A Cunard Christmas.

Spending Christmas and New Year on a Cunard Queen is a voyage our guests never forget. Discover the preparations that go on below deck, and receive our gift: a special Cunard recipe for a traditional festive treat.

A Cunard voyage is wonderful at any time of year, but the festive season brings an extra-special atmosphere on board the Queens, not least because of the much-admired decorations.

“We start planning the Yuletide schemes and ideas from February,” explains Cunard Buyer Rosie Pringle. “While new pieces are introduced every year, our most treasured Cunard decorations are meticulously maintained by a specialist team and carefully stored in Southampton, so that they can be appreciated once again the following festive season.”

Decorating the fleet each December is quite a feat. A dedicated team follows the expert stylist’s guidelines to ensure all the twinkling lights and decorations, foliage and finishing touches are arranged and secured to best effect. Even the trees are decorated on board to ensure they are dressed to sparkling perfection.

“Decorating takes place when the ship is in port or at night when it’s quiet, taking up to six days to complete,” says Rosie. “Guests are always so impressed. It puts everyone in a festive mood from the moment they step on board.”

Our dedicated crew, who remain on board during the festive season, are treated to a series of festive events and treats over Christmas and New Year. Themed quizzes and game nights are held, and even a competition for the best-dressed stateroom door. Plus there are plenty of mince pies, a chocolate buffet and of course, a delicious Christmas lunch for all to enjoy.

Christmas and New Year with Cunard.

From Dutch markets to tropical island celebrations, Cunard does Christmas with an extra special sparkle and flair. Explore our seasonal voyages and choose where you will be when the New Year begins.

A festive treat.

Bring the taste of European Christmas markets into your own home with this festive recipe from the Cunard kitchen. Our Executive Chef, Nick Oldroyd, shares how to make the traditional gingerbread house, complete with snowy frosting and colourful confections to decorate.


Makes one gingerbread house (or gingerbread shapes).

For the dough:
◆ 250g butter
◆ 200g muscovado sugar
◆ 7 tbsp. golden syrup
◆ 600g plain flour (all-purpose flour)
◆ 2 tsp. bicarbonate of soda
◆ 4 tsp. ground ginger

For the Royal Icing:
◆ 2 egg whites
◆ 500g icing sugar (confectioners’ / powdered sugar)


◆ Place the butter, golden syrup and muscovado sugar into a pan and melt until incorporated.
◆ Sift the flour into a large bowl, then add the ginger and bicarbonate of soda.
◆ Add the melted butter, syrup and muscovado sugar into the flour mix and bring together to form a dough.
◆ Rest the dough for 40 minutes, then roll out to your desired thickness and cut into shapes (there are various gingerbread house templates online, or you can use the dough to make gingerbread people, Christmas trees, stars, or even Cunard Queens!)
◆ Place on a baking tray lined with baking paper and bake at 180 ◦c for about 12- 14 minutes (time will depend on biscuit thickness). Leave to cool before decorating.

Final touches.

To assemble, pipe along the edges of the shapes before joining together. Leave the house to dry, using supports, for a few hours before adding the roof, and then again before adding the decorations. We suggest dolly mixtures, liquorice allsorts and flaked almonds, but the choice is yours!

Top tip:
Ensure your Royal Icing is stiff – a runny icing will make assembly difficult.

More inspirational articles, from Cunard.

Fantastic fizz.

We pop the cork on the world of sparkling wines – and discover why a glass of bubbly on board Cunard is always special.

Find out more

Tea time.

Uncover the origins of Afternoon Tea - a celebrated occasion on the Cunard Queens - and learn how to make our delicious Cunard scones.

Find out more

The cocktail hour.

From classic serves to our signature twists, we talk mixed spirits with our Head Mixologist and discover an exciting new cocktail to make from home.

Find out more