By Adam Erace

As the only passenger cruise line that allows dogs and cats on board, Cunard places the well-being of pets sailing on the Queen Mary 2 in the hands of Cruz, a former zoo trainer who’s been known to sing a few sea-skittish pups to sleep.

Oliver Cruz, kennel master. [Illustration: Uli Knörzer] / Featured image: A pup at sea. [Photo: Cunard Line]

Cunard has had quite the history transporting animals.

Yes, from the early days of the Britannia in 1840, when the ship sailed with a cow to provide milk for passengers, to more glamorous times when our ocean liners transported Thoroughbred racehorses and celebrity pets, such as Elizabeth Taylor’s and the Duke and Duchess of Windsor’s dogs. In fact, it was the Duke of Windsor’s suggestion that pets receive special accommodations and offerings to make their travels comfortable.

The Queen Mary 2. [Photo: Cunard Line]

How do you treat pets on the QM2?

Pets receive a complimentary portrait with their human companion, a special sailing certificate, treats made by Cunard’s executive chef, and food daily if the owner doesn’t want to provide their own. We also partner with British sportswear brand Barbour to offer pet accessories such as collars and leashes so they can be as glamorous as their owners while on board.

What do you do when dogs get anxious at sea?

For the ones that need extra love and attention, I have a lullaby I sing to them at night. I know how important these animals are to their owners, and I take great pride in ensuring that they’re well cared for.

So where are they supposed to … you know?

We have a large outdoor area for walking and playing.

GO: Cunard’s eight-day transatlantic crossing on the 2,691-passenger Queen Mary 2 sails eastbound and westbound between London and New York City.