Just a week after announcing an extended cruising season for Cunard’s Queen Elizabeth, the line has now announced partnerships with some of Australia’s best-loved brands.
The famous red-and-black Cunard bellboys will be dressed in a uniform being designed by R.M.Williams. Akubra hats will form part of their new look.
Award-winning Melbourne-based boutique whisky distillery STARWARD has supplied a special 225-litre barrel which will be tethered to the ship on her round the world voyage. Once back in Australia for her first extended stay, the whisky will be bottled and served to passengers as The Seafarer.
Loaded in Sydney yesterday, the whisky will spend 12 months travelling the world on Queen Elizabeth’s open decks before it is opened next February at the start of the ship’s 2019 Australian season.
Finally, Australia’s longest-running contemporary dance company, Australian Dance Theatre (ADT), will create the cruise line’s first ever special event cruise in Australian waters, featuring a bespoke performance of ADT’s latest international work, “The Beginning of Nature”.
There will also be special workshops and movement classes for guests.
Announcing the partnerships onboard Queen Elizabeth in Sydney today, Sture Myrmell, President of Carnival Australia which represents Cunard, said the initiatives broke new ground for Cunard and reflected the cruise line’s strong commitment to the Australian market.
“These partnerships are designed to embrace Australian products and culture and celebrate Queen Elizabeth’s 2019 season Down Under, which sets a new record for Cunard’s current fleet of Queens,” Mr Myrmell said.
“All our partners are respected names in their fields so we’re delighted to join forces with them for the season with a range of initiatives which we think will be very popular – and maintain Cunard’s tradition of turning heads in this market.”
Australians’ interest in cruises with Cunard has surged since the line’s flagship Queen Mary 2 and Queen Elizabeth’s predecessor, QE2, brought Sydney to a standstill when they visited the city together in 2007.
Cunard decided to base Queen Elizabeth in Australian waters for an unprecedented two months next year, with 27 different cruise itineraries on offer as she sails from Sydney and Melbourne.
The following summer, Queen Elizabeth is set to return for an extraordinary 101 days of cruising, from December 2019 to March 2020.
R.M. Williams and Akubra will collaborate with Cunard to create a new uniform for Queen Elizabeth’s Bellboys to wear during their Australian season.
While the uniform is yet to be designed, it will incorporate an Akubra hat and R.M. Williams’ trademark boots and will reflect the relaxed feel of an Australian summer while still upholding the quality all three brands are known for.
“We are immensely proud of our Australian heritage at R.M.Williams Chief Marketing Officer Mathew Hayward said: “This collaboration with Cunard is the chance to unite two iconic brands across land and sea and showcase R.M.Williams onboard Queen Elizabeth during its 2019 season Down Under.”
Akubra General Manager Sales & Marketing Andrew Angus said “We’re very excited to be taking them to sea with Cunard next year.”
The Seafarer, will spend 12 months travelling the world on Queen Elizabeth’s decks. Aged for two years previously at STARWARD’s Port Melbourne distillery, its maturation will be aided by the motion of the ocean, the salt of the sea air and changing climates along the journey.
The barrel will be opened and the whisky made available onboard Queen Elizabeth and at STARWARD’s distillery bar once the ship begins her season of cruises from Australia in February 2019.
As part of their partnership, STARWARD and Cunard will donate bottles of The Seafarer to raise funds for charity.
“We are so proud of our ambitious local whisky’s achievements on the international awards scene,” STARWARD founder David Vitale said.
At 90,900 tonnes, the 2080-guest Queen Elizabeth is the second largest ship ever to sail in Cunard’s fleet.
Launched in 2010, she is also the youngest in the cruise line’s current trio of Queens with features including more than 10 restaurants and cafes, a Games Deck featuring paddle tennis, croquet and bowls, a two-storey library, a ballroom and a three-deck Royal Court Theatre seating 800 guests and offering private boxes.