The October 2010 Maiden Voyage for Cunard’s new ocean liner Queen Elizabeth, which was placed on worldwide sale to past guests at 8:00 a.m. today, sold out in a record 29 minutes – easily making this the fastest selling voyage in Cunard’s 170-year history. In fact, this voyage sold out quicker involving more guests than QE2’s Final Voyage when it set a previous Cunard sell-out record of 36 minutes in June 2007.

More than half of Queen Elizabeth’s remaining Maiden Season, comprising six voyages from October to December 2010, was sold within the first two hours.

“This is an impressive record set by what will be an impressive ship and speaks volumes about the Cunard brand as well as for the resilience of the cruise sector as a whole in these challenging times,” said Carol Marlow, president and managing director of Cunard Line. “It is also very encouraging to see the level of interest in Queen Elizabeth coming from all our international markets, with bookings in the UK, US and Germany particularly strong. I urge our travel partners and those guests who have not yet booked to move fast in order to secure their place in history on Queen Elizabeth during her maiden season,” added Marlow.

One of the youngest fleets in the industry, Cunard’s famous state-of-the-art award-winning vessels Queen Mary 2 and Queen Victoria will be joined by Queen Elizabeth, and all three will take Cunard’s 170 years of history, heritage, impeccable service and tradition far into the 21st Century. This is a legacy recognized by Cunard guests, with up to 97% saying they will recommend Cunard to a friend and 98% saying they will return.

Queen Elizabeth will feature the unique Cunard traditions linking her with her sisters Queen Mary 2 and Queen Victoria and their predecessors, along with some exciting features that will give the vessel her own style and personality, plus all the modern day luxuries Cunard’s guests have come to expect.

Named after the first Queen Elizabeth, one of Cunard’s greatest ships, the new Queen Elizabeth will reflect her predecessor in interior grandeur, décor and style, but with a modern twist. From the outside, her distinctive black and red livery will hint at an experience that differentiates a Cunard liner from a modern-day cruise ship. This will be most evident in the ship’s adherence to liner traditions, with elegant double and triple height public rooms on a grand scale, luxuriously endowed with rich wood paneling, intricate mosaics, gleaming chandeliers and cool marbles. Art Deco features will pay homage to the original Queen Elizabeth and will allow the new ship to reflect a more civilized era of travel.

Queen Elizabeth’s maiden 2010 season will consist of six voyages, calling on 32 distinct ports in 18 countries. Her Maiden Voyage, now sold out, will depart from Cunard’s homeport of Southampton on October 12, 2010, en route to the Atlantic Isles.

The ship will then embark on five celebratory inaugural voyages, for which space is still available but selling fast:

Mediterranean Premiere – A 14-day voyage departing Southampton on 25 October 2010 with maiden calls to Barcelona, Monte Carlo, Florence/Pisa (Livorno), Rome (Civitavecchia), Naples (for Capri and Pompeii), Cartagena and Gibraltar. Fares start from $2,795 per person.

Aegean Introduction – An 18-day voyage departing Southampton on 8 November 2010 calling on Malaga (for Granada), Malta (Valletta), Venice, Dubrovnik, Kusadasi (for Ephesus), Athens (Piraeus) and Alicante. Fares from $3,295 per person.

Gallic Debut – A five-day voyage departing Southampton on 26 November 2010 with maiden calls to Rotterdam (for Amsterdam), Brussels/Bruges (for Zeebrugge) and Cherbourg. Fares start from $1,195 per person.

Iberian Discovery – A 13-day voyage departing Southampton on 1 December 2010 with calls to Vigo (for Santiago de Compostela), Lisbon, Seville (Cadiz), Gran Canaria (Las Palmas), Tenerife (Santa Cruz de Tenerife), La Palma (Santa Cruz de La Palma) and Madeira. Fares start from $2,395 per person.

Festive Debut – A 22-day holiday voyage departing Southampton on 14 December 2010 with calls in the Caribbean, including Madeira (Funchal), Tortola, Dominica, Barbados, St. Lucia, Antigua and Azores Islands (Ponta Delgada). Fares start from $4,795 per person.