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Queen Mary II

Double the size of the former holder of the "Blue Riband of the Atlantic" Queen Mary, Queen Mary II is the largest liner ever built. At 150,000 grt, the ship will be the largest passenger ship ever built. It will also be the longest and widest. The new Queen Mary 2 will be the largest and most expensive passenger ship ever built. A claim previously made about at least two other Cunard Atlantic liners Lusitania and Queen Mary.

Previously the two largest passenger ships in the world were run by Royal Caribbean International Cruises. The Voyager of the Seas and the Explorer of the Seas are 1,020 feet long and 158 feet wide. Both have a gross tonnage of 140,000 tons and carry roughly 3,000 passengers and 2,000 crew members.

Mary II of England (April 30, 1662 - December 28, 1694), Queen of England, Scotland and Ireland, was the daughter of King James II and Anne Hyde. She would become the wife of William of Orange, and together they ruled from February 13, 1689 until Mary's death on December 28, 1694; their reign is usually known as that of "William and Mary".

The original design announced on 08 June 1998 called for an 84,000 ton, 2000 passenger liner, but Carnival's satisfaction with its 100,000+ ton Destiny class cruise ships and the obvious popularity of Royal Caribbean's US$500 million, 137,200 ton Voyager of the Seas, proved sufficient incentive to scale up the project. On 10 December 1998 Cunard's chairman announced details of Project Queen Mary, code name for the new liner. He said the new liner would compliment the Queen Elizabeth 2 on transatlantic crossings and cruise itineraries. Construction was to begin in 1999, with the liner in service by 2002. The main contenders to build the vessel were Kvaerner of Norway, Fincantieri of Italy, Meyer Werft of Germany and Chantiers de l'Atlantique of France.

On 06 November 2000 Cunard Line announced that a contract has been signed with Alstom Chantiers de l'Atlantique shipyard in Saint-Nazaire, France, to build the world's grandest and largest passenger vessel ever constructed, Queen Mary 2. The 150,000-ton ocean liner, which was expected to enter service in late 2003, will be built at a cost of approximately $780 million.

  • QM2 is more than twice as long as the Washington Monument is tall (550 ft)
  • QM2 is 147 feet longer than the Eiffel Tower is tall (984 ft)
  • QM2 is more than 3 times as long as Big Ben is high (310 ft)
  • QM2 is only 117 feet shorter than the Empire State Building is tall (1248 ft.)
  • QM2 is more than three times as long as St. Paul's Cathedral is tall (366 ft.)
  • QM2 is as long as 36 double-decker London buses (31 ft. each)

The Queen Mary II, the biggest and most luxurious passenger ship ever built, was to take to the seas for the first time 25 September 2003 for a series of tests ahead of her maiden voyage in January. The liner, the first Cunard ship to be assembled outside of Britain, left dock in the western French port of Saint-Nazaire for several trial runs between the off-shore islands of Ile d'Yeu and Belle-Ile.

French shipbuilder Chantiers de l'Atlantique - a subsidiary of troubled engineering giant Alstom, which was saved from near-bankruptcy this week by a state-backed 3.2-billion-euro (S$6.3 billion) rescue plan - is counting on the Queen Mary II to stand as a shining example of its technical expertise. Started in January 2002, work on the Queen Mary II finished in early December 2003.

The liner - which can accommodate some 2,600 passengers and 1,250 crew members - is 345 meters long and 41 meters wide, and stands as high as a 23-story building. The 150,000-ton vessel includes a spa, five swimming pools, 2,000 bathrooms, 3,000 telephones, 4,500 steps and hundreds of works of art. It generates enough power to provide electricity for a city of 300,000 residents. Cunard, owned by US cruise group Carnival, paid some US$800 million for the vessel.

By comparison, the Titanic was 883 feet long, 93 feet wide, and a gross tonnage of 45,000 tons. Titanic boasted a squash court, swimming pool, and a gymnasium with a mechanical horse. The Titanic could hold 3,500 passengers and crew members but carried life boats for just over 1,000.

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Page last modified: 07-07-2011 12:51:37 ZULU