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100 things to do before you die: luxury cruising

Thursday, August 24, 2006

84. QM2 Queen Mary 2 is the world's largest, longest, tallest, widest and grandest ocean liner. At 236 metres it is taller than the Statue of Liberty, the Tower of London and the Colosseum. She is two thirds the length of the Sydney Harbour Bridge span.

Queen Mary 2 boasts staggering statistics. Its funnel, which is 62 metres above the water line, was limited to enable access to the world's key ports. Five million dollars worth of art hangs throughout the ship, commissioned in 128 countries, and 250 tonnes of industrial paint was used to cover 550,000 square metres.

Tours and fares are wide and varied and we suggest you contact Cunard to see which is most suitable.

85. QEII The QEII was launched by Queen Elizabeth II on September 20, 1967. It was the first ship designed for both cruising and traditional trans-Atlantic crossing. It is still the fastest passenger liner in service, with a cruising speed of 28.5 knots and a maximum speed of 32.5 knots. The ship has made more than 1100 voyages, adding up to more than 4½ million miles and after all her hard work had a month-long $30 million refurbishment in Germany in 1999.

She is 294 metres long and 33 metres wide, has 10 passenger decks, nine bars, six restaurants, 13 passenger lifts, two spas, 10 shops, 16 car spaces, indoor and outdoor pools, a synagogue, theatre, bank and casino. It is the floating home for 1750 guests and 1019 crew. There are 926 cabins, 664 outside and 262 inside, and these are divided into four categories, each with its own restaurant.

86. Alaska: Inside Passage Possibly the highlight of an Inside Passage cruise is Glacier Bay National Park. It is around 10 kilometres wide and 150m high. The blue Hubbard Glacier is North America's largest chunk of ice. From as far away as half a kilometre, its size is simply awesome.

The Alaskan portion of the Inside Passage extends 800 kilometres from north to south, 160 kilometres east to west, encompasses 1000 islands, 24,000 kilometres of shoreline and thousands of coves and bays.

87. Orion Orion is quite possibly the most sophisticated vessel in its class. Custom-made for expedition cruising, it epitomises elegance, with no expense spared on the quality of fittings and furnishings and recreational facilities. Around 50 couples are cared for in five-star comfort by a crew of 75.

As the weather warms, Orion migrates south. Celebrate Christmas onboard and toast the leading yacht as you watch the start of the Sydney to Hobart yacht race. Orion will be centre-stage for the New Year's Eve fireworks in Sydney Harbour before heading to the tranquil waters of the Hawkesbury and Jervis Bay. The journey continues south to Tasmania, along the Gordon River and takes part in some exciting shore excursions. Orion also takes in the Great Barrier Reef, Papua New Guinea, Kimberley, East Timor, Arnhem Land and Antarctica.

88. Kimberley True North The True North is the most modern and luxurious cruise boat of its type in Australia. The state-of-the-art 50-metre cruiser was purpose-designed and built for exploring the remote waters of the Kimberley and Pilbara. It has a crew of 16 and comfortably accommodates up to 36 passengers. It has three operational decks, four Explorer Class staterooms, six River Class luxury double cabins and eight Ocean Class Deluxe twin cabins, all with private ensuite. There is a forward sitting room and bar and large entertainment area midships, complete with Internet café. There is a sundeck and observation lounge, which allows passengers to see every bit of passing scenery.

Two chefs are on hand to prepare gourmet meals which are served in the lower deck dining room, offering uninterrupted views. Each day pre-dinner drinks and snacks are served on the deck as the sun sinks.

89. The World Residensea The World ResidenSea was launched in Oslo in 20(02). It is referred to simply as The World. It provides unparalleled luxury travel and an exclusive lifestyle for residents and guests.

Ownership of an apartment is actually a 50-year leasehold, the expectancy of the ship's life. These cost between $4-13 million a year, plus four to five percent for maintenance, staff and entertainment. You need to be approved as an owner! Design schemes have been provided by European, British, Italian and Scandinavian decorators.

For further information:

85. QEII
Cunard Line
Ph: 1800 (02)9 956

86. Alaska Inside Passage
Cruise Spirit International
Ph: (02) 8913 0744

87. Orion Expedition Cruises
Ph: 1300 361 012

88. Kimberley True North
North Star Cruises Australia
Ph: (08) 9192 1829
Fax: (08) 9192 1890

89. ResidenSea
Cruise Travel Professionals
Ph: 1800 067 819


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