Accompanied by her sister ship Queen Elizabeth, the 345-metre long Queen Mary 2 stayed in Circular Quay before sailing out for her maiden visit to Tasmania on Monday. Queen Elizabeth left for Brisbane on Tuesday.
The Queen’s visits comes almost exactly 10 years since Queen Mary 2 first sailed into Sydney for a royal rendezvous with her older sister, the now retired QE2. A decade later, Queen Mary 2 returned with AU$145m in renovations, including 50 new staterooms, a wine cellar and a new Carinthia Lounge.
Executive Chairman of Carnival Australia Ann Sherry spoke onboard the 2700-guest liner on Sunday, saying Queen Mary 2’s maiden visit in 2007 helped spark interest in cruise tourism throughout Australia.
“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. Without question, Queen Mary 2 put cruising on many Australians’ wish lists and helped fuel the industry’s phenomenal growth Down Under,” she said.
Cunard Vice President of International Development David Rousham added that the cruise line’s growing popularity in Australia has prompted Cunard to plan additional deployments in the area in 2018.
“Australians have a real bond with Cunard which strengthens every year as our Australian guest numbers grow. 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,” he said.