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Full steam ahead

Ferry travel is everything air travel isn’t. You don’t have to strip off at security or cause consternation when ordered to remove your belt by promptly removing your trousers, too. Or be like the woman who threatened to lie down on the conveyor belt and put herself through the scanner to prove she had some sort of implants.

You can carry as much stuff as you are able, or fill your car to the rafters, no questions asked. You can relax over a meal, walk around the deck, sit in the bar, browse the internet, study or sleep in a bed for the entire journey. Or simply watch the sea go by.

The Cunard liner Queen Mary 2 sails about once a month from Southampton to New York and back again.

It costs a lot, but so does business-class travel, and as the price includes a cabin, all your food – which is excellent, and comes in half a dozen restaurants – entertainment, swimming pools, dancing, singing and anything else you care to think of for six or seven days, it’s not bad value, especially if you view it as a holiday rather than simply as a way to get from A to B.

The Cunard website quotes €675.95 per person sharing for an inside cabin, or stateroom as they grandly call them on the QM2, rising to a suite costing nearly €3,000pps. On each rate you get everything – even a definite date of arrival – except alcohol, Cunard.

And most importantly, an Atlantic crossing is not a cruise, so despite all the cruise-like activities, the Hi-de-Hi! brigade are easy to avoid.

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