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Cunard rides a wave of popularity

February 13, 2019 Headline News No Comments

Luxury cruise line Cunard is sailing on a wave of popularity with the majority of its 2019 cruise schedule nearly sold out.

According to Cunard President, Simon Palethorpe the ship-full sign is about to be hoisted on sailings this year. This follows a 62% increase in passenger numbers since 2016.

In a trade briefing earlier this week Cunard announced that the popular Queen Elizabeth will return to Australia for an unparalleled 118 days in 2020-21 during the Aussie summer.

The season will also feature visits from Cunard flagship Queen Mary 2 and sister ship Queen Victoria during their world voyages, with the royal trio spending a record 49 days in Australian ports between them. Queen Elizabeth’s four-month season will begin in November 2020 and will include more than 60 itinerary options as she sails from her homeports of Melbourne and Sydney.

Voyages will range from two-night sojourns between Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne and Adelaide to longer journeys around Australia and New Zealand. New offerings include 12 and 13-night cruises between Sydney and Auckland calling at a range of stunning ports along the New Zealand coastline, as well as calls to Tasmania and Victoria. The cruises can also be combined to create a destination-rich 25-night journey featuring an impressive nine New Zealand ports.

Other highlights include a Royal Rendezvous with Queen Victoria in Sydney on March 1, 2021 – marking the first time the two ships have met in Australia – as well as a special overnight call in Auckland on 31 December 2020, enabling Cunard guests to be among the first in the world to celebrate the New Year.

Palethorpe said the cruise line’s decision to boost its Australian presence even further reflected the continuing growth in popularity of Cunard cruises among Australian travellers.

“Our new 2020-21 season is not only our biggest, it will be the third consecutive summer deployment Down Under for Queen Elizabeth, which is winning a strong following among local cruisers who enjoy her stylish features and her voyage offerings,” he said.

“Basing Queen Elizabeth in Australia for a record 118 days enables us to create a range of new itinerary options, such as our longer New Zealand journeys, which we think will appeal to both existing and new Cunard guests and boost the popularity of Queen Elizabeth even further.”

The new program will also feature overnight calls in Hobart, Wellington and Auckland as well as Queen Elizabeth’s maiden call to Lyttelton and Cunard’s inaugural call to New Plymouth in New Zealand.

At 90,900 tonnes, the 2081-guest Queen Elizabeth is the second largest ship ever to sail in Cunard’s fleet. Launched in 2010, she is also the youngest in the cruise line’s current trio of Queens with features including more than 10 restaurants and cafes; a Games Deck featuring paddle tennis, croquet and bowls; a two-storey library; a ballroom; and the three-deck Royal Court Theatre, seating 800 guests and offering private boxes.

Full details of the 2021 World Voyage season and Queen Elizabeth’s 2020-21 Australian program will be released on 5 March 2019 with the program scheduled to go on sale on 12 March 2019.

Cunard’s Simon Palethorpe, Katrina McAlpine, Matthew Gleaves 

Cunard has also launched its record 54-day season Down Under by unveiling a dramatic wardrobe makeover for its famous bell boys in collaboration with iconic Australian brand, R.M.Williams.

The group will have 20 ships in the region, one more than last year and will feature 696 ports of call a 13% increase on last year.

Edited by John Savage

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