Our guide to a transatlantic cruise

A transatlantic cruise is a truly iconic voyage. One that really allows you to rest and escape life’s everyday responsibilities, spending time doing the things you most enjoy on board your ship.

What is a transatlantic cruise?

A transatlantic cruise involves sailing across the Atlantic Ocean from Europe to North America, or vice-versa, with Southampton to New York widely considered the most famous route.

How long does a transatlantic cruise take?

A transatlantic cruise is one of life’s experiences that is truly about the journey and not the destination. With Cunard, this means taking seven days to sail from Southampton to New York, or vice-versa, during which you’re invited to spend your time in any way you like. Relax knowing that there is nowhere you’re expected to be and nothing you’re expected to do. Should you be looking for even more time to enjoy life on a Cunard Queen, you could choose a round-trip Transatlantic Crossing, which is 14 or 15 nights long.

Where do transatlantic cruises go?

The most well-known transatlantic cruise route is Southampton to New York, or New York to Southampton. There are other options too, however. If not Southampton, you could begin or end your crossing in Hamburg in Germany or Le Havre in France. And, if not New York, you could embark in Fort Lauderdale in Florida, or end your sailing here. Some Transatlantic Crossings with Cunard also bring an opportunity to visit tropical shores, taking in the warm seas of Bermuda along the way.

When is the best time of year to go on a transatlantic cruise?

A transatlantic cruise can be enjoyed at any time of year. However, if you’re new to the experience, you may want to consider when the weather is likely to be at its calmest. The Atlantic storms are more likely from early June to late November, with mid-August to mid-October usually seeing the most activity. So, if you have concerns about the weather, you may wish to choose a Transatlantic Crossing between December and May. Queen Mary 2 is currently the world’s last ocean liner, specifically built for the smoothest sail possible even in rough seas.

What to pack for a transatlantic cruise

It’s advisable to bring both smart and casual clothing for life on board. Sunny skies mean shorts, t-shirts, and sundresses by the pool, but a suit or evening dress for dinner and cocktails. In the winter, layers are key. Bring a warm jacket and perhaps a hat and scarf for spending time on deck, and comfortable clothes you can mix and match throughout the ship, as you like.

What to do during your transatlantic cruise

Before arriving in New York or Southampton on your Transatlantic Crossing, explore Queen Mary 2 and engage in a variety of fascinating activities and entertainment. There is plenty of room on the ship for you to do as much or as little as you choose, from personal shopping experiences to exquisite afternoon tea.

Take care of your mind and body

Savor a week at sea to feed your curiosity and learn something new, or perhaps you’d rather focus on staying fit and active. Find something you like no matter your preferences.


Queen Mary 2 is 1,132 ft in length and on deck 7 you’ll find an uninterrupted deck, allowing you to circle the full ship for a walk, run, or jog, all while taking in the beauty of the Atlantic Ocean. If running is not for you, perhaps put yourself to the test by taking on Zumba or dance classes to get your heartbeat racing. On the other hand, if fitness isn’t your thing, perhaps you’d like to try becoming the next Van Gogh by enrolling in some art classes or sit in on fascinating Insight talks with guest speakers.


Maybe you’ve exhausted yourself with all the dance classes and jogging and need a little self-care. Queen Mary 2 offers some of the best spa treatments and facilities for you to unwind and relax with. Additionally, our Aqua Therapy Center offers an additional refuge of health and wellbeing and is accessible with a spa day pass.

As well as facilities and treatments, you’ll also find enlightening seminars taking place at the spa. Learn about all manner of wellness subjects, from acupuncture and reflexology to taking care of different skin types.

Treat yourself

Indulge yourself in various treats on board from a personal shopping experience to an unforgettable theater show. You’re also invited to join Afternoon Tea – daily if you like – which comes with an assortment of sandwiches, scones, and cakes, served with tea or coffee. Otherwise, perhaps you wish to browse the boutiques on board, and maybe even take advantage of our personal shopping service, a unique experience tailored to you.

Frequently asked questions about transatlantic cruises

Experience a Transatlantic Crossing