One of the world’s most famous ships, Cunard’s luxurious Queen Elizabeth arrived in Sydney as part of her record 54-day season in local waters. The call was the first of four visits the stylish 2081-guest ship will make to Sydney over coming weeks as she sails on a series of cruises calling at ports across Australia and New Zealand.

Queen Elizabeth will be a regular visitor to Australia over the next two years, sailing from Sydney and Melbourne next summer for 101 days, and returning in the 2020-21 summer for an unprecedented 118 days. To celebrate Queen Elizabeth’s first season homeported in Australia, Cunard’s well-known bell boys were showing off their new Aussie uniform on board the ship today.

The uniforms are one of the results of a series of exciting partnerships Cunard has formed with Australian companies, including the iconic brand R.M.Williams, legendary hat maker Akubra, award winning Melbourne whisky distillery STARWARD and acclaimed performance troupe Australian Dance Theatre.

A first for the 179-year-old cruise line, the new seven-piece Aussie bell boy uniforms were designed by R.M.Williams – which boasts actor Daniel Craig and US President Bill Clinton among its star-studded clientele – with Australia’s warm summer weather in mind. Celebrating Cunard’s trademark colours of red, black and gold, the stylish ensemble features a red tailored jacket with gold nautical buttons and black cuffs, 100 per cent cotton black twill pants, handmade leather belts and R.M.Williams’ most recognised boots, The Craftsman, in striking Cunard red. The bell boys have also swapped their traditional pillbox hats for custom-made brimmed Akubras, ideal for keeping off the summer sun, during their season in Australia.

Cunard President Simon Palethorpe said: “Over the past decade we’ve seen a marked increase in the number of Australians travelling with Cunard so we wanted to acknowledge the importance of this market not only with Queen Elizabeth’s record deployment Down Under this year, but also with some ground-breaking partnerships.”

“We’re very excited that our bell boys are taking on a modern Australian look while we’re based here over summer, and we think local cruisers will love the opportunity to enjoy a special drop of whisky and some extraordinary Australian dance performances during the season,” Mr Palethorpe said.

R.M.Williams Chief Marketing Officer Mathew Hayward said it had been an honour to
collaborate with Cunard. “The partnership with Cunard was built upon the foundation of two iconic heritage brands that place quality and customer paramount to their experiences. We are proud to celebrate this unique Australian season on board Queen Elizabeth. The new bell boy uniform has been built with purpose, as with all of our product, and maintains the superior quality that’s synonymous with R.M.Williams,” Mr Hayward said.

General Manager of Sales and Marketing at Akubra, Andrew Angus added: “We’re excited that Akubra is part of this special Aussie uniform. Not only do the hats look stylish, they are perfect for Australia’s warm summers.”

The ship’s guests will also enjoy a well-travelled whisky, with Queen Elizabeth’s arrival in Australia this month seeing the return of a very special piece of cargo – The Seafarer, a 225- litre barrel of Australian STARWARD whisky. Aged for two years at STARWARD’s Port Melbourne distillery, the barrel was loaded onto Queen Elizabeth last February and has spent 12 months travelling 95,000 nautical miles around the globe on a unique ‘maturation journey’ to create a first-of-its-kind single malt whisky.

Australians can experience this rare whisky for themselves on board Queen Elizabeth during her season Down Under, and at STARWARD’s Port Melbourne distillery. STARWARD Whisky founder David Vitale said the distillery was thrilled to have partnered with Cunard on the epic journey. “Weather and environment are always instrumental in developing the flavour profile of a whisky, so the conditions that The Seafarer has experienced over the past 12 months of maturation make for a truly remarkable drop,” Mr Vitale said.

Cunard’s fourth partnership will come to life when performers from the Australian Dance Theatre take to the stage for the cruise line’s first special event cruise Down Under – a six night roundtrip cruise to Tasmania departing Melbourne on March 12, 2019. During the voyage the ADT troupe will perform in their first-ever bespoke performance at sea, featuring two exclusive shows adapted from their latest work, The Beginning of Nature.

Guests will be able to polish their own dance moves with movement classes led by ADT performers and the group’s Artistic Director, Garry Stewart, as part of a special itinerary building on the ship’s new wellbeing services.

At 90,900 tonnes, Queen Elizabeth is the second largest ship ever to sail in Cunard’s fleet. Launched in 2010, she is also the youngest in the luxury cruise line’s current trio of Queens with features including more than 10 restaurants and cafés, a Games Deck featuring paddle tennis, croquet and bowls, a two-storey library, a ballroom and the three-deck Royal Court Theatre seating 800 guests and offering private boxes.

Source: Cunard