Queen Elizabeth Sails into Record Tasmanian Season with Maiden Call to Hobart
One of the world’s most famous ships, Queen Elizabeth is making her maiden call to Hobart today, marking the start of a record season of visits to Tasmania for luxury cruise line Cunard.
Over the next five weeks, the 2081-guest ship will make an unprecedented seven calls to Tasmania, including Cunard’s inaugural visit to Burnie on Monday February 18 and Queen Elizabeth’s first call to Port Arthur on March 7.
The visits form part of Queen Elizabeth’s 54-day season Down Under – the longest one of Cunard’s current fleet of Queens has spent in Australian waters.
Speaking in Hobart today, Ann Sherry – Chairman of Carnival Australia which represents seven cruise lines in Australia including Cunard – said Cunard would build its presence in Tasmania even further over the coming summers, injecting valuable tourism dollars into the State’s economy.
During the 2019-20 summer, Queen Elizabeth will make a total of eight calls to Hobart and Burnie (four calls each) as part of her 101-day season Down Under.
That number will rise to a record 13 Tasmanian calls for Cunard over the 2020-21 summer season when Queen Elizabeth will be based in Australia for an unparalleled 118 days. The visits will include five calls to Hobart, four to Port Arthur and four to Burnie.
Ms Sherry said Cunard’s upcoming visits were worth many millions of dollars to the State, with the ship’s guests and crew spending on shore tours, meals and shopping in each port, and the cruise line paying port fees and charges every visit.
“Today alone, Queen Elizabeth’s 2000 guests are enjoying a raft of activities here in Hobart from sightseeing and shopping in the city to day trips to Port Arthur and Richmond – all of which are pumping dollars into the local economy,” Ms Sherry said.
Ms Sherry said five of Carnival Australia’s seven cruise lines would collectively make more than 60 visits to Tasmanian ports this year.
“The good news is that Tasmania benefits not only from guest and crew spending every time one of our ships visits the State, but also from the tonnes of Tasmanian produce we buy for our ships throughout the year.
“This includes about 40 tonnes of salmon, more than 80 tonnes of vegetables and hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of delicious Tasmanian cheeses and creams,” she said.
To celebrate Queen Elizabeth’s first season based in Australia, Cunard has launched a series of partnerships with four Australian companies: R.M. Williams, Akubra, the Australian Dance Theatre and STARWARD distillery.
Bell boys on board the ship this morning were wearing their new R.M.Williams uniforms designed for the ship’s Australian season. Celebrating Cunard’s trademark colours of red, black and gold, the stylish ensemble features a red tailored jacket with gold nautical buttons and black cuffs, 100 per cent cotton black twill pants, handmade leather belts and R.M.Williams’ most recognised boots, The Craftsman, in striking Cunard red, as well as an Akubra hat to protect against the summer sun.
Meanwhile dancers from the Australian Dance Theatre will perform in two exclusive shows on board Queen Elizabeth next month during a round trip cruise to Tasmania from Melbourne.
The ship’s guests will also enjoy a well-travelled whisky, with Queen Elizabeth’s arrival in Australia this month also seeing the return of a very special piece of cargo – The Seafarer, a 225-litre barrel of Australian STARWARD whisky.
Aged for two years at STARWARD’s Port Melbourne distillery, the barrel was loaded onto Queen Elizabeth last February and has spent 12 months travelling 95,000 nautical miles around the globe on a unique ‘maturation journey’ to create a first-of-its-kind single malt whisky.
At 90,900 tonnes, Queen Elizabeth is the second largest ship ever to sail in Cunard’s fleet. Launched in 2010, she is also the youngest in the luxury cruise line’s current trio of Queens with features including more than 10 restaurants and cafés, a Games Deck featuring paddle tennis, croquet and bowls, a two-storey library, a ballroom and the Royal Court Theatre.
Queen Elizabeth’s visit to Hobart today is part of a seven-night round trip cruise from Melbourne. She will depart Hobart around 9pm this evening bound for Melbourne, and will return to Tasmania on Monday (Feb 18) for Cunard’s maiden call to Burnie.
Cunard is a luxury British cruise line, renowned for creating unforgettable experiences around the world. Cunard has been a leading operator of passenger ships on the North Atlantic, since 1840, celebrating an incredible 175 years of operation in 2015. Pioneers in transatlantic journeys for generations, Cunard is world class. The Cunard experience is built on fine dining, hand-selected entertainment and outstanding service. From five-star restaurants and in-suite dining to inspiring guest speakers, the library and film screenings, every detail has been meticulously crafted to make the experience unforgettable. There are currently three Cunard ships, Queen Mary 2, Queen Elizabeth and Queen Victoria with destinations including Europe, the Caribbean, the Far East and Australia. In 2017, Cunard announced plans to add a fourth ship to its fleet that will be launched in 2022. This investment is part of the company’s ambitious plans for the future of Cunard globally and will be the first time since 1998 that Cunard will have four ships in simultaneous service.