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Queen Mary 2 to Make History-Making Visit to NZ

Queen Mary 2 to Make History-Making Visit to NZ

The world’s largest ocean liner, the Queen Mary 2, will visit New Zealand for the first time in 2007, Cunard Line announced today.

The massive 151,400-ton QM2 will smash the record as the biggest ship of any type ever to visit New Zealand when she docks in Auckland on Saturday February 17, 2007. Longer than and almost as tall as Auckland’s Harbour Bridge, the NZ$1.1 billion QM2 will eclipse the previous biggest cruise ship to visit NZ, the 116,000-ton Princess Cruises ship Sapphire Princess, which sailed to NZ last summer.

The visit will generate more than $1 million for Auckland’s economy and create an historic spectacle certain to attract many thousands of sightseers.

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.

Auckland will be QM2’s only visit to New Zealand as part of her ‘Around the World in 80 Days’ inaugural world voyage.

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 25th ‘Silver Jubilee’ world cruise.

The 2007 world cruises on both ships will be released for sale on August 13, 2005, with cabins tipped to sell quickly. Fares for QM2’s world voyage, including meals and entertainment, will start from NZ$5939 per person for 14 nights from San Francisco to Sydney or NZ$29,909 per person for the entire round-the-world voyage.

“February 17, 2007, will sail into the history books as the biggest and most exciting day on Auckland Harbour,” said Cunard Line Australia’s Managing Director Gavin Smith.

“QM2 is a spectacular ship and will eclipse anything that has ever sailed to New Zealand before,” Mr Smith said. “She will bring to Auckland around 4000 passengers and crew in the one day – the equivalent of 12 fully-laden jumbo jets. The visit will inject around $1 million into the local economy through passenger and crew spending, fuel, port fees and stores.”

Mr Smith said QM2 and QE2 recreated the golden age of ocean travel and were part of the worldwide boom in cruising which meant New Zealand was being visited by more ships as well as bigger ships.

Launched amid unprecedented fanfare in 2004, the luxurious QM2 is the world’s largest, most expensive, tallest (72m), longest (345m) and widest (41m) ocean liner ever built. She carries a maximum 3090 passengers and 1253 crew and boasts 10 restaurants, five pools, the biggest ballroom at sea and the first planetarium at sea.

Her smaller Cunard sister, the 1900-passenger Queen Elizabeth 2, is the world’s fastest (32.5 knots or 60km/h) and best-known liner, having carried three million passengers and sailing 5.3 million nautical miles since her launch in 1969. An annual visitor to NZ, QE2 offers seven restaurants, two pools and the first sea-going Harrods boutique. QE2 will become the longest-serving Cunard liner on September 4, 2005, after more than 36 years of service.

Cunard is part of Carnival Corporation & plc, the world’s largest cruise vacation company, which also includes Seabourn, Costa, Princess Cruises, P&O Cruises UK and P&O Cruises Australia.

For more information, see a travel agent or visit www.cunardline.com.au.

More QM2 Facts:

QM2 towers 61m above the waterline, which is 18 metres higher than the road deck of Auckland’s Harbour Bridge and just 7m short of the top of the bridge.

QM2 stretches 345m long, which is 101m longer than Auckland’s Harbour Bridge

If stood on her end, QM2 would be 17m higher than the top of Auckland’s 328m-high Sky Tower

QM2 is 3.5 times the size of the Titanic

Both Cunard liners were christened by Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II

QM2 boasts 1017 cabins, making her one of the world’s largest ‘hotels’

QM2’s whistle – an original from the first Queen Mary – can be heard up to 16km away

Annual tea consumption onboard QM2 would fill an Olympic-sized swimming pool

ENDS

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