Take a Look at the New Kennels Aboard Queen Mary 2

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Official Kennel Master Oliver (on the right) and Randy welcome the dogs to playtime.

Every dog has its day.  And onboard Queen Mary 2, there are a lot of lucky dogs.  Twenty-two to be exact.  That’s the new number of dogs (or cats) that can book passage for a transatlantic cruise aboard Cunard’s Queen Mary 2.

Watch as Kennel Master Oliver leads the dog parade on deck:

When Queen Mary 2 was sent for refurbishment last summer, increasing the size of the entire kennel facility was a top priority.  Cunard has a long history of dogs and their owners crossing the unpredictable North Atlantic aboard their ships.  Thus, adding 10 more kennels, from the original 12 to now 22 spaces, seemed a natural progression.

It’s not inexpensive, either.  With a new facility comes new rates.  Kennels range from $800 to $1,000 per crossing.  But it’s more than just dropping your dog (or cat) off on Day One and returning to claim your pet at the end of the cruise.

Months before your voyage, there is an official stack of paperwork that needs to be completed and documented.  Since there is no longer a quarantine period for a pet to enter England (there’s no rabies in England and they want it to stay that way) the hoops to jump through are quite tedious.

Once onboard, you and your dog become instant celebrities for a week.  It begins with a short procession as dog owners and their dogs get priority boarding and quickly walk past all the other passengers waiting to board.

As soon as word gets out that you’ve a dog onboard, you become a target for questions.  Dinner table-mates want to know.  Then finally, on debarkation day (no pun intended), you again parade off the ship at your destination.

Take a peek at the kennels and the facility in the photos below.  No one except owners are allowed inside.  Though there’s usually a dozen or more curious passengers crowding around the gate to marvel at the dogs and take their photos.

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Kennel entrance/exit from the inside.
Sort of reception area leading to kennels.
Kennel Master Oliver shows off the doggy coat for each “guest.”
22 new kennels with a partition that pulls across at bedtime.
Everyone is tired after playtime.
Special doggy life jackets and emergency kit.
New indoor play area. Owners and pets socialize here during visiting hours throughout the day.
Doggy and people treats available.
At the end of the crossing, each dog receives a certificate!

If you are thinking about traveling to or from England and America with your dog or cat, it’s imperative that you contact the proper department at Cunard.  You’ll work with the person in charge of this process who will walk you through the necessary steps so as to avoid any problems at both ends of the voyage.  Check and double-check your paperwork.  Then be prepared for an adventure at sea like no other.  Not only is Queen Mary 2 the best way ever to travel between Southampton and New York, traveling with your dog will make both of you instant celebrities for a week.


9 Comments

  1. Kencdrick
    September 3, 2018 / 2:03 pm

    Im looking to travel next year with 2 dogs and 3 cats…a lot of baggage i know !!

    My dogs are basically my babies, how often are the visiting hours and how often are they allowed out to play/walk etc…

  2. Sherry Laskin
    Author
    August 14, 2018 / 8:23 pm

    Hi Crisie, Yes, you will be able to walk your dog on your own. Be sure to let the Kennel Master know your concerns as soon as you arrive at the pier to embark. Also, it’s crucial to have the rabies conversation with the shoreside canine information person to be sure you have absolutely understood and exactly comply with instructions.
    Have a wonderful cruise and a great time over here!
    Sherry

  3. Crisie dixon
    July 31, 2018 / 11:58 am

    My dog is a Lara’s apso an has been attacked 9times, is there any chance, he can be walked on his own. ..?? I coming to USA for 6 months an has to have the rabies injection 30 days before

  4. Sherry Laskin
    Author
    July 24, 2018 / 9:31 am

    Hi Rachael,

    Dogs of all sizes seem to do well and don’t get seasick. Cats, however, are susceptible to mal de mer. There is a lot of paperwork to complete by you and your veterinarian, but there is no vet onboard if a dog becomes ill. Aggressive breeds are not allowed. If a dog does become aggressive around the others, then the dog will not be allowed out of its kennel for playtime. The owner will then have to walk and potty the dog when the others are not loose in the playroom.

    Also, kennels sell out quickly so if that is still an option for you, don’t wait too long to reserve the kennel and your accommodation.
    Sherry

  5. Rachael Johnson
    July 23, 2018 / 2:07 pm

    How do dogs (especially larger dogs) seem to deal with this long of a journey? What if a dog becomes ill or aggressive?

  6. Sherry Kennedy
    Author
    May 9, 2018 / 3:55 pm

    Hi Elizabeth,
    Good question but I’m not sure if there is a “walking” area away from the dogs. I’d suggest that you follow up with Cunard with any questions that you may have. Sorry I can’t be of more help with this question. I’ve seen the outdoor spaces where owners walk their dogs and you’d probably have to just walk to a far corner of the walking area. But Cunard can give you a better idea of what you’d experience. Thank you for your comment and I hope this all works out for you and your cat.
    Sherry

  7. Elizabeth Faulkner
    May 4, 2018 / 7:14 pm

    I’m interested in taking my cat from New York to Southampton. I’m wondering if there are areas we can visit and walk him (on a leash) away from the dogs.

    Thank you, Elizabeth

  8. Sherry Kennedy
    Author
    June 9, 2017 / 8:26 pm

    Hi Genevieve, Thank you for your kind comment. Your story is very cute. One of these days I need to get a mascot, too. Happy Travels!
    Sherry

  9. June 7, 2017 / 11:35 pm

    I love your story and it is wonderful to see the photos of the kennels as we have travelled aboard QM2 4 times and always wondered what they looked like. On our most recent voyage, March this year, my husband met Oliver and heard terrific stories about the dogs, etc.

    I previously wrote a little story about a different pet dog that we have taken on many cruises with us, and it was posted on Cunard’s blog at the time:

    https://lifeincamelot.wordpress.com/2012/03/11/34/

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