Cunard has announced a 60-day extension of the Queen Elizabeth’s Australian cruise season, her longest ever yet. The ship will be sailing on a number of new itineraries until 9 May 2020.

The traditional British cruise line said the prolonged season Down Under was due to the outbreak of coronavirus, currently ongoing in Asia.

“The extension of Queen Elizabeth’s Australia and New Zealand season is a result of the current uncertainty due to travel restrictions and port closures in Asia and their effect on cruise operations in the region,” said Katrina McAlpine, Commercial Director Cunard Australia and New Zealand.

“In response to the operational uncertainties in Asia, Queen Elizabeth will instead remain in local waters for another 60 days. This extended Australia season will benefit local tourism with 29 visits to ports around the country during her additional 60-day deployment.”

The highlights of the luxurious ship’s six new itineraries include her first ever 27-night full circumnavigation of Australia as well as calls to destinations such as Eden and Kangaroo Island, which have both welcomed cruise ship visits as a timely contribution following the bushfire emergency.

On 9 May, Queen Elizabeth will depart Sydney on a 24-night Transpacific crossing to Vancouver via New Caledonia, Honolulu, Maui, LA and San Francisco before the 2,000-passenger ship will commence her 2020 Alaska programme.

Cunard has already contacted guests booked on Queen Elizabeth’s Asia and Japan itineraries about the changes and is offering full refunds and special incentives to book a new voyage.


Highlights of the new Queen Elizabeth program include:

  • The ships first ever 27-night full circumnavigation of Australia with stops in Sydney, Brisbane, Airlie Beach, Cairns, Darwin, Fremantle, Adelaide, Kangaroo Island and Melbourne between April 12 to May 7.
  • Two six-night Tasmania voyages ex Sydney sailing to Eden, Port Arthur, Hobart, Burnie and Melbourne.
  • Two 11-night New Zealand voyages ex Sydney visiting Wellington, Tauranga, Auckland and the Bay of Islands.
  • 24-night Transpacific crossing from Sydney to Vancouver via New Caledonia, Hawaii (Honolulu and Maui), Los Angeles and San Francisco.