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Remastered Queen Mary 2 Celebrates 10th Anniversary Down Under with Royal Rendezvous in Sydney

February 28, 2017 Cruise No Comments Email Email

The world’s most famous liner, Queen Mary 2, has sailed into Sydney with her younger sister Queen Elizabeth for a Royal Rendezvous which marks 10 years since the Cunard flagship first visited Australia.

Creating a spectacle for Sydneysiders, the magnificent 345-metre long Queen Mary 2 is spending the day in Circular Quay, while Queen Elizabeth is anchored at Athol Buoy near Taronga Zoo.

The visit of the two Queens comes almost a decade to the day since Queen Mary 2 first sailed into Sydney, staging a Royal Rendezvous with her older sister, the now retired QE2, which brought the city to a standstill as locals flocked to the foreshore.

Ten years on, the 2700-guest Queen Mary 2 has returned to Sydney fresh from an impressive AU$145 million remastering which saw 50 new staterooms added to the liner, including its first ever single staterooms, as well as Cunard’s first wine cellar at sea and a new Carinthia Lounge. The cruise line also installed 10 new kennels for Queen Mary 2’s four-legged travellers as well as a lamp post (for English dogs) and a fire hydrant (for American dogs) on the deck area reserved for dog walking during Transatlantic cruises.

Queen Mary 2 Arrives in Sydney for her Royal Rendezvous with Queen Elizabeth Feb 25 2017 credit James Morgan

Speaking onboard the liner in Sydney today, Ann Sherry, Executive Chairman of Carnival Australia which represents Cunard, said Queen Mary 2’s maiden visit in 2007 had been a catalyst for a surge of interest in cruise tourism in Australia.

Australian cruise passenger numbers have jumped by an average of 20 per cent a year since 2007, soaring from 250,000 to more than a million a year.

“Queen Mary 2’s first visit to Sydney captured the imagination of thousands upon thousands of Australians, who fell in love with her classic style as well as her state-of-the-art features,” Ms Sherry said. “Without question, Queen Mary 2 put cruising on many Australians’ wish lists and helped fuel the industry’s phenomenal growth Down Under.”

Queen Mary 2 Arrives in Sydney for her Royal Rendezvous with Queen Elizabeth Feb 25 2017 – 2 – credit James Morgan

Cunard Vice President International Development David Rousham said Cunard’s ongoing popularity in Australia had encouraged the cruise line to plan longer deployments in Australia in 2018 and 2019.

“Australians have a real bond with Cunard which strengthens every year as our Australian guest numbers grow,” Mr Rousham said.  “Over the past decade, the number of Australian guests cruising on our annual world voyages has increased fifteen-fold and Australia is now our second major market for world voyages and our third largest passenger market overall.”

QM2 Captain Christopher Wells waves from the top of the Sydney Opera House Feb 25 ’17 – credit James Morgan

Queen Mary 2 is visiting Australia as part of her 118-night world voyage which will see her spend 23 days in local waters including her first short roundtrip cruises from Melbourne and Sydney. The 2080-guest Queen Elizabeth is calling at Sydney, Brisbane and Cairns as part of her 120-night world voyage.

QM2 Captain Christopher Wells on the top of the Sydney Opera House Feb 25 ’17 – 1 – credit James Morgan

Queen Mary 2 will sail from Sydney tonight at 11.30pm to make her maiden visit to Tasmania as part of a five-night roundtrip cruise. Queen Elizabeth will then move to Circular Quay and spend tomorrow at the Overseas Passenger Terminal before departing for Brisbane around 6pm.

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