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07/03/2019 12:15 PM

Royal rendezvous: cruise ship royalty sails into Sydney

As Sydney rolls out the red carpet for the cruise ships Queen Elizabeth and Queen Victoria, here’s more on the world’s most regal cruise line.

Sydney welcomed two royal arrivals in February as the prestigious cruise ships, Queen Elizabeth and Queen Victoria sailed into the Overseas Passenger Terminal at Circular Quay.

This Queen Elizabeth was the first of Cunard Line’s vessels to visit Sydney this cruise season arriving on 20 February following a 38-day voyage from its home port of Southampton, UK.

On 28 February, Queen Victoria also made its 2019 Sydney debut, stopping at the Overseas Passenger Terminal on a 112 day, round-trip world voyage.

Over 2000 passengers and almost 1000 crew were brought on each of the art-deco inspired ships featuring the famous blue hulls and red funnels of the British–American-owned Cunard Line

Founded by ship owner Samuel Cunard and famed marine engineer Robert Napier in 1839, Cunard Line began life as the British and North American Royal Mail Steam Packet Company.

Once the largest Atlantic passenger line between Great Britain and the US and Canada, Cunard began its focus on the luxury cruise market following a decline in demand for transatlantic passenger ships due to the rise of airliners.

Today, Cunard’s three ships, Queen Mary 2, Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth, are renowned the world over.

RMS Queen Mary 2Queen Mary at OPT

Queen Mary 2 is the largest ship to ever sail in Cunard’s fleet. Launched in 2003, Queen Mary 2 has been Cunard’s flagship vessel since succeeding Queen Elizabeth 2 in 2004. At the time of being built, she was the largest and longest passenger ship in history.

Launched: 2003
Guests: 2,691
Gross tonnage: 149,215
Length: 345 m
Crew: 1,292

MS Queen ElizabethQueen Elizabeth

At 90,900 tonnes and with room for 2081 guests, Queen Elizabeth is the second largest ship to sail in Cunard’s fleet. Following a naming ceremony by Queen Elizabeth II, Queen Elizabeth took her maiden voyage from Southampton on 12 October 2010.

For the 2019-2020 cruise season, Queen Elizabeth will be based in Australia for 101 days and will return for a record 118 days for summer 2020-21 — Cunard’s biggest ever Australian season.

Launched: 2010
Length: 294 m
Gross tonnage: 90,901
Guests: 2,081
Crew: 1,005

MS Queen Victoria
Queen Victoria
The smallest of Cunard’s current ships — but only just — Queen Victoria is built to a similar design of its sister ship, Queen Elizabeth. Launched in 2007, Queen Victoria first voyage was through Northern Europe and is now a regular caller to Australia on its round-the-world cruises.

Launched: 2007
Length: 294 m
Gross tonnage: 90,049
Guests: 2,061
Crew: 981

The Queen with no name
It remains unnamed, but Cunard’s new ship will be its biggest yet, accommodating up to 3,000 guests.

It may have no name, but Cunard have confirmed the vessel will share the cruise line’s iconic blue livery and red funnels

Currently being built in Italy, the ship will be the first new Cunard ship in 12 years and the first time since 1998 their fleet has four ships in simultaneous service.

Cunard’s fourth vessel is expected to be named in November 2019 and will join the fleet in 2022.

The latest report from the Cruise Lines Industry Association (CLIA) show that cruise continues to be the fastest growing tourism sector in Australia. With over 300 cruise ships visiting each year, Sydney is Australia’s cruise gateway and recently received awards for the best Australian homeport and best cruise destination in Australia and New Zealand. 

See the full Sydney cruise schedule

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