Generations of Australians have worn Akubra hats but while the iconic hat is best known for its close association with the land, now its taken on a new lease of life across the seas as an accessory worn by Cunard’s red jacketed bell boys, who are seen above showing off their new Aussie uniform on board the luxurious Queen Elizabeth ship which recently docked in Sydney’s harbour.
The 2081-guest ship will be a regular visitor to Australia over the next two years, sailing from Sydney and Melbourne next summer for 101 days, and returning in the 2020-21 summer for an unprecedented 118 days.
The uniforms are one of the results of a series of partnerships Cunard has formed with Australian companies, including the iconic brand R.M.Williams, Akubra, award-winning Melbourne whisky distillery STARWARD and acclaimed performance troupe Australian Dance Theatre.
A first for the 179-year-old cruise line, the new seven-piece Aussie bell boy uniforms were designed by R.M.Williams – which boasts actor Daniel Craig and US President Bill Clinton among its star-studded clientele – with Australia’s warm summer weather in mind.
Celebrating Cunard’s trademark colours of red, black and gold, the stylish ensemble features a red tailored jacket with gold nautical buttons and black cuffs, 100 per cent cotton black twill pants, handmade leather belts and R.M.Williams’ most recognised boots, The Craftsman, in striking Cunard red.
The bell boys have also swapped their traditional pillbox hats for custom-made brimmed Akubras, ideal for keeping off the summer sun, during their season in Australia.
General Manager of Sales and Marketing at Akubra, Andrew Angus added: “We’re excited that Akubra is part of this special Aussie uniform. Not only do the hats look stylish, they are perfect for Australia’s warm summers.”
The ship’s guests will get to sample The Seafarer, a 225- litre barrel of Australian STARWARD whisky.
Aged for two years at STARWARD’s Port Melbourne distillery, the barrel was loaded onto Queen Elizabeth last February and has spent 12 months travelling 95,000 nautical miles around the globe on a unique ‘maturation journey’ to create a first-of-its-kind single malt whisky.
Australians can experience this rare whisky for themselves on board Queen Elizabeth during her season Down Under, and at STARWARD’s Port Melbourne distillery.
At 90,900 tonnes, Queen Elizabeth is the second largest ship ever to sail in Cunard’s fleet. Launched in 2010, she is also the youngest in the luxury cruise line’s current trio of Queens with features including more than 10 restaurants and cafés, a Games Deck featuring paddle tennis, croquet and bowls, a two-storey library, a ballroom and the three-deck Royal Court Theatre seating 800 guests and offering private boxes.
Cunard is a luxury British cruise line, renowned for creating unforgettable experiences around the world. Cunard has been a leading operator of passenger ships on the North Atlantic, since 1840, celebrating an incredible 175 years of operation in 2015. Pioneers in transatlantic journeys for generations, Cunard is world class. The Cunard experience is built on fine dining, hand-selected entertainment and outstanding service. From five-star restaurants and in-suite dining to inspiring guest speakers, the library and film screenings, every detail has been meticulously crafted to make the experience unforgettable. There are currently three Cunard ships, Queen Mary 2, Queen Elizabeth and Queen Victoria with destinations including Europe, the Caribbean, the Far East and Australia. In 2017, Cunard announced plans to add a fourth ship to its fleet that will be launched in 2022. This investment is part of the company’s ambitious plans for the future of Cunard globally and will be the first time since 1998 that Cunard will have four ships in simultaneous service. Cunard is based at Carnival House in Southampton and has been owned by Carnival Corporation since 1998.