Author Topic: Cunard 5 night crossings  (Read 1371 times)

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Online Rob Lightbody

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Cunard 5 night crossings
« on: Nov 29, 2023, 06:38 PM »
I have a question for someone clever !

For how many years did a Cunard ship offer a 5 night Atlantic Crossing?

From using the wonderful QE2 abstract log, I have established that QE2's last 5 night crossing was this one

https://qe2abstractlog.com/abstract?from=19970412&to=19970417

But when did 5 nights first become scheduled?

Also as a bonus questions -was Cunard first to offer a scheduled 5 night crossing, and if not who was and when!

So many questions !
Passionate about QE2's service life for 40 years and creator of this website.  I have worked in IT for 28 years and created my personal QE2 website in 1994.

Online Barumfox

Re: Cunard 5 night crossings
« Reply #1 on: Dec 01, 2023, 01:47 AM »
Rob - interesting question.

I believe that the first ships to regularly require just five nights as part of the schedule for a crossing were Lusitania and Mauretania from Liverpool to New York between 1907 and 1914. They are I believe the only Cunard ships to have been scheduled for this apart from Queen Mary, Queen Elizabeth and QE2. QM2 is capable of it but has never been scheduled to do so.

Aquitania, whilst effectively inaugurating the Cunard two ship weekly service with Queen Mary in 1938 and 1939, seems to have spent six nights at sea and one night in port.

In terms of other lines Normandie, France and United States undoubtedly were scheduled to do 5 night crossings whilst Bremen and Europa would have done so from their UK / France calls to New York but not from Germany.

The Italian liners Rex and Conte di Savoia and Michaelangelo / Raffaello had the speed capability but sailed a longer route from the Med. Empress of Britain would have benefitted from the shorter ocean crossing to the St Lawrence River - it depends from where you define a crossing as starting and finishing.

Gary

Offline Twynkle

Re: Cunard 5 night crossings
« Reply #2 on: Jan 03, 2024, 02:20 PM »

Online Barumfox

Re: Cunard 5 night crossings
« Reply #3 on: Jan 26, 2024, 09:30 PM »
Not sadly a 5 night crossing but QM2 is reverting to 6 nights on three westbound crossings in June and July this year as they seem to have been gazumped by another ship for the Red Hook terminal (possibly MSC) on their usual day so are arriving a day early and then doing an 8 nighter on the return eastbound to maintain the 14 night round trip schedule.

This may just be a one-off situation with no 6 nighters scheduled for 2025 (but the three crossings concerned were originally 7 nighters when announced in 2022.

Gary

Online Rob Lightbody

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Re: Cunard 5 night crossings
« Reply #4 on: Jan 26, 2024, 11:08 PM »
Not sadly a 5 night crossing but QM2 is reverting to 6 nights on three westbound crossings in June and July this year as they seem to have been gazumped by another ship for the Red Hook terminal (possibly MSC) on their usual day so are arriving a day early and then doing an 8 nighter on the return eastbound to maintain the 14 night round trip schedule.

This may just be a one-off situation with no 6 nighters scheduled for 2025 (but the three crossings concerned were originally 7 nighters when announced in 2022.

Gary

Ooh, that's a good tip off!

I'd love to be on board for a 6 nighter
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Offline Thomas Hypher

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Re: Cunard 5 night crossings
« Reply #5 on: Jan 27, 2024, 02:16 AM »
Not sadly a 5 night crossing but QM2 is reverting to 6 nights on three westbound crossings in June and July this year as they seem to have been gazumped by another ship for the Red Hook terminal (possibly MSC) on their usual day so are arriving a day early and then doing an 8 nighter on the return eastbound to maintain the 14 night round trip schedule.

This may just be a one-off situation with no 6 nighters scheduled for 2025 (but the three crossings concerned were originally 7 nighters when announced in 2022.

Gary

Excellent, and exactly as she was designed to do! She will have to use at least one gas turbine which will be audible when resting an ear against her funnel deckhouse! Hopefully they repeat this over the coming years as I'd relish it, in particular, if I ever call her bridge my office.
First sailed on QE2 in August 2003 aged 6 years old. Last sailed on QE2 in July 2008. Last saw the seagoing QE2 in person from the decks of QM2, on QE2's last Transatlantic crossing (Eastbound tandem) in October 2008. Visited QE2 in her new life, in Dubai, in January 2020 and August 2022.

Offline Oceanic

Re: Cunard 5 night crossings
« Reply #6 on: Jan 27, 2024, 02:09 PM »
Not sadly a 5 night crossing but QM2 is reverting to 6 nights on three westbound crossings in June and July this year as they seem to have been gazumped by another ship for the Red Hook terminal (possibly MSC) on their usual day so are arriving a day early and then doing an 8 nighter on the return eastbound to maintain the 14 night round trip schedule.

This may just be a one-off situation with no 6 nighters scheduled for 2025 (but the three crossings concerned were originally 7 nighters when announced in 2022.

Gary

Fantastic! I’m already having a poke around Cunard’s website to see if I can obtain a cabin! I’ve been on a couple of transatlantic voyages on her, both being seven nights in duration, and whilst being throughly enjoyable, one does get the sense QM2 was drumming her fingers a little. A six nighter should give her an opportunity to pick up her skirts and run a little more.

I do wish Cunard would bring back a few five night transatlantic voyages per year. For my family, QM2 is a genuine travel option, as my youngest daughter suffers on flights due to her asthma. These six nighters are an improvement, but getting to New York in only five days would make planning family holidays in the States a little easier.

« Last Edit: Jan 27, 2024, 02:12 PM by Oceanic »
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Online Barumfox

Re: Cunard 5 night crossings
« Reply #7 on: Jan 27, 2024, 10:27 PM »
A lot of us would welcome this but for QM2 to leave Southampton at 5pm and arrive  at New York at usual time on the 5th morning requires an average speed of 28 knots which QM2 is capable of but with very little reserve speed to make up for any delays due to fog or other bad weather.

With tight turn around times a big issue as any late arrivals have knock on effects for both disembarking and embarking passengers Cunard unlikely to risk such a tight schedule even if willing to accept the higher fuel consumption.  However if the next voyage was a return east bound crossing of 7 or 8 days (as with this years 6 nighters)  there would be scope as able  to make up time for a late departure and arrive back in Southampton on schedule.

Gary

Offline Oceanic

Re: Cunard 5 night crossings
« Reply #8 on: Jan 28, 2024, 01:50 AM »
A lot of us would welcome this but for QM2 to leave Southampton at 5pm and arrive  at New York at usual time on the 5th morning requires an average speed of 28 knots which QM2 is capable of but with very little reserve speed to make up for any delays due to fog or other bad weather.

With tight turn around times a big issue as any late arrivals have knock on effects for both disembarking and embarking passengers Cunard unlikely to risk such a tight schedule even if willing to accept the higher fuel consumption.  However if the next voyage was a return east bound crossing of 7 or 8 days (as with this years 6 nighters)  there would be scope as able  to make up time for a late departure and arrive back in Southampton on schedule.

Gary

I’d be rather happy with this arrangement if it was ever brought to fruition. Getting there in five days and coming home in six or seven would be a good compromise. QM2 has a complete monopoly on the transatlantic passenger ship market, and she’s always booked to the gills, so I’m sure they’d fill such a trip. Alas, it probably makes no financial sense for Cunard.
 
I’d happily pay for an express service!
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Offline Rod

Re: Cunard 5 night crossings
« Reply #9 on: Jan 28, 2024, 06:10 PM »
One of the things that may make a difference, is vacation time.
US:  1-5 years service 1 week
2 to 5 years service 2 weeks
after 5 years welll almost anything goes depending  on how much they want you!

Offline Tony

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Re: Cunard 5 night crossings
« Reply #10 on: Jan 31, 2024, 02:38 AM »
Rob - interesting question.

I believe that the first ships to regularly require just five nights as part of the schedule for a crossing were Lusitania and Mauretania from Liverpool to New York between 1907 and 1914. They are I believe the only Cunard ships to have been scheduled for this apart from Queen Mary, Queen Elizabeth and QE2. QM2 is capable of it but has never been scheduled to do so.

Aquitania, whilst effectively inaugurating the Cunard two ship weekly service with Queen Mary in 1938 and 1939, seems to have spent six nights at sea and one night in port.

In terms of other lines Normandie, France and United States undoubtedly were scheduled to do 5 night crossings whilst Bremen and Europa would have done so from their UK / France calls to New York but not from Germany.

The Italian liners Rex and Conte di Savoia and Michaelangelo / Raffaello had the speed capability but sailed a longer route from the Med. Empress of Britain would have benefitted from the shorter ocean crossing to the St Lawrence River - it depends from where you define a crossing as starting and finishing.

Gary

The Aquitania was launched in 1914 so that Cunard had a three ship service across the Atlantic. On any saturday a Cunard ship would leave Liverpool, 6 days out, 6 days back and a five day stay to turnaround. While looking this up in Maxtone-Grahoams excellent book the only way to cross, I found 2 sheets of QE2 notepaper from the library!

Online Barumfox

Re: Cunard 5 night crossings
« Reply #11 on: Feb 01, 2024, 02:22 PM »
Tony

Correct  - Aquitania was to be the slower (23 Knot) but larger and more luxurious companion to the Blue Riband holders Mauretania and Lusitania in the planned three ship weekly service  and this makes it even more remarkable that when the Berengaria (which replaced the lost Lusitania after WW1) had to be withdrawn from service at short notice in early 1938 for safety reasons the 24 year old Aquitania was able to partner the Queen Mary in a two ship weekly service.

With the second Mauretania not completing until mid-1939 and Queen Elizabeth in 1940 Cunard had no other ships fast enough to participate in the express service  at that time - it had been planned that Berengaria and Aquitania would be retired when the QE was available. The change from coal to oil both reduced the time needed in port to refuel but also - with other factors - helped increase the ships average speed on crossing to nearly 25 knots , which with shortened turnarounds of 36 hours or less enabled the weekly service to be maintained with a call at Cherbourg in both directions.

For some reason the Aquitania has never received the credit it was due for this achievement as the long planned two ship weekly service due to start in Cunard's centenary year 1940, is deemed to have been delayed by WW2 to 1947, when it was - through force of circumstances -  actually achieved in 1938 as the revised sailing schedules show.

Gary.

Offline June Ingram

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Re: Cunard 5 night crossings
« Reply #12 on: Feb 01, 2024, 06:26 PM »
Thanks, Gary, for pointing out Aquitania’s role in the two ship crossing schedule. I think Aquitania has been somewhat glossed over by many. She was a beautiful ship and had a long, very useful, and loved career.
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Offline Tony

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Re: Cunard 5 night crossings
« Reply #13 on: Feb 01, 2024, 06:39 PM »
The Berengaria of course was a war prize

Online Barumfox

Re: Cunard 5 night crossings
« Reply #14 on: Feb 02, 2024, 09:23 AM »
Yes - and was the most successful of the ex-German liners giving Cunard the best balanced three ship service through the 20's and into the 30's before the depression took its toll on profitability. She was also the first Cunard express liner to be named after a Queen and also retained the -ia ending - as Queen Victoria does now.

Just returning to the original question by Rob the Mauretania continued her five night crossings at 25 knots post-war even though not needed by the schedule. Aquitania has I believe the greatest service record of any liner but is sadly - like many others - only known to liner enthusiasts these days.

Gary.