining aboard Cunard, but you may find a full out black tie fancy dress ball. If you want to receive a taste of the Titanic-esque life, pre-sinking moments, this is the line to book. Personally, I am not at all interested in cruises, but this is the only cruise line that makes me reconsider.
Peninsular and Oriental Cruises (P&O Cruises), 1837
How is it, I have never heard of this cruise line? P&O carries the distinction as the oldest cruise line in the world. At its inception it was not particularly luxurious, but it quickly altered its offerings when the founders realized the profits they could acquire from allowing passengers to “enjoy a holiday.” Their ships were the first to utilize the all-steel construction and later, the first to be equipped entirely with electric light. . . How on earth did they manage prior to 1890 without artificial luminance?? None of their excursions were transatlantic, but it did allow to the cruise line to experiment and become the harbinger of the industry. While the modern P&O is considered luxury cruising, it is a bit more relaxed than the Cunard. It is also decidedly British. P&O offers themed cruises; not to be confused with Disney-like themes, but themes such as celebrities and entertainers from popular British television shows; Strictly Come Dancing (British version of Dancing with the Stars), Britain’s Got Talent and host of others.