Shortcuts: Cunard’s new liner, a record ski season and the tour operators helping Ukrainian refugees

Southampton The design studio behind some of London’s best known hotels and restaurants — including Claridge’s, the Berkeley, the Wolseley and the Delaunay — has unveiled designs for its first cruise ship, Cunard’s new Queen Anne. David Collins Studio is working alongside fellow London practice Richmond International and Paris-based designer Sybille de Margerie on the Queen Anne, currently under construction at the Fincantieri yard in Monfalcone, Italy. Due to launch in early 2024, and capable of carrying up to 3,000 guests, it will be the Cunard’s fourth ship. The line is now part of the Carnival group, whose 10 brands also include Holland America and Princess Cruises, but the designs for the Queen Anne are intended to emphasize Cunard’s own British heritage and 182-year history. Designers drew inspiration from visits to its archives at the University of Liverpool; catering on board will include the Britannia restaurant and Golden Lion pub. In the centre of the ship, the Grand Lobby will have an art deco-influenced design in homage to the “golden age of travel”. “We have added layers of architectural details and design codes that refer back to Cunard’s history and that add a touch of whimsy and British eccentricity,” says Lewis Taylor, design director at David Collins Studio.

Sälen Skistar, the Swedish company that operates six ski resorts in Sweden and Norway, has announced its best half-year results since it was founded in 1975. In the six months to February 2022 it saw profits up 283 per cent on the previous year and record numbers of visitors. Resorts worldwide have seen pent-up demand from skiers eager to get back to the slopes after pandemic lockdowns but Skistar says 9 per cent of visitors were new rather than returning guests.

Poland While large travel companies including Wizz Air and Eurostar have offered free tickets for Ukrainian refugees, some small operators are also trying to take direct action to help. This weekend Kevin Cabra Netherton, chief executive of Leeds-based campervan company Goat Roadtrip, is driving to the Polish border in an attempt to help refugees who want to travel to the UK. Goat Roadtrip’s sister company is rail operator Euroventure Travel — Cabra Netherton plans to use its resources to arrange refugees’ train tickets and his campervans to take them to the appropriate stations. “Having operated a travel company through a global pandemic has taught me that nothing is impossible,” says Cabra Netherton. Meanwhile Anika and Jon Krogh, who run Nomad Greenland, a small luxury camp in the wilderness north of Nuuk, are themselves driving minibuses to ferry refugees between the Polish border and Denmark.;

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