Queen Mary 2: Best vantage points

Aucklanders have a unique opportunity to see the Queen Mary 2 close up when the cruise ship arrives in the city on Monday, March 11.

At 345m long - about 50m longer than the berths at Princes or Queens Wharves - the Queen Mary 2 must berth within the commercial port.

Ports of Auckland has organised two free boat tours so Aucklanders can get a view of the transatlantic liner.

"We know Aucklanders love to see the Queen Mary 2 and having her berthed at Jellicoe wharf makes that difficult. A boat tour provides the perfect opportunity to get up close to the vessel while enjoying some time out in our beautiful harbour," Ports of Auckland chief executive Tony Gibson says.

The one-hour tours operated by 360 Discovery will depart from Pier 4 at the Ferry Terminal in Downtown Auckland at 11am and 12:30pm.

"The tours have proven more popular than anticipated. The 12:30pm tour was fully booked before we'd even had a chance to advertise it, so we decided to lay on an 11am tour as well," Mr Gibson says. "These are the only times 360 Discovery has a boat available."

Please call 360 Discovery on 09 307 8005 to book.

If you can't go on one of the tours, there are opportunities to view the vessel as she enters and departs the harbour. She will arrive at the pilot station, north of Rangitoto, around 6:30am making her way to Jellicoe wharf around 7:30am. She will depart at 10pm that night.

Good vantage points:

From 6:30am

Areas along the east cost of the North Shore as the ship rounds Rangitoto Island

Between 7:00am and 7:30am

Public walkway alongside the Fergusson container terminal (no parking available)

Fred Ambler Lookout, Gladstone Road, Parnell

Mt Victoria, North Head and Devonport Wharf on the North Shore

East Coast Bays beaches

The largest ship to visit New Zealand, the Queen Mary 2 will be carrying up to 2700 passengers and crew.

- The Aucklander

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