Cunard’s magnificent flagship Queen Mary 2 was today saluted by another historic vessel also circumnavigating Australia – the Endeavour – as the two vessels crossed paths off the coast of Victoria.
The encounter with the small ship, a replica of Captain James Cook’s HM Bark Endeavour, occurred between Cape Nelson and Lawrence Rocks, just outside the head land of Portland, as Queen Mary 2 sailed from Adelaide to Melbourne, where she will make her maiden visit tomorrow (March 5).
Carrying around 4000 guests and crew and rising 62 metres above the water, the 151,400-tonne Queen Mary 2 dwarfed the 397-tonne Endeavour, which is carrying 54 people and stretches 39 metres to the top of its mast.
While Queen Mary 2 has taken 20 nights to circumnavigate Australia (Fremantle to Fremantle) the Endeavour is taking 13 months on its journey around the country.
Cunard Commodore Christopher Rynd said the passing had been a marvellous moment for Queen Mary 2 guests and crew, who had watched from the liner’s decks.
“Queen Mary 2’s maiden voyage around Australia has been a fantastic experience for all on board and we have very much enjoyed being part of history.
“To sail by the Endeavour – a replica of Captain Cook’s ship – and to see her size really brought home how brave and adventurous explorers were just two centuries ago,” Commodore Rynd said.
Both circumnavigation voyages take place more than 200 years after the first circumnavigation of Australia undertaken by Captain Matthew Flinders in 1801-03.
To celebrate its own history-making journey around Australia, Queen Mary 2 partnered with the NSW State Library and is carrying not only Flinders’ handwritten journal and logbook on the voyage, but also an original copy of Flinders’ map of Australia, first published in 1814.
Following her maiden visit to Melbourne on Monday, Queen Mary 2 will sail to Sydney, arriving early on Wednesday March 7 to berth at the Overseas Passenger Terminal at Circular Quay for the very first time. She will depart on the remainder of her world voyage the following evening (March 8).