(1:45 p.m. AEST) - For Queen Elizabeth's extended season down under next summer, Cunard's famous bellboys will swap their red and black uniforms for Aussie outfits designed by local fashion brands R.M.Williams and Akubra. While the new livery was not revealed today, crew modelled examples of the iconic Australian hats and dark red leather boots.
In another partnership with the cruise line, a 225-litre barrel of Starward's Australian whisky, to be known as The Seafarer, will spend 12 months sailing around the world on the ship's open decks and absorbing the salt air before it is opened next February at the start of its 2019 Australian season.
The Australian Dance Theatre will also be involved in Cunard's first special event cruise in local waters, featuring a performance of "The Beginning of Nature", as well as workshops and movement classes for passengers.
The four partnerships with "household names" are a first for the cruise line and demonstrate its commitment to Australia, according to Sture Myrmell, president of Carnival Australia.
Speaking onboard Queen Elizabeth this morning, he said: "These partnerships are designed to embrace Australian products and culture and celebrate Queen Elizabeth's 2019 season Down Under, which sets a new record for Cunard's current fleet of Queens."
Queen Elizabeth will be based in Australia for an unprecedented two months next year, with 27 different itineraries from Sydney and Melbourne. The following season, the ship is scheduled to return for 101 days, from December 2019 to March 2020.
--By Louise Goldsbury, Australia Editor