“Canada’s Cruise Line” Wines and Dines Agents On Queen Elizabeth

Vickie Sam Paget, Open Jaw

It’s not every day that a travel agent eats their lunch off a plate etched with the royal insignia in gold. And it’s not every day they wash it down with a cool, crisp glass of Champagne.

Cunard’s Queen Elizabeth docks in Vancouver.

But then again, it’s not every day that that Cunard’s Queen Elizabeth sails into town...

100 agents from across Vancouver and the Lower Mainland were welcomed onto the classic cruiser this week for a ship tour and an exquisite Champagne afternoon tea to mark the ship’s maiden call into Vancouver.

YVR is no stranger to big ships -- this year the port will welcome 41 different vessels from 24 different cruise lines on 290 different calls -- and the passenger count is set to surpass one million -- but the timeless beauty of Cunard’s Queen Elizabeth has a special place in the hearts of many cruise-lovers. The art deco-inspired interiors hearken back to the glamour and grandeur of the heyday of classic cruising.

Travel agents explore the Queen Elizabeth’s Lido deck.

“There’s a heritage and mastery that makes it an unmatched travel experience,” explained Cunard’s president, Simon Pelethorpe. “Cunard is a historic brand dating back to the 1840s and it’s responsible for the many innovations we see today in modern cruising.

“Cunard was the first to sail a world cruise, the first to have electric lighting or a library at sea, and the first to offer luxury suites and onboard entertainment.

“And, of course, it was all started by a Canadian, Samuel Cunard, who was a resident of Halifax.”

Cunard’s Jeriel Lubaton, revenue/management director,
with Mavis Lau, business development manager.

The Queen Elizabeth is using Vancouver as its home port for the next six weeks, as it sails on the cruise line’s first Alaska itineraries in almost 30 years. However, it’s very clear that Cunard has big plans for Vancouver.

“We’ll be home-porting in Vancouver for four months in 2020,” added Pelethorpe. “Demand has been so strong that we’ve doubled our Alaska program for 2020, offering a full season from June through to September. The Cunard 2020 Alaska program will offer 10 round trip voyages out of Vancouver ranging from nine to 12 nights. And it will feature Glacier Bay, giving our guests a front row seat to the immense beauty of that region.”

Agents have fun testing the spa’s heated relaxation beds during the ship tour. 

Pelethorpe’s excitement was echoed by Josh Leibowitz, senior vice president of Cunard North America, who called out the region’s top agents during his speech.

“If you’re in this room you have already helped to make this season to Alaska possible,” he enthused. “There are a few people I want to call out because we’ve had some extraordinary support in our maiden season.”

Jat Puri and Drew Punkruth of Vancouver Airport Authority.

Leibowitz went on to recognize and applaud Teresa Kook of Marco Polo Tours, Kyle Mathison of Expedia Cruise Ship Centers, Gina Holbeck of Expedia Cruise Ship Centers and Eric Tan of Expedia Cruise Ship Centers.

“I want to thank you for your support,” he added, “And I think we should officially name Cunard as Canada’s cruise line.”

Arlene Kravitz, Catherine Iannella and Noreen Baker of Expedia CruiseShipCenters.

Sheri Ansems and Pam Brackenbury of Expedia CruiseShipCenters
with Sarah Douglas of Travel Best Bets. 

Champagne flows on Cunard’s Queen Elizabeth.

Cunard president Simon Palethorpe; Captain Inger Klein Thorhauge; president & CEO of Tourism Vancouver Ty Speer; senior vice president of Cunard North America Josh Leibowitz; and chief financial officer of the Port of Vancouver Victor Peng.

Wade Menard, business development manager at Cunard, poses beside a
portrait of the ship’s namesake.

Openjaw’s Vickie Sam Paget raises a glass to Cunard’s return to Vancouver. 


DIANE SHORT - May 24, 2019 @ 14:50
Excellent review! Thank you Vicki

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