One of Cunard’s world-famous Three Queens was given a warm welcome on the Newcastle Foreshore this week, as crowds of onlookers gathered atop the cliffs to catch a glimpse of the regal Queen Elizabeth sailing into dock at the region’s Channel Berth.
Passengers and crew aboard the Cunard vessel waved back at onlookers as the vast liner came to port near the Newcastle and Stockton Foreshore, an occasion with significant historic implications for New South Wales and Australia as a whole.
The arrival of Queen Elizabeth on the Australian coast marks the first time since 1907 that a Cunard vessel has paid a visit to the city, a fact which, itself, demonstrates the growing strength of the Australian cruise market.
Having docked at Channel Berth, passengers aboard Cunard’s QE were given the opportunity to explore the Hunter region, taking part in the numerous planned shore excursions, which include food and wine tours of the Hunter Valley, dolphin cruises at Port Stephens and specialist historic tours of Newcastle city.
Given the significance of the occasion, local authorities planned a special civil reception marking the arrival of Queen Elizabeth, a vessel which has historic connections with the 450 Squadron, who sailed aboard the ocean liner to Europe during WWII. Queen Elizabeth’s captain, Alistair Cook, was joined by veterans and their families aboard the ship, where a special commemorative service was also held.
Geoff Crowe, Port of Newcastle’s CEO, enthused: “It was terrific to see the warm welcome that our community provided to Queen Elizabeth today, and it was a privilege for the port to host Queen Elizabeth. It is the first Cunard vessel to visit the Port of Newcastle since 1907. We appreciate the economic benefit that cruise ship visitors and crew bring to our region and hope that today is the first of many visits by Queen Elizabeth.”
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Image credits: Jason Thien