Two Queens the highlight of cruising season

The two Queens – Cunard’s flagship Queen Mary 2 and her younger sister Queen Victoria – will both spend the day in Sydney Harbour today in what will be the highlight of the cruising season. The ships crossed early this morning and will spend the day together before a fireworks display marks the celebration later this evening.

Margy Osmond, Chief Executive of peak national industry body Tourism & Transport Forum (TTF) said the two Queens would help show Australia off to the world.

“Images of these two ships will be beamed across the world, highlighting beautiful Sydney Harbour and all this city has to offer. This is free advertising at its very best!

“Royal rendezvous are always memorable, but it is particularly special to have these two ships here in the year Cunard is celebrating its 175th birthday.

“Cruising is a critical part of the visitor economy, and is particularly well suited to destinations like Sydney that have such stunning waterfronts. Without doubt the Overseas Passenger Terminal, where both ships have docked, is one of the most spectacular ports in the world.

“Cruising contributes hundreds of millions of dollars to the economy each year and ships like the two Queens bring big spending passengers into Australia.

“International visitors joining the Queen Mary today will spend an average of $756 on accommodation, shopping, dining and transport before they board the ship. During their cruise they spend $204 a day in the ports they visit, mostly on shopping and tours.

“Australian cruisers will also inject money into the economy before getting on board, spending an average $450 a day before they board their ship as well as $156 a day in ports they visit during their cruise.

“The turnaround of a 2,000 passenger ship – slightly smaller than the Queen Mary 2 – is estimated to generate $1 million for the local economy in provedoring, port charges and passenger and crew spending. A visit, like today, is estimated to generate around $500,000 for the economy.

“We welcome the two Queens and hope the tradition of royal rendezvous in Sydney Harbour continues well into the future.”