Cruise ships the Queen Mary II and Queen Victoria both in harbour today
In a rare occurrence, the day early arrival of the Queen Mary II to Auckland brings it into port at the same time as its sister ship the Queen Victoria. It is believed that this is the first time two ‘Queens’ have been in Auckland harbour together since the 1940s.
Heavy swells in Wellington prevented her from entering the harbour, so the Queen Mary II has come to Auckland ahead of schedule.
The Queen Mary II will make her return to Auckland’s Waitematā harbour a day earlier than originally planned, now expected around 2:00pm today.
Nearly 1000 lucky Aucklanders will get an exclusive glimpse of the iconic Queen Mary II over the weekend.
Four free tours put on by Ports of Auckland are completely booked out by eager members of the public wanting a close up view of the transatlantic ocean liner.
“We know Aucklanders love to see the Queen Mary II and having her berthed at Jellicoe wharf makes that difficult. A boat tour provides the perfect opportunity to get up close to the vessel while enjoying some time out in our beautiful harbour,” Ports of Auckland Chief Executive, Tony Gibson says.
If you missed securing a spot on the tours, there are still some fantastic opportunities to view the vessel as she enters and departs the harbour. The Queen Mary II is expected at the pilot station, north of Rangitoto, at around 2:00pm today making her way to Jellicoe wharf around 3:15pm.
Good vantage points:
- Areas along the east coast of the North Shore as the ship rounds Rangitoto Island
Between 2:30pm and 3:15pm:
- Ports of Auckland public walkway alongside the Fergusson container terminal (no parking available)
- Tamaki Drive
- Fred Ambler Lookout, Gladstone Road, Parnell
- Mt Victoria, North Head and Devonport Wharf on the North Shore
- East Coast Bays beaches
More stunning views can be seen as The Queen Mary II departs Auckland on Saturday evening at 8pm, all lit up.
The Queen Victoria is docked at Queens Wharf, departing at midnight tonight.
- At 345 metres long, the Queen Mary II is the largest cruise ship to ever visit New Zealand.
- The ship will be carrying up to 2,600 passengers and crew.
- The Queen Mary II is visiting Auckland as part of a 113 day round the world cruise visiting 40 ports in 22 countries.
- The ocean liner cost $US800 million to build and weighs 151,400 gross tonnes
- Ports of Auckland hosts more than 90 cruise ship visits a year. The value added benefit to the Auckland economy is projected to be $1.8 million per visit.
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