02 Mar 2011

From one luxury craft to another….the elegant Fairline Targa 38 was there to greet the Queen Mary 2 as she sailed into Table Bay Cape Town – arriving in the mother city on February 4 2011.

Enthusiasts waiting to welcome her in probably heard her long before she arrived as her whistle is audible for 10 miles and Boating World’s Derrick and Greg were quick to respond. They invited client Ben Schutte to accompany them on a lightning trip by sea on the Fairline - for a first-hand sighting of this magnificent passenger liner as she graciously made her way to the dock in Cape Town harbour.

Sunny skies and Table Mountain loomed majestically ahead forming a spectacular first impression for the 1400 passengers plus crew aboard – and according to Greg it was an awesome sight to watch this gigantic craft docking with consummate ease.

Built in 2004 the Queen Mary 2 is the second largest passenger ship afloat in the world and is the largest and most expensive ship ever to dock in Cape Town harbour.

She strikes an imposing figure whether stationary or in motion - as at 1132 feet long (347 metres) she is more than the length of three rugby fields set end to end. From keel to funnel she is 236 feet high ( 72 metres) - and  she is more than 3 ½ times as long as Westminster Tower (Big Ben) is high (310ft) and 147 feet longer than the Eiffel Tower is tall (984ft).

 The hundreds of admirers who came to welcome her were awestruck by her size and soon realized that even standing 500 metres away still proved difficult when it came to getting the entire ship into a photograph.

But she justifies her size with a huge range of amenities, with 10 restaurants, ballrooms, a cinema, gym, casino, theatre, spa, swimming pools, the largest library and the only planetarium at sea.

 Aside from flights and accommodation while waiting to board the QM2 at various ports -  a 45 day cruise could cost you around R60 000.00 per person. Not really that exorbitant if you consider that this would probably include your spending money - but your flights and accommodation could cost another R20000.00!  

Her world cruise started in New York and crossed the Atlantic to Southampton. From there she sailed through the Mediterranean and Suez Canal to Mumbai, India; Nagasaki, Japan; before making her way south to Australia stopping off at Whitsunday Island before sailing to Auckland New Zealand.

Sydney, Adelaide and Perth, Mauritius and Durban were her next ports of call before heading off for Cape Town.

Archbishop Desmond Tutu travelled on board the Queen Mary 2 from Port Louis to Cape Town, and attended an unveiling ceremony of a plaque commemorating his trip. He gave several lectures to the ship's passengers while on the voyage.

After a day in Cape Town she set sail again.