Luxury cruise line, Cunard will double the Australian sailing season for Queen Elizabeth to 101 days in 2019-20 summer.

This is because of the “unprecedented growth in demand” from Australian cruisers, Cunard senior vice president Simon Palethorpe said today.

Instead of spending 54-days Down Under as originally scheduled, Queen Elizabeth will spend 101 days in Australia sailing from both Sydney and Melbourne with a range of different itineraries to South Australia, Tasmania, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea between December 2019 and March 2020.

For the first time, Queen Elizabeth will spend Christmas in Australian waters next year.

Australian cruisers looking to spend Christmas on board Queen Elizabeth will board the ship in Melbourne, spend Christmas day cruising the Tasman Sea, Boxing Day in the tranquil waters of Fiordland National Park in NZ and New Year’s Eve in Auckland.

The newly refitted ship, launched in 2010 is the youngest of the three Queens including Queen Mary 2 and Queen Victoria. She carries a maximum of 2080 passengers, has 10 restaurants and cafes, a games deck with paddle tennis, croquet and bowls and a three-deck Royal Court Theatre with seating for 800 guests.

“Over the past few years, we’ve seen unprecedented growth in demand for the Cunard experience in Australia, so it made sense for use to invest further in the market and extend the sailing season of Queen Elizabeth even more in 2020,’’ Mr Palethorpe said.

Queen Elizabeth which will spend two months homeported in Melbourne will offer other voyages to South Australia and Tasmania.

She will then head to Sydney where she will cruise on two round-trip voyages and offer sailings to PNG which will feature maiden calls to the beautiful Conflict Islands and Kiriwina in the Trobriand Islands.

The ship will also made maiden visits to Esperance and Albany in WA and the Whitsundays and Darwin.

Cunard will release details of the 2020 World Voyage season on March 13 with bookings opening on March 20.