By Michael Coleman
Cunard Line has unveiled a pair of 2010 world cruises fit for a queen.
The voyages might still be 15 months away but the companys two modern luxury liners,Â Queen Mary 2 andÂ Queen Victoria, are gearing up now for the ultimate cruise experience.
Queen Mary 2sÂ Royal Route of Exploration will chart a new, eastbound-westbound sailing featuring a 101-day itinerary, 19 maiden calls, three overnight stays (in Hong Kong, Sydney and Cape Town) and her inaugural visit to South Africa.Â
Queen Victorias 99-dayÂ Voyage of Discovery circumnavigation, meanwhile, includes 11 maiden ports of call, three overnights (in Sydney, Hong Kong and Dubai) and three U.S. embarkation gateways: New York, Ft. Lauderdale and San Francisco.Â
In addition to the world cruises each ship offers a wide range of shorter segments, ideal for travelers who wish to explore a specific part of the world or those whose busy schedules preclude an around-the-world journey.
Queen Mary 2 is scheduled to depart New York on Jan. 4, 2010 east through the Mediterranean to India, the Far East and Australia and New Zealand before returning to New York westbound via South Africa, South America and North America.Â The ship will visit 35 ports – more than ever before on a single voyage – including Dubai, Mumbai, Singapore, Hong Kong, Tokyo (Yokohama), Auckland, Sydney and Perth (Fremantle).Â
In addition, she will make 19 maiden calls, including her inaugural visit to South Africa (calling at Durban and Cape Town), and first-ever calls at Phuket (Thailand), Vung Tau (Vietnam), Guam, Rabaul, the Whitsundays Islands and Mauritius.Â
Look also for the shorter voyages, ranging in length from 35 to 80 days, including aÂ 63-day New York to SydneyÂ voyage and aÂ 57-day Dubai to Cape Town voyage. Five even shorter trips of 17 to 23 days include aÂ 23-day New York to Dubai voyage (which includes three maiden calls: Port Said, Safaga and Muscat) andÂ Â 17-day Dubai to Hong Kong voyage (including four maiden calls: Mumbai, Phuket, Penang and Ho Chi Minh City).
Cunards newest vessel, Queen Victoria, will begin her third full year in service with a traditional 99-day westbound circumnavigation of the globe from New York to Southampton.Â The ship departs Jan. 12, 2010, embarking guests in Ft. Lauderdale on Jan. 15 and San Francisco on Jan. 27.Â
The ship will traverse the Panama and Suez Canals, visiting 41 ports including Acapulco, Melbourne, Shanghai, San Francisco, Cartagena, Phuket and Sharm El Sheikh
In addition, the ship will offer 11 shorter voyages, ranging in length from 32 to 82 days, including aÂ 52-day San Francisco to Bangkok voyage and aÂ Â 67-day New York to Bangkok trip. Five even shorter trips of 15 to 29 days include aÂ 23-day San Francisco to Sydney sailing.Â
Both ships will soon set out on their respective 2009 world odysseys. Queen Victoria departs Jan. 10 from New York on a 99-day cruise while QM2 leaves Ft. Lauderdale Jan. 13 on an 84-day voyage.