Cunard’s 2019-20 record 101-day season in Australia

David Rousham with Cunard's commercial manager Australia and NZ Katrina McAlpine, left, and Carnival Australia vp corporate affairs, Sandy Olsen, at the trade media conference in Sydney David Rousham with Cunard's commercial manager Australia and NZ Katrina McAlpine, left, and Carnival Australia vp corporate affairs, Sandy Olsen, at the trade media conference in Sydney PHOTO: Helen Hutcheon

UK-based Cunard international development manager David Rousham had afternoon tea with trade journalists at Carnival Australia’s Sydney headquarters on Monday to discuss the company’s record 2019-20 summer season in Australia.

Rousham, who joined top travel agents aboard Queen Mary 2 in Adelaide on Friday, left the company’s flagship in Melbourne on Sunday and flies back to the UK Tuesday.

He said it was the speed at which Queen Elizabeth’s two-month deployment in Sydney and Melbourne between February and April  2019 had sold that prompted the decision to homeport the ship in Australia for an unprecedented 101 days between December 2019 and March 2020.

There will be six roundtrip cruises from Melbourne and two from Sydney during the 2019-20 season to ports in South Australia, Tasmania, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea.

Rousham said the 14-night cruise from Sydney to Papua New Guinea with the company’s maiden calls at Conflict Islands and Kiriwina in the Trobriand Islands is expected to attract international, as well as domestic, passengers.

He said a shipyard is yet to be selected for Queen Elizabeth’s makeover later this year. There are still discussions about the changes to be made to the ship, so the cost is also yet to be determined.

He said Australia continues to beat Germany as Cunard’s No. 3 source market after the United Kingdom and North America and Australia remains No. 2 market for its world cruises.

‘This year an unprecedented 1,000 Australians will make our trans-Atlantic voyages,’ he said.

'The record 2019-20 season is not a one-off and no doubt we will maintain and grow extended seasons Down Under,’ he commented.

Posted 19 February 2018

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Helen Hutcheon

Australasia correspondent