Cunard Line has announced that the Queen Elizabeth will be based in Australia for a 101 days for the 2019-2020 cruise season.
The Queen Elizabeth will sail on six roundtrip cruises from Melbourne and two from Sydney during the season, which will feature an array of itineraries to South Australia, Tasmania, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea between December 2019 and March 2020.
The new 2020 Australian deployment will be almost double the length of Queen Elizabeth’s scheduled 54-day season Down Under early next year, which will see the ship sailing from Sydney and Melbourne during February-March 2019, according to a statement.
Cunard Senior Vice President Simon Palethorpe said Queen Elizabeth’s record 2020 season reflected the importance of the Australian cruise market to Cunard as well as Melbourne’s growing attraction as a cruise hub, with the Victorian capital providing the ship’s homeport for two months.
“Over the past few years we’ve seen unprecedented growth in demand for the Cunard experience in Australia so it made sense for us to invest further in the market and extend the sailing season of Queen Elizabeth even more in 2020,” Palethorpe said.
Passengers will be able to sail from Melbourne to New Zealand over the break with Christmas Day spent cruising the Tasman Sea, Boxing Day in the Fiordland National Park and New Year’s Eve in Auckland Harbour.
Other cruises from Melbourne will include voyages to South Australia and Tasmania. Following her two-month Melbourne deployment, Queen Elizabeth will sail to Sydney where she will cruise on two roundtrip voyages from the city before heading north.
Her Sydney offerings will include a new 14-night cruise to Papua New Guinea, featuring the cruise line’s maiden calls to the Conflict Islands and Kiriwina in the Trobriand Islands.
Other maiden visits during the summer season include Cunard’s first call to Esperance in Western Australia, while Queen Elizabeth will be making her inaugural visits to Albany, Whitsunday Islands and Darwin.