The cooler winter months can mean a shortage of cruise itineraries in the Mediterranean and Northern Europe as cruise companies sail their ships to the warmer waters of the Caribbean and Southern Hemispheres, but there are still opportunities for those willing to wrap up warm for the thrill of cruising.

Cunard is one such company that regularly have short 2-3 night itineraries for their ships based in Northern Europe, visiting ports for Christmas markets and short break opportunities to those new to cruising. 

The Queen Elizabeth recently visited Zebrugge/Brugge on one such voyage from her home port of Southampton. At 92,000 gross tonnes, the Queen Elizabeth is slightly larger than her sister ship Queen Victoria. Along with the larger ocean liner Queen Mary 2, all three ships operate under Cunard Line, the superlative brand owned by US shipping giant Carnival Corp. 

The Queen Elizabethwas launched in 2010 at a cost of £350 million with Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth presiding over the naming ceremony. With the retirement of the much loved QE2 the Queen Elizabeth is a stunning namesake.  

The Queen Elizabeth is richly decorated and beautifully designed to replicate the splendor and grandeur of the Art Deco era, with polished wood marquetry, beautiful artwork, rich Italian marble and glittering chandeliers at every turn. She’s quintessentially a British ship (despite being American owned) offering refined cruising to those who enjoy the finer more sedate activities onboard. 

With named venues such as The Royal Court Theatre, The Commodore Club and The Golden Lion Pub, a beautiful two storey library, dance hosts and afternoon teas served in the Queen’s Room, you are constantly reminded of the lines heritage and Britishness. 

The Queen Elizabeth can be seen on various summer itineraries visiting Cartagena in the summer of 2019.