Departing from New York on December 8th and arriving in Southampton on December 15th, the seven-night journey celebrates the 75th anniversary of the New York Times crossword puzzle, the brainteaser that started in 1942 and has appeared in the newspaper on a daily basis since 1950.
Guests will travel aboard Queen Mary 2, which underwent a $125 million-plus top-to-bottom redesign and refit last summer; new features include 30 additional club-level staterooms and a new restaurant inspired by one on the original Queen Mary.
But on this very particular sailing, ‘It’s the firsthand access to experts from the New York Times that makes things special,’ says Cunard senior vice president, Josh Leibowitz.
During the cruise, an early copy of the next morning’s crossword will be put under every guest’s door each night and, the following day, there’ll be the chance to discuss it with the experts.
Passengers will also learn to create and edit the puzzles themselves, and get to enjoy tournaments and speed-solving sessions.
“The crossword experts will hold workshops and classes and also mingle with guests, so you can have a personal conversation with them over tea or cocktails, something you wouldn’t normally be able to do,” Leibowitz explains.
If cruisers book directly through the Times Journeys programme, they’ll be able to enjoy a pre-departure brunch at the paper’s Midtown Manhattan headquarters, hosted by the puzzle editor himself, Will Shortz.
This will be Cunard’s first crossword cruise, but the line has partnered with the Times on themed, expert journeys since last year, and next year will see them collaborating with the New Yorker, too, for a cartoon-focused crossing.
This is all part of a rising tide of increasingly unexpected themed and co-branded cruises; Norwegian Pearl hosted a NASCAR sailing earlier this year, and Norwegian Jade will embark on two Star Trek cruises next year, following a sold-out similar voyage; and Holland America has teamed up with Oprah on three Caribbean trips and one Alaskan adventure between this November and next October.
Back on the Queen Mary 2, Cunard’s got a Transatlantic Space Week cruise in October featuring NASA astronauts, and the line’s newly announced Crossword Crossing hosts per-person fares from $799.
What are your thoughts on the news? Would you be interested in a crossword crossing with Cunard? What other themes do you think are perfect for cruises? Leave us your comments below!
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