Cunard’s youngest liner Queen Elizabeth has made her first ever visit to Brisbane, arriving this morning midway through her second world voyage.
Carrying around 3000 passengers and crew, the 90,900-tonne Queen Elizabeth berthed at Fisherman Islands, with her guests set to spend the day exploring the city and its surrounds before the liner sails tonight for Port Douglas.
Queen Elizabeth’s visit to Brisbane is expected to generate around $500,000 for the local economy.
Her maiden call comes just two weeks after her big sister Queen Mary 2 made her inaugural visit to Brisbane. Between them, the two Cunard liners will have made five visits to Queensland ports over three weeks, underlining the State’s popularity as a cruise destination.
Ann Sherry, CEO of Carnival Australia which represents Cunard, said the Queens’ visits were evidence that Queensland’s cruise industry was going from strength to strength.
Ms Sherry said a new study, undertaken by Deloitte Access Economics for Carnival Australia and released this week, showed that the cruise industry contributed $166.4 million to the Queensland economy in 2010-11 – second only in size to New South Wales ($370.9 million).
“With cruising’s economic contribution in Queensland forecast to rise to $340.8 million in 2019-20, it’s clear that the cruise industry has a long term role to play in the State’s economy,” Ms Sherry said.
Launched by Her Majesty The Queen in October 2010, Queen Elizabeth pays homage to Cunard’s original Queen Elizabeth, offering famous Cunard hallmarks plus some new features.
Stretching 294 metres in length, she has more than 10 restaurants and cafes as well as a Games Deck including paddle tennis, croquet and bowls.
She also offers a two-storey library, complete with leaded glass ceiling and around 6000 books, and a three-deck Royal Court Theatre seating 800 people.
The second largest liner in the Cunard fleet, Queen Elizabeth has more than 1000 staterooms, with more than 70 per cent featuring private balconies.
Queen Elizabeth will leave Brisbane at 6pm this evening, sailing north to Port Douglas for her maiden visit on March 5. The liner will visit ports throughout Asia and Europe before completing her 107-night world voyage in Southampton on April 27.