Cunard today announced its sponsorship of the 2017 Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, taking place in New York City February 11-14, 2017. This is the first year Cunard will be part of the show and they will be the only travel company represented at the show. In addition, the 2017 Best in Show winner and owner will be offered an invitation to sail on a Transatlantic Crossing on Cunard's Queen Mary 2.
Owners and dogs who stop by Cunard's booth at Pier 94 will get a glimpse into the luxurious life aboard flagship ocean liner Queen Mary 2. Cunard bellmen will be on-hand to greet pups with specially-made doggy treats and canine apparel, and @WallytheWelshCorgi, one of NYC's top Instagram dogs, will make a special appearance to take photos with attendees in front of an oversized backdrop of Queen Mary 2. Wally is attending Westminster Week as a member of the Pembroke Welsh Corgi Club of America (PWCCA), an organization that promotes the responsible breeding of Pembroke Welsh Corgis.
"Cunard is proud to sponsor the iconic Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show in New York City," said Josh Leibowitz, senior vice president, Cunard North America. "Both brands have a long history of supporting our four-legged friends, and we are thrilled to be part of this tradition for dogs and dog lovers."
As the only cruise line to offer dogs and cats passage on the company's famed Transatlantic Crossings, Cunard has a long history of sailing pets -- its pet-friendly policy dates back 176 years to the maiden voyage of the Britannia in 1840. Since then, the company has transported a surprising number of notable pets: Rin-Tin-Tin, Elizabeth Taylor's pampered pooches, the Duke and Duchess of Windsor's beloved pup and Pudsey, winner of Britain's Got Talent 2012. It was at the Duke's behest that Cunard originally installed a lamppost beside the kennels on Cunard's former flagship Queen Elizabeth 2.
"We are delighted to be working with Cunard at this year's show," said Gail Miller Bisher, director of communications, The Westminster Kennel Club. "This premiere cruise line offers pet owners an opportunity to travel with their dogs in a comfortable and safe manner and we look forward to a long relationship with them."
Pet travel continues to soar in the United States and due to increased demand, Cunard doubled the size of its kennels on Queen Mary 2 during the flagship's $132 million renovation last year. In addition, the ship expanded the kennel area, adding an owner's lounge and a new pet playground. Guests can enjoy an extended outdoor area for dog walking featuring a lamppost from Liverpool and fire hydrant from New York so dogs from both sides of the pond will feel at home. Overall, Queen Mary 2's enhanced pet service offers a kinder, gentler alternative to pet transportation.
To ensure that pet passengers are as glamorous as their human counterparts, Cunard partnered with the British sportswear brand Barbour in 2016 to offer smart accessories onboard such as jackets, collars and leashes.