Pets on board
Stars on board
From Hollywood legends to iconic comedians, Cunard has long been the cruise line of choice for stars of the stage and screen. Historian Chris Frame reflects on some of the famous faces who have holidayed on board over the years.
Elizabeth Taylor is just one of many celebrities who developed a love for Cunard’s ships, even honeymooning on Queen Elizabeth in the 1950s. Frank Sinatra, Audrey Hepburn and Clark Gable (pictured) are among the myriad of stars to have sailed the iconic Transatlantic Crossing, while comedian Bob Hope can lay claim to practicing his golf swing on the deck of Queen Mary.
“Following World War II, the two Cunard Queens re-entered service, leading Cunard into a golden age of travel. During this time many famous stars of stage and screen chose to travel on board. In the late 1940s and early 1950s particularly, Cunard’s fleet was renowned for its high quality, luxurious experience. After their wartime service, the Cunard Queens were almost as famous as the celebrities they carried.”Chris Frame, Historian
Sailing across the Atlantic Ocean from New York was always a special occasion enjoyed by travellers of all careers and backgrounds. When Walt Disney (pictured) sailed with his family on Queen Elizabeth, he would reserve a dinner table by the windows to allow a perfect view of the Manhattan skyline as the ship departed the city.
Similarly, comedian John Cleese and actors Carrie Fisher and Jane Seymour are among the notable stars who have travelled on Queen Mary 2. In December 2017 the cast of The Greatest Showman stepped on board for the film’s world premiere, while in late 2019 Meryl Streep filmed scenes for Let Them All Talk, directed by Steven Soderbergh.
When it comes to exploring the world, few experiences top the glamour of ocean travel on a Cunard Queen. With afternoon tea served by white-gloved waiters and even your own personal butler (if you stay in one of our Grills Suites), Cunard offers another level of style and sophistication.
Elizabeth Taylor, shown here out on deck, adored travelling and regularly sailed on board Queen Mary, Queen Elizabeth and, later, on Queen Elizabeth 2. Pieces from Taylor’s private collections were exhibited on board during a special Transatlantic Crossing in 2019. German-American actress and singer Marlene Dietrich was another regular Cunard traveller. Following the advice of friend Noël Coward (“Always be seen, dear.”), she would time her entrance into the ship’s dining room for the most dramatic effect.
Queen Elizabeth 2 was quite the draw for musicians, with everyone from Dame Vera Lynn to The Cure travelling on board. Queen Mary 2 has proved to be similarly popular, no less so than when Ed Sheeran sailed in 2016. A temporary recording studio was constructed on board so he and his producer, Benny Blanco, could record what was to be his hugely popular third album, Divide. They also filmed Ed’s documentary, Songwriter, on board, which was shown at the Tribeca Film Festival.
Of course, it’s not only stage and screen icons that have travelled with Cunard over the years. World leaders, dignitaries and even royalty have stepped on board. In the next instalment of our series, celebrating our 180th anniversary of sailing, Chris Frame introduces some of the leading figureheads and guests of honour who have graced our Queens with their presence.