Over the next two years Cunard is cruising longer periods in Australia. The line revealed plans to base its Queen Elizabeth in Australia for 2 months in 2019, which will be the longest deployment there for any ship from the line.
Queen Elizabeth will sail from Melbourne and Sydney on 7 cruises to NZ, South Australia and Tasmania.
Cunard's Queen Mary 2 liner returned to Sydney on the weekend, a decade after line’s flagship first sailed through the heads on a maiden world cruise.
The arrival of QM2 was also a reminder of how much has changed in cruise industry during that time.
In 2007, she was joined by her older sister the QE2, which retired the following year. She was replaced by 2080-guest Queen Elizabeth in 2009, and that ship joined Queen Mary 2 in Sydney on the weekend, mooring off Athol Buoy near Taronga Zoo.
And since then, the size of Australian cruise industry has increased 4-fold from 250,000 to more than 1 million, the 345-metre long QM 2 is no longer the world’s biggest cruise ship.
But after 13 years on the high seas. Cunard’s owners, Carnival, have just given the ship a $AU145 million makeover, adding 50 new staterooms, including the first single staterooms, and increasing the passenger numbers to 2700, as well as a wine cellar and new lounge.
And for those who can’t bear the thought of leaving the family pet behind, there are now 10 new kennels for four-legged passengers and the deck area reserved for dog walking during Transatlantic cruises now features a lamp post for English dogs and fire hydrant for American ones.
QM2 is visiting Australia as part of her 118-night world voyage that spends 23 days in Australian waters including the first short roundtrip cruises from Melbourne and Sydney.
Queen Mary 2 sailed from Sydney last night at 11.30pm to make her maiden visit to Tasmania as part of a 5-night roundtrip cruise.