100 Years of Cunard Captured in Time

March 2, 2023  21:48  |  News

Luxury cruise line Cunard, celebrates a century’s worth of luxury, magic, history and memories by launching its new Sea Views Exhibition, carefully curated by British photographer and filmmaker Mary McCartney.

100 Years of Cunard Captured in Time

A couple play a game on the deck of Cunard’s Mauretania (1950s – 60s) – Cunard Line Photograph by W. A. Probst ©

The exhibition celebrates two momentous milestones in Cunard’s history – the first being that over 100 years ago, Cunard introduced onboard photography to capture the signature moments of their voyages and the second being the centenary of the first ever round-the-world voyage on Cunard’s ship, Laconia. Laconia’s 130-day voyage departed on 21 November 1922 and arrived back in New York on 30 March 1923 after calling at 22 ports.

Boasting images from Cunard’s photography archive together with an incredible number of photos submitted by past and present guests of its iconic cruise liners, the Sea Views Exhibition is a culmination of the century’s rich history.

100 Years of Cunard Captured in Time

Rita Hayworth On Board – Hunter Cox Collection ©

Showcasing a selection of never-before-seen imagery featuring everything from Hollywood’s most famed to the treasured moments of guests, the snapshots cover the dynamic changes in styles across fashion, food and interior design since the 1920s.

The exhibition features a snapshot of Cunard’s most glamorous and esteemed guests, from Elizabeth Taylor and Rita Hayworth to Bing Crosby and Nelson Mandela, illustrating some of Cunard’s archival gems across the century.

Hundreds of Cunard passengers from all over the world, including America, Australia, Canada, Germany and the UK, submitted over a thousand of their personal highlights aboard Cunard’s ships. The images depict a series of fascinating moments from families emigrating to new continents, milestone anniversaries to unexpected guest encounters, telling magical stories from the 1920s to the present day.

100 Years of Cunard Captured in Time

Troops walking on board in Sydney, Cunard’s Queen Mary (1940) ©

Peter Fittock, from Thurso Scotland, shared a selection of wonderful images captured by his grandfather, Jasper Harold Fittock, who was a “Pantryman/Steward” onboard the Aquitania and later the Carmania. The photograph featured in the exhibition shows cowboy movie star Tom Mix riding his horse Tony down the gangway, on a trip to England.

Barry Robins, shared a picture of himself and his sister Lynne Robins, aboard the Queen Mary, June of 1964. They were emigrating to the USA along with their mother to be reunited with their father. As siblings, they had a wonderful time onboard, prior to arriving in New York and shared a range of fond memories.

Mary McCartney says: “Curating the Sea Views Exhibition for Cunard has been a fulfilling project for me as a photographer and filmmaker. It was a joy to dig deep into the archives and discover never-before-seen photographs that capture the essence of Cunard’s signature moments, showcasing the glamour, elegance, and adventures families and friends shared together”.

“It was not just about showcasing the history, but also celebrating the millions of travellers who have embarked on unforgettable voyages across the globe. As I went through the archives and read the stories submitted by passengers from all corners of the world, I was struck by the strong sense of community and connection that Cunard has fostered over the years. It was an honour to bring those stories to life through the exhibition.” Continues Mary.

Other images Mary McCartney selected to be included in the unique photography exhibition include:

Troops walking on board in Sydney, Cunard’s Queen Mary (1940). The Queen Mary was deployed during the Second World War to carry troops to Europe.

Nelson Mandela sailed on Queen Elizabeth 2’s 1998 passage between Durban and Cape Town. In the ship’s visitor book, he wrote “Travelling on QE2 was an unforgettable honour and a pleasure”.

Elizabeth Taylor, who regularly travelled with Cunard and her producer husband Mike Todd.

Harry Lillis Crosby, known to the world as Bing, was a regular on-board Queen Mary. He was often found in the darkroom on board the ship chatting with photographers.

The first ever Blue Note Jazz themed transatlantic cruise, with President of Blue Note Records, Don Was, on Cunard’s Queen Mary 2 (2015) (image is not of Don Was). The image was submitted by former guest Nick Pride.

Sir Winston Churchill operating the controls with a cigar in hand, with Commodore J.G.P. Bisset on Cunard’s Queen Elizabeth (1940s).

Prominent Passengers Phyllis Calvert and her husband Peter Murray-Hill, actors, with their daughter, Auriol, facing press photographers on the Queen Mary’s boat deck.

The centennial ‘Sea Views‘ digital exhibition is available to view from 2nd March 2023.