Queen Victoria

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.

Queen Victoria, Queen Mary and the Crystal Serenity

Well dear readers, I was hoping to present you with some beautiful photos of the Queen Victoria docked at Sydney’s International Terminal, followed by the Dawn Princess sailing out of our beautiful harbour at night… but I need to brush up my photography skills.
So this week – the Queen Mary 2 will arrive in the Harbour on Thursday (bringing the lovely Biba back into the offices of the Mosman Cruise Centre) and the Crystal Serenity will follow on Saturday. I am thrilled to have been invited to visit both of these luxurious ladies of the sea and hope to do a better job of photography so I can present you with a slide show of them both.
If you’re out cruise spotting this week look for…

24th February

  • Rhapsody of the Seas in Sydney Harbour
  • Diamond Princess visits Melbourne for the day
  • Queen Victoria visits Adelaide for the day

25th February

  • Royal Princess arriving and leaving Sydney
  • Celebrity Millenium visits Melbourne for the day
  • Black Watch moors in Burnie, Tasmania for the day

26th February

  • The Queen Mary 2 arrives in Sydney, docking at Garden Island, and stays for a day
  • Saga Rose arrives in Sydney and berths at the International Cruise Terminal overnight
  • Rhapsody of the Seas visits Brisbane for the day
  • Black Watch visits Melbourne for the day
  • Diamond Princess goes to Hobart, Tasmania for the day

27th February

  • Aurora arrives in Brisbane and leaves same day
  • Royal Princess will also moor in Brisbane for the day
  • Volendam visits Burnie, Tasmania for the day
  • Athena goes to Fremantle for the day
  • Diamond Princess goes to Adelaide for the day

28th February

  • Millenium returns to Sydney and stays until March 2. She will moor at Athol Buoy
  • Crystal Serenity arrives in Sydney and stays at the Overseas Passenger Terminal until 1 March
  • Pacific Sun arrives in Brisbane and leaves same day
  • Volendam visits Melbourne for the day

1st March

  • Pacific Dawn arrives for the day in Sydney Harbour
  • Aurora also visits Sydney and stays overnight. She will moor at Point Piper Buoy then move to the Overseas Passenger Terminal
  • Saga Rose arrives in Brisbane for the day
  • Pacific Sun moors in Adelaide for the day

2nd March

  • Volendam arrives in Sydney and departs same day
  • Athena returns to Fremantle for the day

Phew! Busy time. If you’d like more information I’m always happy to oblige. Just email me, martin@travelchoice.com.au or phone me during office hours on 2 9968 1600

Cruise ships keep on coming


Sorry – I missed a few days on the blog. I hope you weren’t planning to go ship spotting in your harbour. This the list for this week – there’s is barely time to draw breath as the cruise ships come and go at the height of our season.
If seeing these ships inspires you to cruise, we can handle last-minute bookings for this year, or take early bookings for 2010. You could be arriving in Sydney March 8, 2010 aboard Queen Mary* 2 after a relaxing 23-night sailing from Hong Kong to Sydney for $5,500 – or arriving aboard Queen Victoria – 23 nights from San Francisco – for $4,330.00
*(See below for traveller’s impressions).

16th February

  • Oriana sailing into the International Cruise Terminal in Sydney and departing again

17th February

  • C. Columbus making an entrance into Melbourne, leaving same day
  • Tahitian Princess sails into Burnie Tasmania and leaves same day
  • Queen Victoria sails into Hobart and sails again
  • Seven Seas Voyager will dock in Adelaide for the day

18th February

  • Amadea arrives in Sydney and leaves next day
  • Oriana arrives in Brisbane and leaves same day
  • Black Watch also docks in Brisbane and leaves the next day
  • Arcadia arrives in Melbourne and leaves again
  • Sun Princess also sails into Melbourne leaving same day
  • Diamond Princess sails into Hobart
  • C. Columbus visits Devonport in Tasmania

19th February

  • Queen Victoria will dock at the International Terminal in Sydney overnight
  • Tahitian Princess will make her inaugural visit to Sydney and leave again
  • Amadea will move to White Bay so the other two liners can dock and not moor in the Harbour.
  • Rotterdam visits Fremantle overnight (see new slide show on right, taken when I was on board the Rotterdam in Sydney last week)

20th February

  • Arcadia arrives in Sydney and stays overnight
  • Pacific Dawn also arrives in Darling Harbour for the day
  • Diamond Princess sails into Melbourne and sails out that night
  • C. Columbus returns to Hobart for the day

21 February

  • Black Watch arrives in Sydney, staying for 2 nights
  • Pacific Sun arrives in Brisbane sailing same day
  • Tahitian Princess will also dock in Brisbane and leave that day
  • Seven Seas Voyager sails into Fremantle for the day

22 February

  • Dawn Princess sails into Sydney departing same day
  • Diamond Princess will arrive and depart Sydney this day too

If you’d like to know more about any of these ships and their schedules drop me an email – martin@travelchoice.com.au

This Week’s Deals


South Pacific Wonders Special $999.00*
Rhapsody of the Seas (see below for information on this ship) cruises New Caledonia, departing 2 April 2009 from Sydney. Prices start at $999.00*
11 nights on board – here is the itinerary.
2 April departs Sydney
3-4 April at sea
5 April, Noumea, New Caledonia
6 April, Mystery Island, Vanuatu
7 April, at sea
8 April, Luganville, Vanuatu
9 April, Vila, Vanuatu
10 April, Isle of Pines, New Caledonia
11-12 April, at sea
13 April returns Sydney
Email me – martin@travelchoice.com.au with your questions

Here are a few more of the current deals:
Sail on the Queen Victoria from Sydney to Bangkok from $8.049.00
Departs Sydney 20 Feb 2010
Duration: 31 night
Price includes:

  • One-way economy class airfare with Singapore Airlines from Bangkok
  • Transfers in Bangkok
  • Free stopover in Singapore at the Fairmont for one night
  • and all the benefits of sailing on the beautiful Queen Victoria.

18 night Pacific & Hawaii Discovery on the Dawn Princess (see below for more info on this ship) from $2,799.00
Departs Honolou 5 May 2009
Flight upgrades available…
We can tell you more about this and any deal you see advertised..
email Martin@travelchoice.com.au
*Conditions apply

Two Cunard Queens to visit Australia in 2010

Cunard has just released the news that the Queen Mary 2 and her younger sister, the Queen Victoria, will visit Australian waters in 2010. The two cruise ships will call into Fremantle and Adelaide and make an overnight visit to Sydney. Queen Mary 2 will visit the Whitsundays for the first time and the Queen Victoria will berth at Albany and Exmouth in Western Australia for the first time.
In 2007 we took the ferry across from North Sydney to Circular Quay when the Queen Mary 2 arrived with her older sister, Queen Elizabeth 2. It was shore-to-shore boats, madly jostling to get a better view of the two magnificent liners. This trip could probably have been entered in the Guinness Book of Records for the shortest ferry trip from point to point that took the longest time. By the time we reached Circular Quay it was dark and the crush at the train station was tight. We could have walked home to North Sydney in the time we took waiting for a train! but it was fun and the atmosphere was one of excitement. (I will add a slide show of our ferry trip)
Will the arrival of the Queens Mary 2 and Victoria cause the same excitement?