Port Arthur Historic Site will welcome the majestic Cruise Ship Queen Mary 2 on Monday 27 February 2017 for her inaugural visit to Tasmania. The ship will have approximately 2,620 passengers plus 1,200 crew on board. Queen Mary 2 is scheduled to anchor at Port Arthur at 0800 and will depart at 1700.
The Queen Mary 2 is visiting Tasmania for the first time as part of a sold out 5-night cruise departing from and returning to Sydney with stops at Port Arthur and Hobart respectively. This passage is a sector of the 118-night World Voyage for the newly remastered luxury liner, with many passengers choosing to explore the Tasman region as well as the Historic Site.
Passengers aboard large ships have been disembarking at Port Arthur since the first brig carrying convicts to the site arrived in 1830. Dr. John Russell, the first Commandant of Port Arthur wrote to the Lieutenant Governor of the colony and noted “Port Arthur forms a fine capacious harbour in which a large fleet might ride in safety, sheltered from every wind”. The naturally deep harbour contributed to Port Arthur’s ability to operate for 47 years as a penal settlement with hundreds of ships delivering convicts, cargo, visitors and officials. Next week, the same deep harbour no doubt factored into the Cunard Line’s decision to bring Queen Mary 2 to the now famous World Heritage Site.
Director of Tourism Operations at Port Arthur Historic Site Management Authority (PAHSMA) and Australian Cruise Association Committee Member Anne McVilly said “Port Arthur Historic Site will welcome Queen Mary 2 with a traditional and authentic greeting as would have been provided by the Commandant of the Colony to visiting dignitaries when the site was in full operation in the 1830’s.”
“The Commandant and Superintendent will welcome passengers onshore between 0845 and 1000, and in keeping with maritime traditions Port Arthur Historic Site Management Authority will present the ship with a unique plaque to commemorate this significant occasion.”