Australians love English royalty and English royalty loves Australians.

Last year, Australia was the fourth largest market sailing on Queen Mary 2, Queen Elizabeth and Queen Victoria, after the UK, North America and Germany.

And Australians accounted for 30 percent of all round-the-world passengers – who stay on the ship for over 100 days last year.

When the Queen Mary sailed into Sydney this week, 860 passengers out of 2,500 were Australian.

And here’s a real surprise – according to Cunard marketing director Angus Struthers, what Australian cruisers love about the three Queens is their timelessness formality.

Last year, the company’s loyal fans  – know as ‘Cunarders’  – received a shock when the line announced it would drop one of its formal nights.  And they told the line so.

“If you speak to some of the passengers that have been sailing with us for 40 plus years, they will be protective of the traditional mix. “

Another surprise – the younger demographic was just as supportive of keeping formal nights, which involves black tie for men and ball room gowns for women.

Formal evenings are such a large part of the brand that the company is adding taglines on formal dining to its marketing

And one claim suggests: ‘A freshly prepared meal is all the better when dressed for the occasion’.