Queen Mary 2, Queen Elizabeth cruise ships meet in Sydney Harbour on world voyages

Two grand dames of the cruising world, Queen Mary 2 and Queen Elizabeth, met in Sydney Harbour in the early hours of Saturday morning.

Queen Mary 2 passed through Sydney Heads first arriving at Circular Quay at 6.20am, with Queen Elizabeth following closely behind and anchoring at Athol Buoy near Taronga Zoo.

It's reminiscent of another dual Sydney harbour arrival almost a decade ago when the QM2 and the now retired older sister of QE, Queen Elizabeth 2, brought the city to a standstill.

The QM2 is in Sydney until Saturday night as part of its 118-night world voyage before its maiden five-night round trip to Tasmania with calls to Hobart and Port Arthur.

Queen Elizabeth will then sail across the harbour to berth at Circular Quay overnight before leaving Sydney on Sunday at 6pm.

A few days earlier QM2 made another first-time round trip in Australian waters from Melbourne to Kangaroo Island.

Remastered in 2016 at the cost of $145 million, new features on the liner included 50 new staterooms, nine of which are Britannia single cabins, catering to the growing solo travellers market.

Space is a large part of the appeal for the 345-metre liner that caters to 2700 guests, according to Cunard Vice President of International Development David Rousham.

There are five pools, 10 dining options, shops and 14 decks of sporting facilities.


"We're currently at 99 per cent occupancy but you can get 'lost' and it (the liner) never feels particularly full," Rousham says.

But from a daily dining perspective, that's still 16,000 meals, 700 afternoon tea scones, 3.3 kilograms of Russian caviar and 73 kilograms of lobster to be served.


Sydney arrival on the QM2 #travellerau #QM2 @cunardline #guestofQM2

A post shared by Jane Reddy (@jrtraveller) on

Other refit features of the QM2 include the addition of 10 more kennels to travellers who prefer to bring their cats and dogs along for the sailing.

Also new to the cordoned pet deck area is a New York fire hydrant and Liverpudlian lamp post depending on its American or European nationality.

Since 2007 Australian cruise passenger numbers have jumped by an average of 20 per cent, rising from 250,000 to more than a million a year.

Australia is Cunard's second biggest market for world voyages and the third biggest for Cunard overall.

On the Melbourne to Sydney leg of the cruise, Australians constitute close to half the passengers onboard.

See cunard.com

Jane Reddy travelled from Melbourne to Sydney courtesy of Cunard

Listen: Flight of Fancy - the Traveller.com.au podcast with Ben Groundwater

Australia vs the world: Rules and cultural misunderstandings

To subscribe to the Traveller.com.au podcast Flight of Fancy on iTunes, click here.