( dpa ) - Thousands of maritime history buffs were at Sydney Harbour on Sunday to witness the Queen Elizabeth 2 swap whistle blasts with the replacement in Cunard's cruising fleet, the Queen Victoria.
It was 30 years to the day since the QE2 first sailed into Sydney and the tryst with the Queen Victoria was to be the last before a final voyage to Dubai later this year and refurbishment into a floating hotel.
The brand-new Queen Victoria is at the halfway point of a maiden round-the-world voyage.
QE2 captain Ian McNaught said two regal ships passing the the night was an occasion not for sadness but for celebration.
"The QE2's been around the seas now for nearly 40 years. She's steamed six million miles, she's carried 2.5 million passengers," he said.