Matthew Parris Matthew Parris

What luck to spend the night on a Victorian coal steamer on Lake Titicaca

Dawn on Tuesday last week found me bobbing around in a small sailing boat in Sydney Harbour, yards from the wash of two of the world’s greatest liners: Cunard’s ocean liner Queen Mary 2, and the company’s enormous new cruise ship, the Queen Elizabeth.

Already a subscriber? Log in

Election special offer

The stage is set. Grab a front-row seat with The Spectator. Subscribe and get 3 months for just £3 – plus a free election mug.

  • Weekly delivery of the magazine
  • Unlimited access to our website and app
  • Spectator newsletters and podcasts
  • Our online archive, going back to 1828


Want to join the debate?

Only subscribers can comment. Sign up and – in the run-up to the election – you’ll get the next three months for just £3.

Already a subscriber? Log in