The Most Glamorous Way to Cross the Atlantic Gets a Michelin-Level Boost

Transatlantic sailings on the classic “Queen Mary 2” cruise liner recall the golden age of travel. One crossing next year will be particularly fabulous, featuring meals served by chef Michel Roux of the acclaimed Michelin-starred restaurant Le Gavroche.

The Most Glamorous Way to Cross the Atlantic Gets a Michelin-Level Boost

It’s an experience for the true bon vivants among us.

Courtesy of Cunard

The famed transatlantic crossings on Cunard line’s Queen Mary 2 have long evoked an early 20th-century glamour, complete with elevated afternoon tea service and formal evening balls. But true gourmands may want to book one transatlantic sailing in particular in 2020—the line’s first Festival of Food and Wine cruise.

The food-and-wine-themed crossing will include a series of dinners hosted by chef Michel Roux, Jr., owner of Le Gavroche, one of the United Kingdom’s most renowned Michelin-starred French restaurants. (Le Gavroche currently boasts two stars.) Roux will not only mastermind meals served in the Verandah restaurant, as well as a three-course gala meal in the Britannia Grill, but he will also be joined by Le Gavroche’s executive chef, Rachel Humphrey, to lead cooking demonstrations and hold a Q&A session during the trip.

“For the first time ever, I will be taking Le Gavroche to sea,” Roux said of the cruise.


Chef Michel Roux, Jr., owner of Michelin-starred Le Gavroche, will be hosting a food-and-wine-themed transatlantic crossing.

Courtesy of Cunard

Wine writer and columnist Will Lyons, food editor Lisa Markwell, and wine critic Steven Spurrier will also be onboard to offer their insights into the food and wine industry. During the cruise, guests can participate in the Cunard Wine Academy and obtain a WSET Level 1 award, a basic level of wine knowledge that is recognized by the Wine and Spirit Education Trust.

The voyage is part of a special events program Cunard has been developing over the past several years; it has included a wine-themed Voyage du Vin, an annual Transatlantic Fashion Week sailing, a Space Week sailing (the Queen Mary 2 has a planetarium), an English National Ballet voyage, and a more recent Literature at Sea voyage.

The Queen Mary 2 originally launched in 2004 and underwent a multi-million-dollar refurbishment in 2016, with updates inspired by the original Queen Mary, a vessel that first set sail in 1936. For instance, the Verandah restaurant on the Queen Mary 2, one of the most upscale dining spots onboard, pays homage to the Verandah Grill, which originally debuted on the Queen Mary and was exclusively for first-class passengers. (A table at the Verandah on the Queen Mary 2 can be reserved by any passenger.)

Fares for the Festival of Food and Wine cruise start at $1,429 per person, based on double occupancy, and the sailing can be booked online. The seven-night transatlantic crossing will depart Southampton, England, on June 7 and will arrive in New York on June 14, 2020. Cunard is the only line to consistently offer regularly scheduled transatlantic sailings between New York and London.

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Michelle Baran is the senior travel news editor at AFAR where she oversees breaking news, travel intel, pandemic coverage, airline, cruise, and consumer travel news. Baran joined AFAR in August 2018 after an 11-year run as a senior editor and reporter at leading travel industry newspaper Travel Weekly.
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