Luxury on the Water: The History (and Future) of Cruising

Queen Mary 2

Fascinated with ocean liners since the age of five, thirty-three years later Stephen Payne was entrusted with a one-billion-dollar project: to design and build the latest Cunard transatlantic liner, Queen Mary 2. Stephen is a Royal Designer for Industry, a past President and Fellow of the Royal Institution of Naval Architects, and a Fellow of both the Royal Academy of Engineering and the Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers. A recipient of the UK Merchant Navy Medal and a finalist in the 2006 Prince Philip Designers Prize, he has been honoured by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth with appointment as Officer to the Order of the British Empire for Services to Shipping.


You’ve booked your ticket, checked-in and gone through security – so Welcome On-Board! We’re about to set sail on a remarkable voyage of discovery charting ocean travel from 1838 through to the present day. We’ll see how pioneering steamships crossed the North Atlantic and other oceans on scheduled services and how the first cruises developed. We’ll follow the rapid development of the ocean liner and witness the disasters that brought in new safety measures, and chart the demise of traditional liner services and the emergence of the modern-day cruise industry. We’ll conclude by taking some time to consider how cruising has been affected by coronavirus, and what the future may hold when cruising returns.



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