Words by the Art Deco Traveller Genista Davidson, images by Jeeves


The Queens in question are the Cunard line of luxurious art deco fitted ships. Let us retrace the steps of the first RMS Queen Mary that was launched in 1934. This was the beginning of the newfound luxury ocean liner travel that proved so popular with the middle and upper classes during the heyday of the 1930s. Nothing was spared with the modern interior fittings of the day of which art deco reined supreme.

Following a colourful and illustrious career, including service during the Second World War as a troop carrier, she was eventually retired and sold to the City of Long Beach, California. You can stay on the authentically restored Queen Mary, which is permanently docked at Long Beach. It is a living museum and hotel that boasts as having been witness to royalty, celebrities and eminent statesman. I highly recommend staying in the Queen’s Suites as these are the finest and well worth the extra dollars.

Now, to ruminate on the three Queens that are currently buzzing around the world from the port of Southampton. Practically no destination is off limits, whether it be a full-blown circumnavigation of the globe or a short break across the channel, all trips are catered for. All three Queens, Mary, Elizabeth and Victoria, are decked out in the most exquisite style. Art Deco nuances are everywhere, from the sweeping central staircase, the carpeting, lighting and Erte art work.

The dining rooms are sumptuous, as are the public areas and cocktail bars. Don’t forget to pack your swimwear as each ship has on deck swimming pools and jacuzzis.   Formal wear is required on certain nights, when you are treated to a feast of glitz and glamour, so make sure your best vintage party wear is neatly packed – fortunately your luggage allowance is always unlimited.

Depending on your budget you can opt for the Britannia, Princess or Queens package, which determines the type of stateroom and restaurant that you are allotted. Being a connoisseur of all three levels I can say that each and every one is exceptional.

If a bygone era of good old fashioned manners, top notch service, entertainment and exquisite surroundings is on your tick list, then you won’t be disappointed with booking a Cunard cruise. Enjoy your Art Deco Travels!



Lisa Harrison
Written by Lisa Harrison
Lisa is the Deputy Editor of Vintage Life Magazine and Publisher at Dragoon Publishing. She is avid bookworm, collector of vintage homeware, loves travel, lazy weekends away and eats way too much cake!