March 9, 2010
We Are Cunard
Posted in: Queen Mary 2
Countdown to Queen Elizabeth – 216 days
As Queen Victoria left the southern hemisphere, her big sister Queen Mary 2 was being welcomed in New Zealand and Australia. Auckland was a special celebration, as Trelise Cooper, the internationally renowned New Zealand fashion designer, chose Queen Mary 2 as a tableau to display her new collection when Cunard’s flagship paid her third visit to Auckland on 4 March.
One hundred and fifty of New Zealand’s fashion community came together on the top deck of Queen Mary 2 to enjoy the flamboyant colours and the exotic fabrics that are the hallmarks of any of Trelise Cooper’s collections. Her unique approach to style is born out of the adventurous New Zealand spirit, and embraces the quirkiness and originality that comes with living at the edge of the world. Trelise Cooper’s international client base includes Julia Roberts, Liv Tyler, Meg Ryan, Reese Witherspoon and Catherine Zeta Jones and her garments are sold throughout Europe, America, Asia Australia and of course New Zealand.
In addition to the fabulous collection, guests enjoyed an amazing view of Auckland Harbour that only the top deck of Queen Mary 2 can offer, while they enjoyed a cocktail reception of Moet & Chandon champagne and fine canapés laid on by Executive Chef Karl Winkler. Queen Mary 2’s International Band, Vibz entertained VIP’s, guests and media during the event. Sunshine prevailed and the day showcased Queen Mary 2 at her best proving that the models were not the only well dressed ladies in port that day.
Three days later the largest ship to ever visit Australia arrived in Sydney in spectacular style marking the half way point of her 101-day World Voyage, and her third visit to this truly magnificent city. At 5:00pm she slipped through the famous Heads into Sydney Harbour.
Despite the slightly breezy conditions, a welcoming armada was waiting inside the harbour, in the many small coves that grace the Harbour’s edge, ready to greet Queen Mary 2 as she made her way slowly into the channel past Quarantine House on the North Head, and Vauclause Bay in the Eastern Suburbs. Craft appeared from every quarter, and in no time at all Queen Mary 2 was escorted by a growing flotilla of every conceivable variety of pleasure boat, from a jet boat to a water Taxi.
Several helicopters buzzed the ship with photographers hanging precariously form their sides recording the event for the evening news. Australian flags appeared from the balconies of several staterooms adding to the atmosphere of the occasion. After Captain Bates made his turn off Fort Dennison Queen Mary 2 then backed up towards the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge.
What a fantastic picture to see Queen Mary 2 from this view, especially when you consider she is two-thirds the length of the bridge and taller than the bridge’s road deck! To huge crowds she then proceeded to pass the famous Opera House, which she seemed to dwarf.
She then headed to her berth in Garden Island docking at 7:00pm
Guests then went ashore to enjoy their first of two evenings in this amazing city with Queen Mary 2 leaving late the following night. I’d like to thank James Morgan for sending me these fantastic pictures and to David Stephenson, Queen Mary 2’s Hotel Manager, for all his help in putting this Blog together.
As promised I’ll be back tomorrow with a report from Queen Victoria’s World Voyage Dinner and my regular post on Thursday. I did mention it was going to be a busy week! Cheers Alastair