Sharing The Peapod's Travel Adventures...

The Historic Crossing of the Two Queens in Sydney Harbour

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This entry was posted on 2/20/2007 4:26 AM and is filed under Australia.

The Queen Mary 2 (QM2), the longest, tallest and widest ship in the world, sailed into the Finger Wharf, the Woolloomooloo Bay Harbour, and docked just near our apartment at 6:30 am on February 20th.  The Queen Elizabeth 2 (QE2) - the fastest cruise liner in the world, came in early that same evening and docked right across from us at 7:15 pm.  You can bet we were there to greet their crossing... along with almost every single person in Sydney!  Really!  The 30 minute walk through the Botanical Gardens to the best vantage point was wall to wall people.  Check these pictures out.

The most thrilling moment was when we all simultaneously caught the first site of the MASSIVE Queen Elizabeth 2 rounding the headlands of Sydney Harbour...



There were at least eight helicopters circling in the air.  The QE2
was led by fireboats shooting fountains of seawater high into the air from their water cannons, and was escorted by an entourage of smaller ships, yachts and boats of all types...





Watch this movie to get a sense of how thrilling this was - and make sure to turn up your volume so you can hear her horn:

The QE2 Enters the Sydney Harbour



And here she is - docked right across from our apartment at the Quay...



And just as beautiful at night too, with the Opera House in the background...



The massive 151,400-ton Queen Mary 2 smashed the record as the biggest ship of any type ever to visit Australia.  The $1 billion QM 2 docked at Woolloomooloo.  It was l
arger than 132 Manly ferries and too big to dock at Circular Quay.  It left that evening for it's next port.  We could hear its goodbye horns sounding.

Here she is...



The last time the Queens past each other at Sydney Harbour was during World War II, when they had both been commissioned to be troop transports and painted grey. The two great Queens greeted each other for this historic first meeting with a “whistle salute” using their 2,000 pound, 7-foot long signaling horns that could be heard over 10 miles away.

The QE2 is on a 108-day global voyage - her 25th journey around the world.  But this is the first time the QM2 is going around the world, so it's her maiden global voyage, a 81-day journey.

The Queen Elizabeth 2 stayed 2 days.  There were also two other large cruise ships that docked at Darling Harbour.  The 5800 passengers from these 4 ships were expected to spend over $3 Million ($2,369,000 US) in shopping sprees.

It was amazing to see how many people came out for the event.  Our hotel staff said it was much more crazy than even New Year's Eve.  Here's what we saw as we looked over our balcony - wall to wall people...
 



At about 9:00 pm we walked back outside and watched as magnificent fireworks were fired off into the harbour in honor of the visit of both ships.

Here's a fun little movie of the QE2 leaving the next day (sped up a little bit just for fun)...
The QE2 leaves from the Circular Quay



 

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