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Queen Elizabeth based in Australia for two months

February 28, 2017 Headline News No Comments Email Email

Cunard has unveiled plans to base its popular liner Queen Elizabeth in Australia for a record two months in 2019 – a move that reflects growing demand for local cruises on the luxury cruise line’s ships.

The 90,900-tonne Queen Elizabeth has a high profile in Australia – and it grew higher over the weekend, when the ship held a Royal Rendezvous with its older sister Queen Mary 2 in Sydney Harbour.

Queen Mary 2 Captain Christopher Wells took in the view of his ship and Queen Elizabeth from the sails of the Sydney Opera House.

The two ships’ visit is estimated to have injected about AUD 2 million  into the local economy, with the Queens bringing close to 7500 guests into the city over the weekend, providing  a major boost to the local tourism sector.

Queen Elizabeth at Circular Quay

 

In 2019, during its two-month deployment in Australia, Queen Elizabeth will offer seven different cruises to New Zealand, South Australia and Tasmania from Sydney and Melbourne between February and April 2019 – the longest deployment Down Under for any of Cunard’s current fleet of Queens.

The cruises are a major highlight of Cunard’s 2019 world voyage program, which will be released in Australia on 14 March 2017 and go on sale on 30 March 2017.

Announcing the move just days after the spectacular Sydney Royal Rendezvous of Queen Elizabeth and Queen Mary 2, Cunard Vice President International Development David Rousham said the number of Australians cruising on Cunard world voyages was continuing to grow.

“Whenever Cunard’s itineraries have included roundtrip options from Australian ports and visits to New Zealand, the demand has always been tremendous,” Rousham said.

QM2 Captain Christopher Wells at the top of the Sydney Opera House at the weekend. Photo by James Morgan

 

Rousham said he expected similar strong interest in the 2019 local cruises, which will double the number of Australians and New Zealanders travelling on Cunard compared to previous years.

“In February 2019, Queen Elizabeth will have recently undergone a refit, and so our youngest Cunard ship will be looking her most luxurious best as she starts this new chapter in Cunard’s long and illustrious 179-year history,” he said.

The 2019 program features two roundtrip New Zealand voyages – one from Sydney and the other from Melbourne. There are also three roundtrip voyages including Tasmanian itineraries – two from Melbourne and one from Sydney.

Rousham said Queen Elizabeth’s local season would offer a total of 27 combination itineraries to meet guests’ needs.

Edited by Peter Needham

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