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Cunard’s Queen Elizabeth on her Maiden Call to Adelaide

29/02/2016 | By

Cunard’s youngest liner, the magnificent Queen Elizabeth, on her maiden visit to Adelaide.

famous funnel, Cunard's queen elizabeth

 Royalty rocked into Adelaide last week, in the impressive shape of Cunard’s youngest liner, the Queen Elizabeth, on her maiden visit to Adelaide. While 2016 marks Queen Elizabeth’s fifth visit to Australia , this is her first South Australian call and one that makes sense, given that almost half of the Australian wine served on board comes from right here.

Cunard's pool on Queen Elizabeth

Cunard's Queen elizabeth ballroom

This visit last week is the first of two historic Cunard visits to South Australia this season, with Queen Victoria set to make the cruise line’s first call to Kangaroo Island next month on March 4. The Cunard flagship, Queen Mary 2, is scheduled to make her first visit to Kangaroo Island in 2017, making it pretty clear that South Australia, with our stunning landscapes, exceptional food and celebrated wine regions, is well and truly part of the global cruise map.

bar on Cunard's queen elizabeth

Marquetry on Cunard's queen elizabeth

Stunning marquetry designed and executed by the actual Queen Elizabeth’s nephew, Viscount Linley.

Main dining room entrance, Cunard's queen elizabeth

I spent several hours on a tour of this magnificent ship – most of it slack-jawed with awe at the impressive dimensions, beautiful spaces and astonishing attention to detail. While I have been fortunate enough to enjoy a week on a cruise liner once before, that really hadn’t prepared me for the kind of luxury and splendour which are Cunard’s hallmarks.

Cunard's Queen Elizabeth, penthouse suite

Penthouse suite, Cunard’s Queen Elizabeth

suite on Cunard's queen elizabeth

Part of the penthouse suite on Cunard’s Queen Elizabeth.

The 90,900-tonne Queen Elizabeth is 294 metres long and the second largest of the Cunard line. Launched in 2010, the ship features 1,074 staterooms, more than 700 of which have private balconies, with six main suites. She has more than 10 restaurants and cafés, a games deck featuring croquet, paddle tennis and bowls, a leaded glass-decorated library which holds 6,000 books, the two-storey Queen’s Room ballroom and a 800-seat, three-decked Royal Court Theatre featuring private boxes.

Cunard's queen elizabeth private boxes in Royal court Theatre

Cunard's queen elizabeth theatre

Library, cunard's Queen elizabeth

Under the control of Captain Inger Klein Thorhauge of the Farro Islands, the ship carries more than 2,000 guests, a large contingent of which are Australians. Contrary to popular notions of cruising, Captain  Thorhauge commented on the fact that a discernibly growing number of younger people were attracted to this kind of travel – and given the facilities, I can certainly see why.

Captain Inger Klein thorhauge of Cunard's Queen Elizabeth

Captain Inger Klein Thorhauge

Cunard's Queen Elizabeth restaurant

Keeping this many people fed and watered is no mean feat either and one that falls under the purview of Food and Beverage Manager Jeff Morgan. According to Jeff, the ship operates a 21-day menu cycle which is tweaked according to the regions the ship travels in. They have a 24 hour kitchen with 200 brigades and 140 chefs. All the wines are chosen in Cunard’s Southampton by their wine selection team and are under the care of the 21 sommeliers onboard ship.

Cunard's Queen Elizabeth, a bar

One of the many bars on board Cunard’s Queen Elizabeth

Cunard's Queen elizabeth bowling green

Bowling green, Cunard’s Queen Elizabeth

Between them, the Queen Elizabeth, Queen Victoria and Queen Mary 2 will make a total of 18 calls to Australian ports this current season, with the Queen Victoria making an eight-night round trip from Sydney, visiting Hobart and Melbourne and dropping in on Kangaroo Island.

original bell from Cunard's QE2

The original bell from Cunard’s Queen Elizabeth 2

It wasn’t until I was on board that I discovered that it was possible to get a berth on board the Queen Elizabeth to travel from Adelaide to Melbourne. The two night cruise was offered for a very reasonable price and one I would have gladly paid for a taste of what must be a truly exceptional experience. I’ll be keeping an eye open for just such an opportunity next time round!

Cunard's queen elizabeth

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  1. Lorraine @Not Quite Nigella

    Ooh how much was it? We did the Queen Mary 2 from Perth to Melbourne and it was good-long enough to get a taste and not rough water too 🙂

  2. Liz (Good Things)

    Snap… they are magnificent these mighty ships, aren’t they!

  3. irene zagar

    we loved the QM2 …did the New York to Southhampton voyage; unforgettable ship.

  4. Toni | 2 Aussie Travellers

    It looks amazing, a two day taster cruise sounds like a great option, I wonder if we get those out of Brissie

  5. Louisa

    Thank you for posting such magnificent photos. I have a cousin on board, so Ill have an idea what she’s referring to, when she writes and sends her trip diary.