Queen Victoria will join her fleet mate Queen Mary 2 in cruising from South Africa, although Queen Mary 2 will depart Cape Town in February, bound for Australia and Hong Kong.
The 18-night voyage from Cape Town to Hamburg aboard Queen Victoria, like the Queen Mary 2 itinerary, is available in shorter legs as well, such as a 16-night version that ends in Southampton instead.
The Cape Town to Southampton leg of Queen Victoria’s cruise is a re-creation of the ocean liner services that would have operated between Britain and South Africa in the days before long-distance air travel.
She will follow a similar route to those undertaken by the Union Castle Line of the 20th century, which was the primary passenger shipping service between the two countries.
After departing Cape Town on April 12th, 2024, Queen Victoria will spend two nights and a day at sea cruising Namibia’s Skeleton Coast bound for Walvis Bay, a historic city wedged between the sand dunes of the Namib Desert and the Atlantic Ocean. It’s large natural lagoon is home to a wide range of exotic birdlife.
In the tradition of the ocean liners of old, Queen Victoria makes haste for the north, cruising for eight days bound for Santa Cruz de Tenerife.
The port’s location makes it easy to branch off and experience the wonders that the island of Tenerife has to offer, but the port has an enchanting presence in itself too, full of brightly painted buildings and rich, historical architecture, as well as plentiful shops, restaurants, and cafes.
The following day, Queen Victoria arrives in Funchal, the capital of the Madeira islands, and a gateway to the enchanting towns and villages, breath-taking landscapes, and spectacular array of unique flora, and delicious local wines of the archipelago.
Queen Victoria then heads into the infamous Bay of Biscay and the Western Approaches of the UK as she spends three days cruising for Southampton, a vibrant waterfront city, serviced by direct trains to London, an airport, and an international cruise terminal.
Southampton is also rich in maritime history. The city was the traditional embarkation port for ocean liner services to the United States, Canada and Africa throughout the 19th and 20th centuries, and was a key port fortress city in the centuries before that. As a result, Southampton’s central attractions are a short distance from port and the city offers many self-guided walks, including The Titanic Trail, the QE2 mile and the City Walls.
The historic cathedral city of Winchester, home to King Arthur’s round table, is around 15-minutes by train from Southampton Central. Portsmouth Historic Dockyard offers chance to visit the Mary Rose Museum as well as explore HMS Warrior and HMS Victory while the UNESCO World Heritage site of Stonehenge can be reached by organised excursion.
For passengers doing the full 18 days to Hamburg, Queen Victoria will then depart Southampton and sail up the English Channel into the North Sea, spending two nights cruising for Hamburg, one of Germany’s most cosmopolitan, dynamic and fascinating destinations.
Hamburg has more bridges than Venice and Amsterdam combined, earning it the moniker ‘Venice of the North’, and features neo-renaissance and baroque architecture, such as Hauptkirche St Michaelis (St Michael’s Church), north Germany’s largest Baroque church and the city’s most prominent landmark.
Near the church is a street lined with late 17th century brick and timber houses as well as the town hall, built in neo-Renaissance style. The Museum of Fine Arts has works by masters such as Rembrandt and Munch, while the city’s history museum features exhibits from the 9th century. The redbrick Speicherstadt Warehouses are the world’s oldest, and the Miniatur Wunderland offers one of the world’s largest model train displays.