Queen Mary 2 and Queen Elizabeth in Sydney Harbour

The Queen Mary 2 sailed into Sydney over the weekend with the Queen Elizabeth for a Royal Rendezvous which marked 10 years since the Cunard flagship first visited Australia. 

The visit of the two Queens comes almost a decade to the day since Queen Mary 2 first sailed into Sydney, staging a Royal Rendezvous with her older sister, the now retired QE2,.

Speaking onboard in Sydney, Ann Sherry, Executive Chairman of Carnival Australia which represents Cunard, said Queen Mary 2’s maiden visit in 2007 had been a catalyst for a surge of interest in cruise tourism in Australia.

Australian cruise passenger numbers have jumped by an average of 20 pe cent a year since 2007, soaring from 250,000 to more than a million a year.

Queen Mary 2 Captain Christopher Wells had the best seat in the house in Sydney today, taking in the view of his ship and her sister Queen Elizabeth from the sails of the Sydney Opera House, following the two Queens’ arrival in the city for a Royal Rendezvous.  Photo: James Morgan

“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,” Sherry said. “Without question, Queen Mary 2 put cruising on many Australians’ wish lists and helped fuel the industry’s phenomenal growth Down Under.”

Cunard Vice President International Development David Rousham said Cunard’s ongoing popularity in Australia had encouraged the cruise line to plan longer deployments in Australia in 2018 and 2019.

“Australians have a real bond with Cunard which strengthens every year as our Australian guest numbers grow,” Rousham said. “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.”

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