Happy 15th Birthday, Queen Mary 2

Happy 15th Birthday, Queen Mary 2

Queen Mary 2 Keeps the Flame Alive

QM2’s Builder’s Plate.

In Mexico, a girl who is having her 15th birthday is called a quinceañera.

21 March 2003 marks Queen Mary 2’s 15th birthday, and it’s a time for celebration—a “fiesta de quince años”!

By being the only ocean liner maintaining a scheduled transatlantic service, Queen Mary 2 keeps the flame alive.

Queen Mary 2 was launched at the Chantiers de l’Atlantique shipyard in Saint-Nazaire, France. She continues to hold the record for the largest ocean liner ever built, although there are now other larger passenger ships constructed as cruise-only vessels. The Cunard Line flagship is, sadly, the only ocean liner currently running any form of scheduled point-to-point service (unlike a cruise ship that usually returns passengers back to their port of embarkation). Building on a tradition extending back over 175 years, Queen Mary 2 provides a civilized alternative to fast yet increasingly crowded, stressful and unhealthy airline travel.

Queen Mary 2 Keeps the Flame Alive

Dining in style.

The 148,528 GRT “QM2” is 1,132 feet long with a 147.5-foot beam. The superliner has  a rated maximum speed of 30 knots (far faster than typical modern cruise ships of her size), although she is rarely called upon to achieve such a pace. Queen Mary 2 is powered by four 21.5 MW Rolls-Royce/Alstom “Mermaid” electric propulsion pods: two fixed and two azimuthing. While Queen Mary 2 could easily operate as an express liner, there is virtually no market demand for such a service these days.

Trivia: Queen Mary 2 will never capture the Blue Riband from United States, since the latter accomplished the feat at an average speed of 34.51 knots.

Queen Mary 2 ’s facilities include 15 restaurants and bars, five swimming pools, a casino, a ballroom, a theatre and even a planetarium. There are also onboard kennels and a nursery. She is capable of carrying 2,620 passengers and 1,253 officers and crewmembers. Queen Mary 2 is arguably the most spectacular ocean liner ever built; an icon of 21st century ocean travel.

Trivia: Queen Mary 2’s overall height (236.2 feet) is limited by her need to pass under New York’s Verazzano Narrows Bridge.

Anyone who loves ocean liners should try to make at least one transatlantic crossing on Queen Mary 2. It is not like a cruise. It is an unforgettable experience.

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