Wednesday, 17 May 2006 12:00 AM
Cunard has revealed that its liners Queen Victoria and the QE2 are set to depart New York simultaneously as they embark on world cruises.
The event, which will take place in January 2008, will mark the Queen Victoria's maiden world cruise only a month after her launch in December 2007.
She will depart on a 105-day cruise taking in 36 cities in 23 countries, including Los Angeles, Auckland, Sydney, Bangkok, Singapore, Kula Lumpur, Mumbai, Dubai, Athens and Barcelona.
Circumnavigating the globe in a westbound direction, Queen Victoria will transit the Suez Canal before arriving in Southampton on April 22nd. Six days and a transatlantic voyage later she will be back in New York.
Her arrival in Australia on February 24th will see her reunited with her 40 year-old sister ship, circumnavigating the globe in the opposite direction, and celebrations are planned against the backdrop of Sydney's spectacular harbour.
After leaving New York, the QE2 will embark on a 90-day cruise heading first to South America, including Rio de Janerio, Montevideo, the Falkland Islands and Valparaiso, before crossing the Pacific.
The grand old lady of the seas will visit Easter Island, Auckland, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Singapore, Hong Kong, Shanghai and Honolulu before arriving in Los Angeles on March 30th.
The QE2 will arrive back in New York on April 12th after passing through the Panama Canal.
"Continuing Cunard's legacy of noteworthy firsts in maritime history, we are delighted to announce the simultaneous grand ocean voyages for our newest liner Queen Victoria and our 'grand dame' QE2," said Carol Marlow, Cunard's president and managing director.
"Cunard's World Cruises are widely considered the 'gold standard' in voyages around the world. QE2 has undertaken more long voyages than any other ship afloat and we are delighted that Queen Victoria will continue this fine tradition - offering a 21st century ocean liner experience as she makes her own circumnavigation of the globe in renowned Cunard style."
These world cruises will go on sale on June 5th 2006, and there are early booking fares with 15 per cent reductions on the brochure rate.
For more details and booking information on these cruises, go to: www.cunard.co.uk