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Cunard Line has now been sailing for over 170 years and RMS Queen Mary 2 has almost completed seven seasons on the North Atlantic, very often running full. Meanwhile, Queen Victoria has done the occasional voyage, as will the new Queen Elizabeth next year. These are usually January crossings in conjunction with world cruises.
As the season of positioning voyages has just started, it is worth having a look at just how many such voyages are now available. According to the Official Steamship Guide, which includes voyages to North America and the Caribbean, there will be twenty-five Transatlantic voyages in October, nineteen in November and three in December.
Norwegian Cruise Line will provide four of the October voyages, with three voyages each by Celebrity, Holland America, NCL, P&O and Star Clippers, and single crossings by Princess, Royal Caribbean, SeaDream and Silversea.
Cunard will also do three crossings in November, joined by two each from Royal Caribbean, Seabourn and Windstar and single voyages from Azamara, Celebrity, Holland America, Oceania, Regent, SeaDream, Silversea and Voyages of Discovery. Single December sailings will also be provided by each of Crystal, Princess and Seabourn.
Among these positioning voyages, to take just one example, Norwegian Sun will leave Dover next week, on October 4, for a 12-night crossing to Port Canaveral. This is quite a bargain as fares are being quoted as low as US$399 per person for an inside cabin, $499 for an outside or $1,299 for a verandah, plus taxes and fees.
Such crossings, other than Queen Mary 2, are only seasonal, however, and those who wish to cross at other times, if they can’t find a suitable date for Queen Mary 2, have to fall back on the weekly container ships of Independent Container Line or MSC or the twice-monthly bulk carriers of the Polish Steamship Company that run from Amsterdam into the Great Lakes. All of these carry about half a dozen passengers on their regular crossings of the Atlantic.