Gold Ribbon Banner
Tuesday, September 17, 2019
Queen Mary 2 sails by Queen VictoriaSydney has recently played host to a spectacular maritime event which drew large crowds to the shores of its iconic harbour. On 12 March 2015, Australia’s largest city welcomed Cunard flagship Queen Mary 2 (151,400gt), which spent the day in the company of fleet mate Queen Victoria (90,000gt).

The rendezvous is the fourth such ‘meeting of the Queens’ in Sydney; and the first time that QM2 and Queen Victoria have crossed paths in Australia.

It also signalled the official commencement of Cunard’s 175th Anniversary Celebrations, with an event hosted at the iconic Sydney Opera House. Here, a collection of current and historic Cunard photographs were unveiled to a large crowd; including passengers from the two liners as well as Cunard officials and Sydney-based passers-by.

The rendezvous in Sydney commenced what is set to be a gala year in the company’s history; with other 175th anniversary events including a meeting of the Queens in Southampton, a commemorative voyage in honour of Lusitania and the three Queens visiting Liverpool. It ends with QM2’s recreation of Britannia’s maiden voyage in July.

Australian Wartime Connection:
Cunard’s long connection with Australia, in particular Sydney, made it fitting for the line to launch their 175th anniversary celebrations in the port. The Cunard name rose to fame in Australia as a result of the two world wars, during which requisitioned Cunard liners transported ANZAC servicemen to the war zone.

During World War I, requisitioned Cunard liners including Aquitania and Mauretania, operated as both troop ships and hospital ships. Cunard liners, in their roles as hospital ships, saved many injured Australians from the battlefields of Gallipoli. In this act, the liners instantly became known in Australia and Cunard became a respected name.

During World War II, Cunard’s Queen Mary was transformed into a troop carrier at the Cockatoo Dry Dock in Sydney. The 81,237gt ship, which had previously been laid up in New York, underwent a radical transformation that saw her art deco interiors replaced with a high-density trooping configuration. This refit, the largest such conversion undertaken by the Australian dockyard, was completed in a record time of just two weeks; allowing over 5,000 troops to embark the ship just days after works were completed. Queen Mary was joined by Aquitania and Mauretania off the Australian coast, and sailed on trooping duties with her fleet mates to the Middle East.

The Cunard troop ships were later joined down-under by the newly launched flagship Queen Elizabeth. Queen Elizabeth had undergone a refit in Singapore creating what was at the time the world’s largest troop transport. Once operating as a troop ship, the 83,673gt liner made a historic rendezvous with Queen Mary near ‘The Heads’ in 1941; photographs of which were included in the collection unveiled on 12 March.

The presence of the Cunard Queens in Australia during World War II ended when the United States entered the conflict, following the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbour. As a result, the large Cunard ships were moved onto the transatlantic trooping service.

However, an unbreakable connection had been forged between the people of Sydney and the great Cunarders that remains strong to this day.

Peaceful Pleasure Cruises:
Cunard’s Australian connection is certainly not limited to wartime service. When the line pioneered World Cruising in 1922, their liner Laconia called at Sydney as part of her voyage. This started a tradition of Cunard visits to the port during what has become annual world cruises.

Laconia’s call at Sydney brought eager world travellers to Australia as well as offering a lucky few of those living in the island continent the opportunity to join the ship mid-journey for the trip back to Great Britain.

During the 1950s, the iconic Caronia visited Sydney as part of her global cruise schedule. Nicknamed the ‘Green Goddess’ due to her unique colour scheme, Caronia’s calls attracted a great deal of attention and generally involved overnighting in the city, allowing the ship’s 930 passengers to explore sights such as the Sydney Harbour Bridge, The Rocks and Manly Beach.

Meeting of the Queens:
Over the years, QE2 became a much loved presence in Sydney. Throughout her 40 year career, the ship visited the city 25 times; each time bringing with her thousands of passengers, and hundreds of thousands of dollars into the local economy.

Perhaps the most memorable visit for the ship occurred on 20 February 2007. Earlier that morning, QM2 had made her maiden arrival to Sydney. The arrival attracted large crowds to witness the 151,400gt liner manoeuvre around Fort Dennison before berthing at Woolloomooloo Naval Base.

Crowds grew during the day as curious Sydneysiders made their way to the harbour to catch a glimpse of the largest passenger ship to ever visit Australia. By the time the QE2 arrived in the early evening, an estimated 1 million people had gathered. Slowly, the much loved Cunarder made her way towards the Overseas Passenger Terminal, passing QM2 amid whistle blows and cheers from the watching crowd.

Queen Victoria One Seven Five:
With a long established history of historic Sydney calls, it was no surprise that Cunard’s 175th anniversary included the city on the schedule. With all three Queens on their world cruises, Australia paid host to the liners throughout March 2015.

Queen Elizabeth’s 3 March call paid tribute to Cunard’s connection with the ANZAC’s. A large “100” sign was created using poppies. Passengers, crew and locals were invited to play tribute to fallen servicemen by placing a poppy on the large sign. Hoisted aboard the ship before she departed, it will be delivered to Gallipoli on the eve of the 100th anniversary of the disastrous landing.

QM2 and Queen Victoria met in the harbour on 12 March, the smaller Cunarder having overnighted at the Overseas Passenger Terminal. At around 3:30am under the command of Commodore Rynd, Queen Victoria slipped her moorings and made the short journey to Athol Buoy just off Fort Dennison.

At the same time, QM2 made her way through Sydney Heads and sailed towards the Overseas Passenger Terminal, rendezvousing with her younger sister. Throughout the day, crowds gathered to view the liners. The Overseas Passenger Terminal is located next to the Sydney Ferry Hub at Circular Quay, resulting in high interest from commuters and holiday makers.

Queen Victoria was the subject of great interest for visitors travelling on the Manly Ferry. During her time at Athol Buoy, passengers were ferried ashore by tender. Three of Queen Victoria’s tenders were supported by several of QM2’s large multi storey tender boats to speed up the process. Ashore at the Sydney Opera House, senior officers from both liners joined Carnival Australia CEO Ann Sherry and photographer James Morgan for the unveiling of One Seven Five. A photographic exhibition, the display consisted of 68 images depicting 175 years of Cunard history. Two spaces were notably absent – having been saved for two very special photos taken that day during the 2015 Royal Rendezvous.

Launching the exhibition, Ann Sherry, CEO of Carnival Australia said the Cunard fleet continued to turn heads the world over. “These images are just as arresting as the ships themselves, conveying all the grandeur and beauty which has captured the imagination of generations of cruise passengers over 175 years.”

Read the rest of this article with additional pictures in Sea Breezes Magazine - May 2015 Issue
Click here to subscribe

Subscribe Graphic

Latest Issue - Look Inside!

Boudicca

Most Popular

  • First of Giant New Container Ships is Handed Over +

  • Alan Sinclair to Nova Star +

  • Billionaire Arthur Blank has his own Dreamboat +

  • From Fjords to Fiji +

  • Two Gulf Tankers Set on Fire in Attacks +

  • 1
  • 2

Latest Products

Maritime Log

  • Admiral Bellingshausen +

    Admiral Bellingshausen A 24m YACHT carrying members of an Estonian expedition arrived at Lerwick on Aug 14 on a voyage to mark Read More
  • Two Rescued by Lifeboat +

    Two Rescued by Lifeboat TWO local fishermen were rescued after their fishing vessel caught fire off Land’s End on the afternoon of July 16. Read More
  • First Task of Shell Bunker Barge +

    Shell Bunker Barge SHELL’S first inland waterway LNG bunker barge carried out her first bunkering operation at Rotterdam in June. Read More
  • A Special Surveyor Joins the Humber Estuary Fleet +

    Special Surveyor A NEW £600,000 vessel has joined the survey fleet of Associated British Ports (ABP)’ Humber Estuary Services. Read More
  • Denmark Sails into Fifth in the World +

    Denmark Sails into Fifth in the World DENMARK has now moved into fifth position in the list of the world’s largest shipping countries. Read More
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3

North America

  • Operation to Salvage Three Tugs +

    Tug Salvage THE US Coast Guard has launched an investigation into the sinking of three vessels in the Illinois River near Hardin, Read More
  • Terminal Being Made 'Big Ship Ready' for 2021 +

    Terminal Being Made Big Ship Ready WORK has started on the expansion of Seattle’s Terminal 5 so it can handle container ships of up to 18,000 Read More
  • Record Set by Largest US Ship for Hawaii Service +

    Lurline The largest combination container, roll-on, roll-off ship ever built in the United States was formerly named in a ceremony at Read More
  • $293mn for Port Projects +

    Long Beach port The United States is to invest $292.7mn in the country’s ports through a new Port Infrastructure Development Programme. Read More
  • Facility Exports First Cargo of Propane to Japan +

    Sumire Gas The first marine export facility for propane in Canada has been officially opened. Read More
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3

Asia-Pacific

  • First of Giant New Container Ships is Handed Over +

    MSC Gulsun THE SWISS-based Mediterranean Shipping Co (MSC) has taken delivery of one of the world’s largest container ships, the MSC Gulsun, Read More
  • The Last New Magnolia Ship in Series +

    The Last New Magnolia Ship THE Singapore-based container shipping company Ocean Network Express (ONE) has taken delivery of the 14,000 teu capacity ONE Cygnus, 138,611dwt, Read More
  • Line Adds Automated Power Kite to Propulsion +

    Airseas The Japanese shipping company Kawasaki Kisen KK (K Line) aims to cut ship greenhouse gas emissions with automated power kites. Read More
  • ONE Express to North Sea and Baltic +

    ONE Apus The Japanese shipping line Ocean Network Express (ONE) was due to start an enhanced North Sea Baltic Service with Russia Read More
  • MOL Links with Russian Uni for Crew Training +

    Makarov University The Japanese shipping company Mitsui OSK Lines (MOL) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with a Russian university on co-operation Read More
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3

Naval Focus

  • USS Cincinnati to be Delivered to US Navy +

    USS Cincinnati US News USS CINCINNATI is the latest member of the expanding littoral combat ship fl eet to be delivered to Read More
  • Scorpene Sub Snags +

    INS Khanderi indian News The troubled Scorpene class submarine program hit another snag in June. Read More
  • US Navy’s Frigate Program Passes Significant Hurdle +

    USS Minneapolis-St Paul US News The US Navy has unveiled its plans for the purchase of a new frigate known as FFG(X). Read More
  • Fourth Dreadnought Named HMS “King George VI” +

    Dreadnought Class UK News The fourth member of the new Dreadnought class of nuclear powered ballistic missile submarines will bear the name Read More
  • US Navy Orders Flight II Landing Platform Dock +

    LDP30 American News The contract for the construction of LPD30, the first Flight II Landing Platform Dock of the San Antonio Read More
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3

Ferry World

  • Alan Sinclair to Nova Star +

    Glen Sannox Those in management positions must dread the retirement of those characters who retire from their life’s work with a wealth Read More
  • Fragile Future for Calmac +

    Isle of Arran TMore and more, I am reading reports that say the media, and the public too, are well aware of the Read More
  • Oscar Goes to Italy +

    Oscar Wilde Irish Continental Group has entered into a bareboat hire purchase agreement for the sale of its 1987-built Oscar Wilde to Read More
  • CalMac Heritage +

    Columba I include a fine poster and artist’s image of the famed Macbrayne paddler Columba. Read More
  • Russian Adventure +

    Ocean Adventurer To the North East Coast and arriving at Aberdeen for the first time for many months, I witnessed a passenger Read More
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3

Sail Review/Coastal Comment

  • From Gloucester Tall Ships to Kenyan Sailing Dhows +

    Royalist Gloucester Dock is linked to the River Severn at Sharpness by a 16 mile canal. Read More
  • The Zea Servant +

    Zea Servant The Hong Kong registered Zea Servant arrived late June from Hull. She was in Campbeltown to load wind turbines for Read More
  • The Green Band of Marstal +

    Bessie Ellen The Danish Maritime Museum had the schooner Bonavista built on the island of Aero at Marstal and this year they Read More
  • Norweigan National Day +

    Thorodd I was in Montrose on the Norwegian National Day, 17 May, when its independent constitution from Sweden was confirmed in Read More
  • Port of Aberdeen Fifty Years On +

    Aberdeen Harbour Extension Project When I first arrived in Aberdeen in 1968, I couldn’t believe my luck. Read More
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3

From the Lookout

  • Welcome to 'Spirit Of Discovery' - Farewell to 'Oriana' +

    Spirit of Discovery WITHIN the last two months the British cruise industry has welcomed the arrival of Saga Cruises, 58,250gt, Spirit of Discovery, Read More
  • Lower Figures in the Area of Ship Losses +

    The Sincerity Ace IT WAS HEARTENING to read in a recent press release from the Allianz Global Corporate & Speciality SE’s (AGCS), in Read More
  • President Opens ‘Largest UK Ship Simulation Centre’ +

    Sir Michael Bibby With the training of seafarers being so important to safety at sea, and in particular navigation equipment and bridge procedures, Read More
  • Hands-Free Mooring at St Lawrence Seaway +

    St Lawrence Seaway I feel there are probably many readers, like me, who feel a shiver down their spine when they think of Read More
  • Flying the Flag on Merchant Navy Day +

    Red Ensign For more than 35 years, it has been my immense privilege to be a local Isle of Man committee member Read More
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3

Cruise News/Superyacht News

  • Billionaire Arthur Blank has his own Dreamboat +

    Billionaire Arthur Blank's Dreamboat ARTHUR BLANK helped create the American home improvement store chain, Home Depot, and it seems that now, his new fl Read More
  • Boudicca Pays Tribute to D-Day Veterans +

    Boudicca Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines were proud to have played its part in hosting 250 D-Day veterans. Read More
  • Captain of a Modern Passenger Carrying Sail Ship +

    Sea Cloud 2 If you have ever wondered what qualities a Captain of a cruise vessel might need to have listed on his Read More
  • Every Ash Cloud Has A Silver Lining +

    The ash cloud crisis continues to cause uncertainty as we see sporadic closures of airspace and cancelled flights, and this Read More
  • Damen Group Superyachts +

    Amels With 25 projects underway, business is booming for Amels, the Dutch luxury yacht builder. Read More
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3

Ships, Ports and Places

Cuba

An Unexpected Job in Cuba

In 1948, I joined the MV Yamaska Park as an EDH and, over the first few days aboard, I became Read More
Suez Canal

The Creation of the Suez Canal - Part Two

IAt the end of 1858, the company’s Works Committee convened for the first time. It included an impressive assembly of Read More
  • 1
  • 2

Companies, Events and Other Features

Birkenhead

Women and Children First

HMS BIRKENHEAD was one of the first iron-hulled warships built for the Royal Navy. Although laid down as the frigate, Read More
MV Scillonian

The Boatmen of Scilly

The romantically named Guiding Star, Sapphire and Sea King will be recognisable to folk all over the UK who are Read More
  • 1
  • 2