In what is a special year of Diamond Jubilee celebrations for the Queen, Cunard’s newest luxury cruise liner, Queen Elizabeth carved a stunning silhouette as she sailed into Auckland Harbour early this morning.
This is the liner’s second visit to Auckland and at the equivalent of 21 storeys high and weighing almost 100,000 tonnes, she’s hard to miss docked at Princes Wharf for the day.
This visit is part of Queen Elizabeth’s second World Voyage. From Auckland she heads to Wellington and Dunedin before heading across the Tasman to Australia and on through Asia back to her home port of Southampton, United Kingdom.
While in Auckland, Ann Sherry AO, CEO of Carnival Australia and Katie Lahey, Chairman of Carnival Australia will host an exclusive lunch for stakeholders, dignitaries and personalities.
Joining the Cunard fleet in 2010, and built at an estimated total cost of US$630 million, the grand lady of the ocean is a testament to the harmony between classic and contemporary and reflects Cunard’s longtime relationship with Great Britain’s Royal Family, including a specially-commissioned portrait of Her Majesty The Queen.
She features more than 700 private balcony cabins, 22 restaurants, cafes, bars and clubs, two swimming pools, a 6000-plus book library, two-storey ballroom and Royal Court Theatre which seats 800 guests.
At almost 1500 sq ft, a Grand Suite onboard the Queen Elizabeth offers more space than your average three-bedroomed house. Each day, guests consume around 950 bottles of wine and champagne, along with 4188 eggs, 287 litres of fruit juice and use more than 2600 tea bags.
On board, guests can enjoy Queen Elizabeth’s signature amenities, including Champagne Afternoon Tea in the Garden Lounge, extraordinary dining experiences in the ship’s Queens Grill, Princess Grill and Verandah restaurants, and dressing up for glamorous evenings at Royal Nights themed balls.
Cunard President and Managing Director Peter Shanks says this year’s visit by the Queen Elizabeth comes ahead of next year’s first Royal Circumnavigation of New Zealand by her sister ship, and Cunard’s flagship vessel, Queen Mary 2. “From Sydney, the Queen Mary 2 will offer a 12-day loop of New Zealand, including visiting Christchurch, Wellington, Auckland and the beautiful Bay of Islands,” says Shanks.
“A Royal Circumnavigation is fantastic news for New Zealand, both in terms of tourism and the economy, with more than 2000 additional visitors exploring these ports and everything they have to offer. The extent of Queen Mary 2’s New Zealand itinerary for 2013 reflects the growing popularity of New Zealand generally for cruising,” says Shanks.
A seasoned world traveller, and recently refurbished, Queen Mary 2’s 106-day voyage will cover 34 ports in 18 countries, across four continents, including six maiden calls to Abu Dhabi, UAE; Colombo, Sri Lanka; Langkawi, Malaysia; Ko Samui, Thailand; Christchurch, New Zealand and Port Elizabeth, South Africa.
“Queen Mary 2 is an iconic leader in the world of luxury ocean travel and unquestionably the pride of our fleet,” says Shanks.