Queen Mary 2 will depart Cape Town on February 1st, 2024, bound for Hong Kong, via Sydney and Fremantle.
The full 42-night trans-Indian Ocean voyage ends in Hong Kong, but there are also shorter itineraries available of 16 nights (ending in Fremantle), or 26 nights (ending in Sydney).
The full 42-night cruise features 12 port calls, including overnight stays in Melbourne, Sydney and Hong Kong (on the final night of the cruise).
After departing Cape Town, Queen Mary 2 will spend three nights and two days sailing up the South African Wild Coast to Durban, the gateway to the Valley of a Thousand Hills in the heart of the ancient Zulu kingdom.
Durban is the only other South African destination on the cruise, with Queen Mary 2 then heading out into the Indian Ocean bound for Saint-Denis, Reunion, which she will reach after four nights at sea. This island to the east of Madagascar offers a little taste of French culture on a tropical island full of cultural Creole buildings and geographical diversity.
“From beaches to lush forests, Réunion’s rugged roads and plains lead to any number of inspiring scenes. Seek out the ‘Piton de la Fournaise’ or ‘Peak of the Furnace,’ to witness an active volcano,” Cunard Line suggests
Queen Mary 2 then sails overnight to Port Louis, Mauritius, the bustling capital of the island. While Mauritius is renowned for its pristine beaches and inland tropical forests, Port Louis is also resplendent with well-preserved French colonial buildings, such as Government House, built in 1738, which provides a unique insight into the island’s past.
After departing Mauritius, Queen Mary 2 will undertake her longest stretch of sea days of the cruise, spending eight nights at sea cruising for Fremantle, Australia, a small, historic port on the Australian west coast that provides access to the famously isolated city of Perth, which sits in the midst of the Outback.
A Day in Perth
Along the banks of the Swan River you’ll find countless spots to sit and watch kayakers paddle by. The CBD (central business district) offers many interesting galleries and museums to explore while the Perth Mint, exploring Western Australia’s gold history, is in East Perth. If a day in the sun appeals, the city’s nearest beach (Cottesloe) is just a 15-minute drive. Alternatively, take a walk through Kings Park and Botanic Garden where you’ll enjoy far-reaching views in one of the world’s largest city parks.
After Fremantle, Queen Mary 2 sails for Adelaide, with its scenic countryside, sandy beaches, vibrant food market and art scene, and plenty of options for sighting native Australian wildlife.
Queen Mary 2 will spend another two nights at sea, calling in Melbourne as her next port of call, a city that Cunard describes as green and welcoming, and teeming with cultural institutions as well as cafés, bars and restaurants serving a spectrum of international cuisine.
The ship stays overnight in port here, giving passengers two days to explore the city and its surrounding areas. Several of the best attractions aren’t in Melbourne itself, such as Melbourne Zoo where the Australia Bush area offers the chance to see wombats, kangaroos and koalas up close, or the Dandenong Ranges, which are even further out.
From the small town of Belgrave nearby, passengers can ride the Puffing Billy – a steam railroad – to Emerald Lake Park. Mornington Peninsula down the coast is a seaside playground with bay swimming and surf beaches. There are also many excellent wineries within easy reach of the city.
Two more nights at sea and Queen Mary 2 arrives in Sydney, the main event of the voyage. This port city is Australia’s oldest and largest urban centre. It was built on gold mining and sheep breeding, and today it’s the largest port in the entire South Pacific. Mark Twain called it “the wonder of the world”.
There is much to do and see in Sydney, from Sydney Harbour Bridge, the world-famous Opera House, and The Rocks – one of the city’s liveliest precincts, home to the Museum of Sydney and Museum of Contemporary Art, to Sydney Aquarium, National Maritime Museum and the Chinese Garden of Friendship, or the Royal Botanic Gardens.
Sydney is also ideally located to explore many of New South Wales’ most popular tourist attractions, which is why Queen Mary 2 stays overnight in port here as well, providing a full two days to explore the city.
The Blue Mountains encompass four national parks to the west of the city and feature a spectacular collection of broken ravines, towering cliffs and high forested plateaux. On the edge of the Jamison Valley, passengers can ride Australia’s famous Scenic Railway from the historic town of Katoomba.
From Sydney, Queen Mary 2 sails for Yorkeys Knob, a coastal suburb of Cairns, home to ancient rainforests and the Great Barrier Reef. After four nights at sea cruising the Australian coast, Queen Mary 2 will arrive in Darwin, a former frontier settlement and the gateway to the colossal mountains, verdant grasslands and sprawling national parks of Northern Australia.
Bitung in Indonesia is the penultimate port call of the voyage, a bustling city that’s home to awe-inspiring landscapes, such as bubbling sulphur lakes and volcanoes. Bitung is also the gateway to northern Sulawesi Island’s abundant wonders, including its provincial capital Manado.
Queen Mary 2 will then end the voyage in Hong Kong on March 13th, one of the world’s foremost culinary, cultural and commercial capitals of the world. Although the ship will arrive on March 13th, the cruise wont end until the following day as the final night is spend in port, giving more time for exploration.
“Hong Kong buzzes with grand galleries, thriving art complexes and auspicious temples,” says Cunard. “Retreat among the city’s parks, or travel back to the time of tea houses and Cantonese opera.”
Kowloon Park, with its two-tiered lotus pond and basking terrapins, provides the perfect refuge from city life, while climbing Victoria Peak reveals spectacular city views. The incense-infused Man Mo Temple is a sacred tribute to the Gods of War and Literature and is also worth a visit, having welcomed worshippers in Hong Kong since the 19th century.