Queen Mary 2, with NZ captain, berths in Wellington for one day only

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Press Release – Cunard Line
New Zealand-born Commodore Christopher Rynd was at the helm when Queen Mary 2 arrived in Wellington Harbour this morning. The huge cruise ship is making a 12-night circumnavigation of New Zealand, starting at the Bay of Islands and ending in Milford Sound.

This, in turn, is part of a 106-day voyage taking in 34 ports, 18 countries and four continents.

This year also marks Queen Mary 2’s maiden call to Akaroa, following a diversion to Wellington after the 2010 Christchurch earthquake. Akaroa is one of six maiden calls during this voyage. Others include Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates; Ko Samui, Thailand; and Port Elizabeth, South Africa.

Stretching 345 metres long, Queen Mary 2 is 17 metres longer than Auckland’s Sky Tower is tall, and the largest vessel to visit New Zealand, towering 60-plus meters above the waterline.

Cunard Line President and Managing Director Peter Shanks said Queen Mary 2’s 12-day loop of New Zealand under the control of a Kiwi-born Commodore is something special for the pride of its fleet.

“This inaugural circumnavigation, as well as the fact all three of our fleet are travelling to New Zealand this season, reflects the growing popularity of this country among Cunard’s loyal passengers. This is fantastic news for local tourism sectors and the economy,” said Mr Shanks.

PHOTO AT TOP (by G V Tedin) shows the Queen Mary 2 berthed at Aotea Quay alongside the Celebrity Solstice – which is 315 metres long compared with the Queen Mary’s 345 metres. PHOTO BELOW (by Matt Nichols via Twitter) shows the Queen Mary 2 arriving in Wellington Harbour.

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Press Release – CentrePort
Cunard’s 345 metre Queen Mary 2 cruise liner is making her second visit to Wellington today, reinforcing CentrePort’s ability to handle very large vessels. CentrePort’s Chief Executive Blair O’Keeffe said “with our deep natural harbour and expansive Aotea Quay wharf, Wellington is one of the few ports in New Zealand able to handle vessels of this size.”

Queen Mary 2 is the largest vessel both in terms of length and gross tonnage to visit Wellington. She has 1266 crew on board and 2499 passengers.

The call at Wellington is part of a world voyage which started in Southampton on 26 April last year. On this leg Queen Mary 2 has come from Sydney and followed Celebrity Solstice into port this morning, berthing at 0800 hours. Together the two vessels will occupy 800 metres of berth space, which is easily accommodated.

CentrePort’s new tug boat Tapuhi, due to arrive in Wellington in April, will further enhance CentrePort’s big ship capability. Alongside the modern Tiaki these two tugs will assist in “future proofing” the company, and ensure the region can continue to welcome record numbers of increasingly large cargo and cruise vessels.

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