Cunard Line has announced that the world's grandest ocean liner, its majestic Queen Mary 2, will be based in Australia in 2012 for a history-making circumnavigation which will see her visit five states and the Northern Territory.
Queen Mary 2's Royal Circumnavigation of Australia is a first for Cunard.
The largest ship ever to visit Australia, Queen Mary 2 will call at eight Australian ports during her time Down Under including Sydney, Fremantle, Adelaide and the Whitsundays, as well as maiden visits to Cairns (Yorkey's Knob), Darwin, Melbourne and Brisbane. Her circumnavigation will also include a call at Bali.
Australians will be able to choose from three circumnavigation options - a 22-night voyage departing Sydney on 14 February 2012, a 20-night voyage departing Fremantle on 8 February 2012 and a 21-night voyage departing Adelaide on 11 February 2012.
In all, Queen Mary 2 will spend 28 nights in Australian waters, as she sails from Cape Town to Sydney via Fremantle and Adelaide, and then circumnavigates the country. As a result, Fremantle, Adelaide and Sydney will each enjoy two visits from the liner during her Australian season.
The Australian deployment will mark the longest period of time that Queen Mary 2 has been based in one country outside of her northern hemisphere home ports of Southampton and New York.
Peter Shanks, president of Cunard Line, said, "Cunard has strong and proud links with Australia, going back many years."
"Recognising the enduring appeal and increased demand from Australians for the unique Cunard Line experience, we are delighted to offer this series of legendary voyages for our flagship Queen Mary 2 in Australia 2012," he said.
The Royal Circumnavigation of Australia will go on sale this spring as part of the announcement of the 2012 World Voyage programme.