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The New Yorker

The light hits differently this far north. Morning mists hug the varnished decks of Queen Elizabeth and the white-capped mountains in the offing. In the sun, she gleams in anticipation for her destination, Alaska, ahead. Two thousand guests are on board for this northern voyage to witness glaciers, whales, and Alaska’s otherworldly beauty. It is easy to forget this number on board, however, thanks to Queen Elizabeth’s open spaces and beautiful amenities. Voyaging through the boundless seas of the Inside Passage, she reflects her destination’s natural majesty.

 

On board Cunard’s fine fleet, attentive service is delivered with signature nods to the cruise line's British refinement. From the moment you board a Cunard Queen, you’ll be greeted with a smile by white-gloved Cunard officers, and every detail will be taken care of. From the concierge's guidance about immersive Shore Experiences or onboard activities to round-the-clock complimentary room service, this is the perfect trip for relaxation and unexpected inspiration.

Stroll along the ship’s Promenade Deck to feel the wind and waves. After a delicious breakfast, explore the expansive library, curl up in a quiet spot, and lose yourself in a good book. Indulge in a massage at Mareel® Wellness & Beauty, and soothe tired muscles as you admire exquisite views from the refreshing hydrotherapy pool. Unwind in a spacious suite and try whale-watching from your balcony. Craving more social occasions? Perfect your moves at a Latin dance class on the Games Deck or attend an enriching Cunard Insights lecture. Traveling alone? Meet other vacationers over cocktails or coffee at daily meetups for solo travelers, LGBTQ+ travelers, and a multitude of affinity groups. Then, enjoy traditional Afternoon Tea in the Queens Room, replete with scones, clotted cream, and strawberry preserves.

 

If intellectual stimulation or immersive Alaska experiences are what you’re after, Cunard engages the mind as well as the senses. Classical music, inspiring dance, world-class theater, and thought-provoking literary events abound. Intrepid Arctic explorers, Native experts, and National Park Rangers provide fascinating deck commentary and deep local knowledge on the history, geography, and terrain. Hear from the likes of History Channel’s Alex Debogorski (“Ice Road Truckers”), skier “Polar” Preet Chandi, and mountaineer Kenton Cool. Further, Cunard offers star-studded event voyages like its Literature Festival at Sea—a true literary haven, departing from Southampton, England, on board Queen Mary 2.

 

No other cruise line allows you to see the natural beauty of Alaska so close. Cunard goes to two glaciers per itinerary, more than any other cruise. Trek on Hubbard Glacier for a chance to witness immense calvings and breathtaking whale sightings. On a culinary excursion, taste an Alaskan cloudberry or reindeer sausage. Take in the breathtaking panorama of mountains, gorges, waterfalls, tunnels, and historic sites from the vintage train cars on the White Pass Railway, “the railway built by gold.”

At the day’s end, sip craft beer on board from the local Alaskan Brewing Company, sample a special cocktail flight inspired by Alaska itself, or stargaze from the deck with a cup of hot chocolate. Inside, the Golden Lion Pub™ offers classic British pub fare, such as fish and chips and chicken tikka masala. On board, you're free to do as much or as little as you like, always with an attentive steward on hand.

 

Among so much natural beauty, it is inevitable to ponder one’s own impact on the environment. With Cunard’s advanced sustainability agenda, and its investments in new technologies and alternative fuels, all worries melt away. Rest assured that you’ll leave no trace.

 

The Cunard experience can be had not only on an Alaska voyage, departing roundtrip from Vancouver and Seattle, but on the greater fleet as you explore the globe. You would be hard-pressed to find a global destination Cunard does not visit—always with its distinctive British panache. They offer an unmatched breadth of itineraries and ports in Alaska, Canada and New England, the Caribbean, Australia, Asia, Europe, and the Mediterranean, plus their iconic Transatlantic Crossing—your chance to toast the sparkling Manhattan skyline farewell on board Queen Mary 2. Browse Alaskan itineraries, and book your dream Alaskan voyage online today.

Queen Elizabeth sailing through Glacier Bay, Alaska

Article originally published for The New Yorker online: https://www.newyorker.com/sponsored/story/diary-from-the-deck-of-a-timeless-alaska-cruise.

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