Embarkation day - advice and tips
Your Vogue-approved guide to dressing for a Cunard cruise
Sailing the world with Cunard is undoubtedly the most fashionable way to travel. Here, Vogue Australia guides you through exactly what to wear while on board.
Should you ever find yourself lucky enough to sail with Cunard, settle in for some regal hospitality. Since 1840, the British cruise operator has been delivering an exceptionally high level of luxury on board its fleet of ships – Queen Elizabeth, Queen Mary 2 and Queen Victoria – with each name a testament to the poised, polished service guests can expect. Its long-awaited fourth ship, Queen Anne, is set to sail in 2024.
On board Cunard, the array of experiences is as diverse as it is glamorous. Luxury accommodations with impeccable art-deco features, five-star dining choices, blissful spa experiences and unforgettable Gala Evenings dedicated to dressing up in style – all while your journey around the world continues. Curating an onboard wardrobe to suit your sumptuous surroundings is – for the sartorially aware, at least – half the fun.
Here, Vogue Australia takes you through just some of the on board events you can experience on one of Cunard’s majestic ships, and guide you in exactly how to dress for each. The guesswork is taken out of packing with these Vogue-approved on board outfits designed especially for traveling, Cunard style.
Days on deck
Wrap a sarong around your waist and you’re set for a day poolside. While no one would blame you for indulging in an eight-hour session at one of the incredibly chic and refreshing pools on board the Cunard fleet, it doesn’t have to be just fun in the sun. Take in the view while enjoying a cocktail on deck at the Lido Bar or try one of the many deck games on offer, like croquet or lawn bowls. You won’t go wrong with a pair (or three) of slides in woven, leather or platform – they’re ideal for wearing between dips in the pool, heading out to lunch or strolling up on deck to socialize.
An oasis of calm
No Cunard voyage is complete without a session at the award-winning on board spa Mareel Wellness & Beauty. The tranquil sanctuary offers holistic treatments inspired by the restorative powers of the ocean. Soak in the view from the top deck during sunset yoga; enjoy the weightless sensation of the thermal pool; or let your stress melt away at the Himalayan salt sauna and cold room. For a visit to Mareel Wellness & Beauty, choose something lightweight and versatile. Think a longline shirt or a tonal set to take you from the spa to a sunny pool session.
Indulge in Afternoon Tea
Nothing says elegance quite like Afternoon Tea, and Cunard’s signature ritual takes place at 3:30pm daily. Witness the procession of white-gloved waiters as they present an array of finger sandwiches and freshly baked scones served on fine bone china, of course. For those more interested in culinary delights than cocktail dresses, there are plenty of impressive dining options on board – both elegant and casual. The Golden Lion is a stylish pub serving an array of enticing British dishes, while a visit to Lido and Kings Court is a more informal experience. For special lunches and dinners on deck, a must-pack item is a silk slip in a neutral tone for the quiet-luxury look that beautifully suits the Cunard style. A large jute tote is a non-negotiable, too, as is a slouchy clutch in a bold color for carrying your room key and sunglasses or Daily Program while you try an on board art or dance class. And don’t forget, if you find yourself without the right cover-up or pair of statement-making sunglasses, head into one of the many on board boutiques to top up your wardrobe.
Sparkle in the Bright Lights
Evenings on board Cunard are magical – and dressing for a night of fun and festivity is as exciting as the event itself. Why not try a specialty cocktail inspired by Cunard’s past commodores in the Commodore Club, or one of Cunard’s very own 3 Queens Gin in the Gin and Fizz Bar. Or in a venue exclusive to Queen Anne, launching in May 2024, slip into your most sophisticated cocktail attire to experience Bright Lights Society. More than just a show, this is an experience – an exhilarating evening of entertainment filled with champagne, laughter, enigmatic guests and surprising acts. Level-up your cocktail wear with accessories that sparkle just as much as a sunset over sea.
Dress to impress
Haute couture meets cruising at Cunard’s famous Gala Evenings, where guests receive a formal invitation delivered to their stateroom to attend a night of music and celebration. And just like a film scene from the Hollywood glam era, passengers are invited to dress in their finest black tie to a special evening of glamour. It’s easy to see why style icons, such as Elizabeth Taylor and Audrey Hepburn, chose to cruise with Cunard. The dress code for one of Cunard’s revered Gala Evenings is simple: elevated glamour. Popular themes include Black and White, Roaring Twenties, and Masquerade – there’s never been a better time for sequins.