Cunard has announced it will stop homeporting the Queen Elizabeth in Australia from 2026 onwards.

The ship will only visit the southern hemisphere on world cruise segments.

In a statement from Matt Gleaves, Commercial Vice President of North America & Australasia, he said, “We know that many guests in Australia and Japan love to sail with Cunard and Queen Elizabeth is already on her way to Australia to begin her 2023/2024 homeport season starting 27 November.  

“The ship will also return for her scheduled 2024/2025 season and whilst this news means that from 2026 there will be no locally based program, Australia and Asia will remain important destinations on our round-the-world voyages and we look forward to welcoming guests from these regions wherever they chose to sail with us.” 

The ship will instead, operate year-round from North America, spending the season sailing in and around Alaska and in the winter, in the Caribbean.

The line next year will launch the new Queen Anne, the first ship from the line in 12 years.

She first entered the Cunard fleet on October 4, 2010, and sailed on her maiden voyage from Southampton.

The cruise line announced that the line would start homeporting the Queen Elizabeth in Australia in 2019. Cunard has outlined she would sail from the Port of Melbourne.

She was due to sail on six roundtrip cruises as well as three roundtrip voyages from Sydney.

But the pandemic halted her sailings, with the cruise line resuming services in the 2022/23 season.

Earlier this year, Australian pop sensation Delta Goodrem welcomed back the Queen Elizabeth back into Australia, singing a rendition of ‘Waltzing Matilda’.

On March 1, 2014, Queen Elizabeth sailed into Sydney Harbour displaying a 126-metre long Rainbow ‘Happy Mardi Gras’ banner from her top decks in tribute to the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras.

Cruise Passenger is awaiting a statement from Cunard on the reason for redeployment.