Luxury cruise brand Cunard is about to take on a distinctly Aussie flavour, with the cruise line today announcing an unparalleled series of partnerships with leading Australian companies ahead of a record season Down Under for its luxurious Queen Elizabeth.
Under the move, Cunard will join forces with four key brands during Queen Elizabeth’s two-month Australian season in February and March 2019 including:
The move will see Cunard’s famous Bellboys swap their trademark red and black uniforms for a new Australian outfit to be designed by R.M.Williams and Akubra and worn throughout Queen Elizabeth’s local season.
Under its partnership with STARWARD, Queen Elizabeth’s top decks will become home to some very special cargo – a 225-litre barrel of Australian whisky, to be known as The Seafarer. Loaded in Sydney yesterday, the whisky will spend 12 months travelling the world on Queen Elizabeth’s open decks before it is opened next February at the start of the ship’s 2019 Australian season.
Meanwhile, Australia’s longest-running contemporary dance company, Australian Dance Theatre (ADT), will also be leaping onboard. The ADT’s partnership with Cunard will create the cruise line’s first ever special event cruise in Australian waters, featuring a bespoke performance of ADT’s latest international work, “The Beginning of Nature”, as well as special workshops and movement classes for guests.
Announcing the partnerships onboard Queen Elizabeth in Sydney today, Sture Myrmell, President of Carnival Australia which represents Cunard, said the initiatives broke new ground for Cunard and reflected the cruise line’s increasingly strong commitment to the Australian market.
“These partnerships are designed to embrace Australian products and culture and celebrate Queen Elizabeth’s 2019 season Down Under, which sets a new record for Cunard’s current fleet of Queens,” Mr Myrmell said.
“All our partners are respected names in their fields so we’re delighted to join forces with them for the season with a range of initiatives which we think will be very popular – and maintain Cunard’s tradition of turning heads in this market.”
Australians’ interest in holidays at sea – and cruises with Cunard – has surged since Cunard’s flagship Queen Mary 2 and Queen Elizabeth’s predecessor, QE2, brought Sydney to a standstill when they visited the city together in 2007. The number of Australians taking cruise holidays annually has leapt from 251,000 in 2007 to almost 1.3 million in 2016.
Recognising the demand, Cunard decided to base Queen Elizabeth in Australian waters for an unprecedented two months next year, with 27 different cruise itineraries on offer as she sails from Sydney and Melbourne.
The cruise line has this month announced it will go even further the following summer, with Queen Elizabeth set to return to Australian waters for an extraordinary 101 days of cruising, from December 2019 to March 2020.
At 90,900 tonnes, the 2080-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 a three-deck Royal Court Theatre seating 800 guests and offering private boxes.