Queen Mary 2 Resumes Atlantic Crossings, Arriving With 10 COVID Cases
Cunard Line’s Queen Mary 2 arrived in New York at the beginning of the week marking the first regularly scheduled trans-Atlantic crossing in nearly two years and restoring a tradition that dates back to the 1840s. While the Atlantic passenger trade is greatly diminished since its heyday, the 23-month absence was the longest suspension since the service resumed after World War II.
Introduced in 2004, the Queen Mary 2 was billed as an ocean liner designed to transit the most difficult conditions on the Atlantic as well as operate as a world cruise ship. At 149,000 gross tons and able to accommodate 2,691 passengers and 1,250 in crew she is among the largest passenger ships in the world and seen as the logical successor to Cunard’s famed liners. She last departed New York in January 2020 on a world cruise that was aborted while the ship was in the Pacific. She disembarked most of her passengers in Australia when the pandemic overtook the cruise industry, and made the long voyage back to England returning in April 2020. The Queen Mary 2 remained idle until November 2021.
The return to the Atlantic service came despite various shifts in the travel restrictions both in the U.S. and U.K. Reportedly, 1,473 passengers ultimately boarded the Queen Mary 2 in Southampton departing on December 13. All passengers were required to be fully vaccinated for COIVD-19 and were tested for the virus before boarding in the U.K.
Arriving in New York on Monday, December 20, the Queen Mary 2 reported that 10 passengers, however, had tested positive for the virus and were placed in isolation. As part of Cunard’s protocols and in agreement with local health authorities, the 10 passengers were required to disembark in New York and went into quarantine in New York City hotels where they will remain until testing negative.
Many of the other passengers aboard the Queen Mary 2 are staying aboard the ship departing today for a Caribbean cruise. Cunard reports that everyone will be again tested for the virus. The passengers required to disembark in New York will have the option of rejoining the ship for the return trans-Atlantic crossing to the U.K. in January once they have tested negative.
Cunard’s current schedule for the Queen Mary 2 calls for a limited resumption of the Atlantic service. After the Caribbean cruise, she returns to New York departing for England on January 3, 2022. Unable to make her traditional winter world cruise due to the continuing travel restrictions due to the pandemic, the Queen Mary 2 will be making short European cruises and an additional Caribbean cruise. Her next crossing to New York is scheduled for February and Cunard plans to resume the Atlantic ferry service in April 2022 continuing through the summer the 182-year-old tradition.