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Forever Cunard

Looking after our world cruisers…

February 28, 2013


Posted in: Forever Cunard

Hello All,

It is a long-held tradition that on our world cruises we take our guests off the ship and treat them to a special event – it is our way of saying thank you. Although the current Queen Elizabeth cruise down to New Zealand is not truly a full world cruise, but an Exotic Discoveries Voyage, we still decided to treat our guests to a special event in Wellington on 23 February. I thought I would share with you a report of the day along with some of the photos – I love the bewildered look on Captain Wells’ face as he is surrounded by a traditional Maori welcome…

During the afternoon event in Wellington, our Full Exotic Discoveries Guests got to combine city sightseeing with an afternoon tea full of savoury New Zealand specialities and Maori culture and entertainment.

The afternoon began with a city drive where our guests viewed the Oriental Parade along Orient Bay and beautiful views of the city from Mt Victoria. After descending from Mt. Victoria, the next stop was The Great Hall of the Museum Building, a signature Art Deco structure in downtown Wellington which was constructed in 1936 – the location for afternoon tea. The Museum Building served as the Art Gallery and Cultural Museum until the new Te Papa Museum was opened on the Wellington waterfront.

Before entering the building and The Great Hall, the Maori group performed a very special and rarely done ‘Maori Welcome Ceremony’ for our guests. Captain Christopher Wells was selected to represent our guests and once they had been ‘approved’ by the Maori as ‘friendly visitors’, Captain Wells guided our guests into the Great Hall accompanied by the Maori ambassador.

Once inside the Great Hall our guests enjoyed afternoon tea – savoury selections that reflect the local New Zealand cuisine – while listening to the music provided by a string quartet. The Maori group then provided further entertainment with song and dance in the Kapa Haka – an exciting and wonderful representation of their culture. Guests also had the opportunity to meet and interact with the Maori performers both during and after the dance, before it was time to board the coaches once more for a short transfer back to Queen Elizabeth.

What a wonderful event – a successful alternative to the traditional formal World Voyage Dinner, as the Exotic Discoveries itinerary doesn’t have any late evenings or nights in port.

The event reminded me of the last time I saw the Haka performed live – it was at Twickenham recently just before the England Rugby Team went on to record a famous victory over the current World Champions New Zealand – Bloody Marvellous!

I will let you know how the forthcoming Queen Mary 2 and Queen Victoria World Cruise Dinners go – they promise to be just as spectacular and continue our tradition in thanking our World Cruise Guests for being with us. If you have not sailed on a World Cruise yet – then 2014 may be the year for you…

Best Regards


*Photos courtesy of Full Exotic Discoveries Guest Gabriele Gehrmann.

  1. Kenneth Eden says:

    I say, some of the facial expresions are priceless!

  2. Pat hill says:

    I hope that one day we will experience a world cruise. In the meantime looking forward to joining Queen Elizabeth again on 19 April for some much needed sunshine.x

  3. Shafiqur Rahman says:

    Really Very good.

  4. Suzanne Smith says:

    Thanks Peter, thanks for the article. Maybe one day I will have the ability to be a world cruiser but in any event, just happy to go on QM2 from Sydney-Bay of Islands-Auckland on March 7. I always enjoy the Haka though. I love NZ and when I took my daughter there 9 years ago, she was chosen to join in the Poi Dance:)

  5. judith says:

    Very nice blog brings back memories of our trip to Wellington ten years ago. Like Pat Hill we are also looking forward to our trip on Queen Elizabeth on 19th April, roll on sunshine!
    Aside from this did I really see Keith Maynard on tv channel selling cruises? or was it his double?

  6. William James Dundas says:

    It is always good to see the exotic side of ship life. You can always rely on Captain Wells to join in.

    Since the update of this website I have been unable to find a way of knowing who is captaining what ship in any given month. This had previously been very easy. I would like to sail with Captain Wells again. He is openly friendly and engaging. How can I ensure that when I book that he will be the captain for my voyage?

  7. Janice Denyer says:

    Just returned home after a wonderful 36 nights on Queen Elizabeth Exiotic Cruise across the Pacific to New Zealand and back to LA.
    We were very fortunate to be in one of the four Grand Suites which was something very special. Our butler was new to the job but was extremely good and we really hope Cunard give him another position as butler in the future.
    We really had a great time made good friends. Everyone worked hard to make our cruise special.
    The only thing we were a little disappointed in was we thought the food in Queens Grill was not quite up to the same standard as the Queen Mary grill but saying that we will be back.
    Well done Captain Wells and crew.emm

  8. june kirby says:

    Hi Peter
    I am one of the fortunate Full Exotic Discoveries passengers, now on our way back across the Atlantic to frosty Southampton. The Afternoon Tea in Wellington was a great experience, and Capt Wells is such a good sport, he has such a great personality, we all looked forward to his noon updates each day. I had always wanted to see a Haka and I was not disappointed on the day. The Maori group were very friendly and entertaining. All round a good time was had by all.

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