Cunard is planning a “huge” trade engagement programme to introduce its fourth ship, the line’s president has confirmed.
Speaking during the steel-cutting ceremony at the Fincantieri shipyard near Naples, where the new 3,000-passenger vessel is being built, Simon Palethorpe said: “There will be lots of things.
“We will work to get as many agents as possible to see, touch, feel the new ship when it comes out.”
It came as he hinted the line’s newest ship would usher in a more modern feel, inspired by the line’s historical past.
While Palethorpe remained tight-lipped on details of the latest vessel, he said: “Cunard, while it has a rich heritage that we must celebrate, also needs to be a forward-looking brand.
“The design of our newest ship will take the most popular elements of the three Queens and blend them with a forward-looking, modern take on the Cunard experience.”
The company has conducted extensive research among consumers who identified key venues they expected to remain fairly unchanged.
One of these is the Queens Room, which will still be recognisable. However, the theatre is expected to see more changes after consumer requests for improved acoustics and sightlines. Consequently, seating will be slightly reduced.
Palethorpe confirmed the new ship would offer a greater and more diverse choice of dining options and activities. “People can expect a more varied experience onboard,” he promised.
The ship’s art collection will reflect a more contemporary take on its past with abstract designs.
One of the centrepieces will be a unique sculpture that is being crafted from the first piece of metal produced for the ship at the steel-cutting ceremony.
It has been commissioned from acclaimed Egyptian-born British sculptor Sam Shendi, known for his figurative works created from contemporary industrial materials, metals and alloys.
The designs for the new ship have been drawn up by a four-strong team of visionaries led by globally acclaimed designer Adam Tihany, who also designed Seabourn’s newest ships.
He is joined by Simon Rawlings of the David Collins Studio; Terry McGillicuddy of Richmond International, which designed P&O’s flagship Britannia; and Sybille de Margerie of Sybille de Margerie Paris.