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Cunard’s three large cruise ships to visit New Zealand

News from Cunard - 09/02/07

New Zealand visits by Cunard's queens

A promise in 2005
In November 2005 Libby Moffitt wrote in NZine:

"Cunard Line has announced that the world's largest ocean liner, the Queen Mary 2, will visit New Zealand for the first time in 2007.

"Too big to berth at Auckland's main Princess Wharf cruise terminal, the 23-storey-high QM2 will berth at the city's Jellicoe Wharf for a one-day visit from 7am to 10pm on February 17, 2007. QM2 will then sail for Sydney where she will be joined by QE2 on February 20.

"But, for the first time, New Zealand will be visited by two Cunard liners in 2007, with QM2's famous 'little sister', the 70,327-ton Queen Elizabeth 2, also visiting Auckland on February 11 that year. QE2 will also visit Wellington on February 13 and Christchurch on February 14 as part of her 108-day global voyage – her twenty fifth Jubilee' world cruise."

Now it is all about to happen.


The huge Cunard Queens, Queen Mary 2 and QE2. nose to nose in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, just before they sailed off to begin their world voyages which will bring them both to NZ in February.
The huge Cunard Queens, Queen Mary 2 and QE2. nose to nose in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, just before they sailed off to begin their world voyages which will bring them both to NZ in February.

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More exciting news from Cunard
Queen Victoria was floated in Venice on January 15 2007 and will visit New Zealand in 2008. This will be the third exciting Cunard Queen to visit New Zealand.

Cunard's latest ocean liner has been blessed and floated in Venice (January 15) with the huge Queen Victoria meeting the water for the first time.


Queen Victoria bow float out Queen Victoria float out
Queen Victoria bow float out
Queen Victoria float out
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A bottle of Italian prosecco was smashed against the 90,000-ton ship's hull while two coins - a Euro (symbolising the fact that the ship is being built in Italy) and a gold Queen Victoria sovereign - were welded beneath the mast for good luck.

The valves of Fincantieri’s Marghera shipyard near Venice were then opened to allow the grand 2014-passenger ship to meet the sea for the first time.

Cunard Managing Director Carol Marlow was joined by former Cunard crew member Maureen Ryan at the colourful event. Maureen joined Cunard in 1963 and is the only known person to have served on all Cunard Queens: Queen Mary, Queen Elizabeth, QE2 and Queen Mary 2. In recognition of this, Cunard has bestowed on Maureen the honour of acting as the shipyard's ‘Madrina’ or godmother to Queen Victoria.

Ms Marlow told the ceremony: "Cunard came into being at the very beginning of the Victorian era - Queen Victoria had been on the throne for only three years when Samuel Cunard's first ship set sail. And there followed, throughout her reign, a huge expansion in the Cunard fleet until by the end of it the company was the pre-eminent force in British shipping. Today the company is probably the most famous name in shipping and the birth of this great liner confirms for all to see the continuing renaissance of the great name of Cunard. The Cunard lion roars again!"

The second largest Cunarder ever built, Queen Victoria will make her maiden cruise from the UK in December this year before embarking on a world voyage that will see her become the youngest liner ever to visit New Zealand in February 2008. NZ ports of call will include Auckland, Napier and Wellington.

Queen Victoria's debut marks the first time three Cunard Queens have been in service together in the company’s illustrious 167-year history. She will join her famous sisters Queen Mary 2 and Queen Elizabeth 2.

While the most modern liner at sea, Queen Victoria will pay homage to the golden age of ocean travel, boasting the first traditional West End-style private viewing boxes at sea in the Royal Court Theatre, the first floating Cunardia museum and the first two-story, 'spiral staircased' library at sea. The ship will also feature the line's celebrated luxury Grill accommodation and dining, further enhanced on Queen Victoria with exclusive deck terraces and an al fresco dining option.

From the outside, her distinctive black and red livery will hint at what differentiates a Cunard liner from a standard cruise ship. This will be most evident in the ship's adherence to liner traditions of the past, with elegant public rooms, many on a grand scale, featuring rich wood panelling, intricate mosaics and gleaming chandeliers.

Another Cunard-New Zealand connection

New Zealand Captain to bring Queen Mary 2 to Auckland
Cunard Line has announced that New Zealand-born Captain Christopher Rynd will be at the helm of the magnificent Queen Mary 2 when she arrives in Auckland on her history-making inaugural visit on February 17, 2007.


Captain Christopher Rynd
Captain Christopher Rynd

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Captain Rynd has been the Master of a range of P&O Cruises and Princess ships, including Pacific Princess and Sapphire Princess during their recent Australasian deployments. In 2005 he was appointed to Cunard’s Queen Elizabeth 2.

He will take command of Queen Mary 2 when she departs Fort Lauderdale on her maiden world voyage on January 10, 2007.


Queen Mary 2 sailing under San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge before she makes her first crossing of the Pacific to Australia and New Zealand
Queen Mary 2 sailing under San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge before she makes her first crossing of the Pacific to Australia and New Zealand

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Kiwis keen to be part of history can join sectors of Queen Victoria's 2008 round-the-world cruise including a 24-night leg from Los Angeles to Sydney, sailing January 30, 2008, from NZ$9188 per person*. For more information call Cunard on 0800 951 200 or visit www.cunardline.com.au

Fares are cruise only, based on complete twin D7 interior stateroom. Subject to availability. Conditions apply. To be read with the passage and booking conditions in the Cunard 2008 World Cruises brochure by which passengers will be bound.

Editor's comment
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