Above: Faial Island, Azores, Portugal - GETTY IMAGES

A Transatlantic Crossing on Cunard’s Queen Elizabeth

Panoramic view of the City of Horta and Horta Bay, Queen Elizabeth - Getty Images

“There’s something truly magical about a transatlantic crossing,” said the diamond merchant from Antwerp who sat across from us in the Queen Elizabeth’s Princess Grill Bar on the evening of our departure. He and his wife had done more than 30 crossings on Cunard, so they spoke from experience. “And traveling by ship means that we always arrive well rested and with no jet lag.”

Today’s large cruise ships are the descendants of the great liners that for decades linked America and Europe before airplanes rendered them obsolete. Now only one true liner remains, Cunard’s Queen Mary 2, which still operates a seven-day scheduled service between Southampton, England, and New York City. (A liner, as opposed to a mere cruise ship, is dedicated to oceanic transport and has a reinforced hull enabling it to cope with a range of severe conditions.)

The Queen Elizabeth setting out to sea - The Guitar Man / Getty Images

We sailed aboard the Queen Mary 2 nearly 20 years ago, not long after its launch in March 2003. Recently, feeling nostalgic for this most romantic of voyages, we decided to relive the experience. This time, however, we opted to sail in subtropical latitudes from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, to Barcelona, Spain, a 13-day transatlantic crossing pausing en route in Bermuda, the Azores, Madeira and Cadiz. And our ship would be Cunard’s newest vessel, the liner-like Queen Elizabeth. (The next addition to the fleet, Queen Anne, is currently under construction and scheduled to debut in 2024.)

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Above: Faial Island, Azores, Portugal - GETTY IMAGES