Diane Bondareff AP Images for Cunard

The Queen Mary 2 hosted a glamorous red carpet hours before departing on a transatlantic journey.

Bailey Bennett
December 14, 2017

While most fans only dream of watching their favorite celebrities walk the red carpet at a glamorous movie premiere, some lucky passengers sailing aboard the Queen Mary 2 last week got to witness just that.

Lining the balconies that overlooked the ship’s grand lobby, some of the luxury cruise ship’s many guests looked down on a glamorous scene as stars like Hugh Jackman, Zac Efron, Zendaya, and Rebecca Ferguson graced the one-night-only red carpet. In a unique move, the film in which they all starred, titled "The Greatest Showman," had opted to hold the movie’s premiere onboard the ship, temporarily overhauling its halls and lounges to create a scene fit for the stars. 

Diane Bondareff AP Images for Cunard

The Cunard’s Queen Mary 2 was docked at Brooklyn’s historic cruise terminal for just a few hours as the ship delayed departure in order to host the glitzy event. This meant that by the end of the night, the atmosphere of glamour would make way for a working passenger ship. Leaving the movie-musical’s stars and red carpet guests behind in New York City, thousands of passengers would set out on a seven-day transatlantic voyage to Southampton at midnight.

Still, for a few hours prior, the ship took a step back in time to the 1870s, mirroring the setting of "The Greatest Showman," a film inspired by the life and legacy of P.T. Barnum and his great circus show. While the ship’s regular passengers were able to catch a glimpse of the festivities from the decks above, the night’s main events were reserved for the guests of honor, including the cast, crew, and celebrity guests like Darren Criss, Auli’i Cravalho, and Maye Musk.

Acrobats, jugglers, and other circus performers greeted guests; champagne flowed and the Queen’s room, the largest ballroom at sea, was decked out in velvety red. The evening was a testament to Barnum, who was a frequent Cunard traveler himself, sailing many times between New York and England aboard their fleet.

Diane Bondareff AP Images for Cunard

Scenes from the film were also shot in the original U.S. headquarters of Cunard, and many scenes took place in Brooklyn, the U.S. home port of the Queen Mary 2. Cunard and 20th Century Fox Film therefore decided to partner to host the premiere on the ship because of this connection, creating a memorable experience for everyone involved.

“The world premiere event of ‘The Greatest Showman’ on Queen Mary 2 tonight epitomizes the glamour and excitement that defines Cunard,” said Josh Leibowitz, senior vice president of Cunard North America. “We are thrilled to host the first major motion picture premiere on a Cunard ship and would welcome the opportunity to partner with 20th Century Fox again on future endeavours.”

While guests were able to preview the film in the Illuminations theater last week, "The Greatest Showman" will officially debut to the public on December 20th. The film was directed by Michael Gracey and includes original songs by Academy Award winners Benj Pasek and Justin Paul of "La La Land."

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