She’s Back – Queen Mary 2 Quietly Slips Into Freo

Queen Mary 2 is no stranger to Fremantle having visited twice in 2018 and twice in 2020, the last times just after Covid had also arrived.

And this morning, before sunrise, she returned to Fremantle. She first appeared off Fremantle’s North and South Moles a little after 5 am. By 5.30 she was quietly slipping into the inner harbour. What a spectacle – she is enormous.

Queen Mary 2 arriving Fremantle 21 March 2023. Credit Fremantle Shipping News, Michael Barker

This trans-world ocean liner is the flagship for the famed Cunard Line and part of the massive Carnival Corporation. Launched in 2004, she makes quite an entrance.

QM2 weighs in at 151,400 tonne, that’s almost double the size of Queen Elizabeth 2, who was here recently.

Queen Elizabeth in Fremantle. Credit Fremantle Shipping News

And three times bigger than the ill-fated Titanic. (Oops, shouldn’t have mentioned her.)

QM2 features the biggest ballroom at sea and has a planetarium on board.

At 62m high, she dwarfed the lighthouses, the Maritime Museum and the smaller port buildings as she steamed into the inner harbour.

Here’s a gallery of our pics of QM2 arriving this morning.

She’s 345m long – that’s two-thirds the length of Sydney Harbour Bridge – but can ‘turn on a sixpence’, as those watching today would have seen.

Fremantle is one of Australia’s most important cruise ship ports. Cruising is one of the most popular and fastest growing sectors of the tourism industry worldwide, an industry that had its troubles during Covid but seems to have responded so well since.

Three years ago, in 2020, QM2 made a significant deviation from a world cruise to Fremantle due to travel bans and port restrictions in Asia at the beginning of the Covid epidemic. Most of her passengers and crew at that time disembarked and were flown home. On the 16 March 2020, to an emotional farewell, she left Freo with only 264 souls onboard, a skeleton crew and a handful of guests who were unable to fly.

Here’s a snap of The World, QM2, and the Costa Deliziosa all tied up in Fremantle after seeking refuge from Covid in March 2020.

Credit Deanna Shanahan

QM2’s current voyage is a 117 days round the world trip called ‘Easter’. She left Southampton on 11 January 2023 and has visited some 24 ports before arriving at Fremantle today.

There are 941 passengers and 1264 crew onboard. This is a ‘turnaround ship’ which means many passengers will either embark or disembark the ship in Freo. 753 passengers are disembarking and 647 embarking for the next leg of the cruise, a 33-nighter from Fremantle back to Southampton with port calls at Port Louis, Mauritius; Reunion; Durban; Port Elizabeth; Cape Town; Namibia; Tenerife; and Southampton.

Today, 355 passengers are on pre-booked tours around the metro area. But you can also expect to see a few folk around Freo preparing to embark later in the day.

If you missed QM2’s arrival this morning, head on down to Victoria Quay or the South Mole tonight to watch her depart at 22.00hrs. She’ll be an amazing, fully lit sight.

And the cruise ships just keep on coming. We are also looking forward to the arrival of the Majestic Princess at 05.30hrs tomorrow 22 March!

* STORY by our Shipping Correspondent Jean Hudson @jeansodyssey. Jean is also a regular feature writer and photographer here on the Shipping News. You may like to follow up her informative Places I Love stories, as well as other feature stories and Freo Today photographs right here. QM2 photographs in this article by Fremantle Shipping News, Michael Barker, except where indicated otherwise and in the case of the Titanic image.


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