Cunard

Cunard Queen Elizabeth Australian Garden Journey 2021

flowers and watering can for Australian Garden Journey by congerdesign from Pixabay

Cunard has announced their first dedicated garden voyage for Australian garden lovers. Promoted as a way for those cruising to grow their gardening knowledge (their pun, not mine) this voyage will depart from Sydney and return 7 days later after visiting Hobart and Melbourne. The voyage departs March 1, 2021.

Guest speakers in include TV’s Graham Ross, native plant guru Angus Stewart and broadcaster Indira Naidoo, whose specialty is edible gardens. There are 9 experts in all covering topics from bee-keeping to landscaping. 

If you live in Sydney cruising in and out of  your home port is a very easy way to travel. No airports to negotiate and customs is a breeze.  If you have always wanted to experience a Cunard voyage this could be the one to try. Prices start at $1,399pp for an inside cabin twin share.

This cruise will probably sell out fast – even though it is a year and half from now. If you could like to know more contact us now,

Take a bow, and a captain

This photo of Captain Kevin Oprey standing on the bulbous bow of the Queen Mary 2 off the coast of Bali was taken to mark the ocean liner’s tenth anniversary in May. Photographer James Morgan said the photos took months in planning – and waiting for a calm sea. This photo and other breathtaking shots were first published in UK’s Daily Mail. The photographer was taking the photos for Cunard and it was his idea to set this up to celebrate the anniversary. She visited Australia in early March on her annual round the world trip. I really enjoyed my short trip on this ship and am looking forward to another Cunard voyage in the near future.

Onboard Queen Elizabeth in Sydney Harbour

Today I joined a group of fellow travel agents to ‘inspect’ the Queen Elizabeth on her inaugural visit to Sydney Harbour. What started as a grey, rainy morning turned into a sunny lunch time as we were shown the new Queen in all her glory. A very impressive deep blue hull and unusual exhaust stack give this vessel a stately presence at Circular Quay.
Of course I took my camera…so you too could get a glimpse of this beautiful lady!

Features that evoke Cunard’s past and glorious maritime history are found throughout – here is the marquetry portrait of Cunard’s first Queen Mary.

The Verandah – pictured – offers alternative dining options to all guests. For everyday dining, Brittania class guests dine in the Brittania restaurant; Brittania Club is a higher category of cabin and dining, and Queens Grill and Princess Grill guests have their own dining area and exclusive lounge.

Chess… or golf, or croquet – maybe you prefer the gym or would rather enjoy a siesta before going to the theatre, or listening and dancing to the afternoon session by the ship’s swing band.

Welcome to the Brittannia – a restaurant which prides itself on Cunard’s White Star service and can serve 200 people with ease. Here I enjoyed an excellent steak and a glass of Cunard’s “house” red – a very pleasant merlot from the Wente vineyard in California’s Napa valley.

You could be in a world class hotel in London, or meeting a friend in an exclusive club – but no, you are on the Queen Elizabeth.

Today the Queen Elizabeth arrived in Sydney Harbour with Queen Mary 2 – the most famous cruise ships in the world creating news and traffic as Sydneysiders came out in droves to see them.


Sail the world on Cunard – and join royalty on Sydney Harbour 2011


If you scroll down the right hand side of this blog you will find the photos I took when we joined the throngs to see the Queen Elizabeth and Queen Mary 2 berthed in Sydney Harbour. It was a warm summer dusk and we walked down to the ferry wharf at Kirribilli and caught the ferry across the harbour, planning when we arrived at Circular Quay to walk round to see the QM2 at Garden Island. But the crowds were too much for us. You could have walked from one side of the harbour to the other on the spectator craft around the Harbour Bridge – it was amazing that there were no serious collisions! and once we arrived at Circular Quay after our ferry inched its way past the QE2 there was no easy way through the crowds to the walk through the Botanic Gardens.
Cunard has announced that two Queens will once again arrive in Sydney when the Queen Elizabeth on her maiden visit to Australia in 2011 meets up with the QM2 in Sydney Harbour in 2011 on February 22. Queen Elizabeth will visit Fremantle on February 17 and Adelaide on February 20 on her way here.
New Yorkers will have the opportunity to see 3 Queens on these world voyages when QM2 and QE meet up with Queen Victoria on January 13, following a tandem Atlantic cross by Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth.
There is a bonus for those who love to sail on Cunard. For the first time it will be possible to sail the world on the 3 Queens…

If you are interested in booking on the 2011 Cunard voyages – they go on sale on 2 July 2009 – contact us asap and let us know you are interested so we can make sure you get the booking you want. Email travel@travelchoice.com.au – or you can phone us 02 9968 1600.

Dance hosts and cruise ships

In recent years I have taken up dancing Argentine tango in my spare time, so I am always interested when a client comes who is looking for a ship that offers dance hosts. This is on my mind because one such client did come in this week and because a friend I met at lunch said he was considering working as a dance host – he is an excellent all-round ballroom dancer. This train of thought of course led me to the Jack Lemmon, Walter Matthau movie, ‘Out to Sea’. An enjoyable comedy about 2 con-men who get up to all sorts of antics when they take on the jobs of dance hosts on a luxury liner! Nothing real about it, but fun.
If you like to dance it can be a great activity on a cruise ship as many of them have excellent dance floors – some bigger than others. Cruise lines that offer ballroom classes will often also have dance classes, Cunard and Regent Seven Seas being two of them. For people like me, for whom tango is The Dance, there are even cruises which offer tango festivals, included classes, dances and tango bands. We have yet to have a tango cruise call into an Australian port, but they do sail the Caribbean and Mediterranean each year, so you never know.
If you would like to dance be sure to let me know if you are asking for cruise suggestions.

Their gracious majesties: news on Cunard’s Three Queens!

The maiden voyage of Cunard’s new Queen Elizabeth 2 sold out in 29 minutes according to the blog of Alastair Greener, Cunard’s cruise director. That voyage will start in Southampton 12th October and take her to Portugal and the ports of Vigo, Lisbon and Cadiz, then to the exotic Gran Canaria. QE2’s next voyage takes passengers to the Mediterranean for 14 nights, and is then followed by an Agean Introduction in November.
So if you are interested in booking on this gracious new member of the ocean-going royal family or on the Queen Mary 2 or the Queen Victoria for 2010- 2011 it might be worth getting your skates on.
The 2010 itineraries go on sale Friday April 17.
On her World Cruise 2010, Queen Mary 2, whose visit to Sydney in February made the headlines, will sail from New York January 4, arriving in Sydney March 7 after passing through the Whitsundays and visiting Auckland and the Bay of Islands in New Zealand. She’ll then go on to Fremantle. There is a huge choice of segments bookable on this cruise.
Queen Victoria will commence her World Cruise 2010, sailing from Southampton, UK January 4 and arriving in Sydney February 19, after visiting many ports in the South Pacific.
Throughout the year, Queen Mary 2 will cruise the Atlantic – doing the Transatlantic crossing between Southampton, Cherbourg and Hamburg and New York 21 times, plus a number of Grand Voyages.
Queen Victoria will circumnavigate the British Isles and sail from Southampton to Iberia, Northern Europe, the Norwegian Fjords, the Mediterranean and the Baltic.
Contact me if you’d like to know more or would like a brochure.
(I took the photo above from the Pool Terrace, aft on Deck 8 of the QM2 when she was in Sydney Harbour 26th Feb this year.)
You can find out first hand what is happening on the Cunard ships on Alastair’s Greener’s entertaining blog.

A taste of Cunard

I have just spent a very entertaining 20 minutes reading Alastair Greener’s blog. Alastair Greener is the entertainment director for Cunard and every Thursday he updates his blog which follows his journeys. At the moment he is on the Queen Victoria and has just visited Rabaul in Papua New Guinea for the first time, and Saipan. His comments are very interesting and he peppers them with photos of the places he visits. If you are a Sydneysider reading this – check out what he has to say about Sydney it is always interesting to read about one’s home port from another’s point of view. The latest posting also includes a very interesting piece by his guest blogger, Oliver Pengelly, one of the members of RADA (Royal Academy of Dramatic Art) who are currently part of the ship’s entertainment. Clearly a dedicated actor, Oliver’s posting gives a different slant to travelling on one of the world’s most amazing cruise ships.
So, take 20 minutes or so and read this blog if you are planning, or hoping, to travel with Cunard one day. It is listed in my blog list, so you can check out the latest postings as Alastair travels onward.

Message from the Queen Mary 2


I’m flat out without her so it was wonderful to get an email today from my consultant, Biba who is enjoying the pleasures of the Queen Mary 2 as it sails from Los Angeles to Sydney on its 2009 world voyage.
Biba writes:
“We are in ‘heaven’ and enjoying every single moment on the incredible one and only Queen Mary 2.
“A typical day consists of the following:

  • early morning walk round the 600M deck
  • 10 – 15 mins in the gym using the deluxe equipment
  • beginners’ bridge classes
  • lectures in the Royal Court Theatre
  • RADA workshops
  • games – backgammon, trivia etc
  • dance classes – tango/rumba etc.
  • volley ball/paddle tennis/pools + spa
  • afternoon French lessons (for me)
  • enjoying dinners whilst listening to the beautiful sounds of the harp ( the photo is of the Britannia Room)
  • Jazz Club or Caribbean Band VIBZ or Party DJ in G32.

Breakfasts, lunches and dinners are unbeatable, the cuisine outstanding, and the service is at all times very personal and attentive to the very last detail!”

Ahh – doesn’t it sound wonderful!

Cunard’s Queen Mary 2 arrives in Sydney on February 26 after visiting Honolulu, Oahu in Hawaii, Pago Pago in American Samoa and Auckland, New Zealand on the way. She departs on the same evening for Yokohama, Japan and on to Asian and Mediterranean ports before arriving in Southampton. (There’s a slide show of the Queen Mary’s last visit to Sydney Harbour on the side of this blog)
You can find out more by emailing me now – martin@travelchoice.com.au – and Biba will be pleased to tell you more when she returns.