The Queen Mary 2 Returns to Sydney

01 Mar 17

Cunard - Queen Mary 2 - Exterior Queen Mary 2 - Kings Court

A decade on from when luxury cruise line Cunard first sailed its flagship through the heads of Sydney Harbour on her maiden world cruise, the Queen Mary 2 returned to Sydney on the weekend amid much fanfare. Her arrival also served as a reminder of just how much the cruise industry has changed since her first sailing from Sydney.

A bustling cruise port, Sydney has long had a reputation as Australia's favourite place to cruise from. In 2007, the QM2 was joined by her older sister the QE2, which retired in 2008. In 2009 she was replaced by the 2080-guest Queen Elizabeth, who joined the Queen Mary 2 in Sydney over the weekend.

Since their last visit to Australian waters, the Australian cruise industry has quadrupled in size, increasing from 250,000 to more than 1 million. Although the Queen Mary 2 is no longer the biggest cruise ship in the world, she is still luxe and mighty. That illustrious title now belongs to two classes of the Royal Caribbean fleet, including Ovation of the Seas which was also visiting local waters.

However, after 13 years on the high seas, Carnival, owners of Cunard have just given QM2 a $145 million makeover, adding 50 new staterooms, including the first ever single staterooms, which has increased passenger numbers to 2700. The ship has also enjoyed receiving a new lounge and wine cellar.

Sydney Harbour cruises are some of the most spectacular, and Carnival Australia chairman Ann Sherry credits the QM2 visit from over a decade ago with sparking the surge in the cruise industry locally. Helping to fuel the phenomenal growth of the cruise industry in Australia, Sherry says the Queen Mary 2 visit put the ship and cruising in general on the wish lists of Australians.