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The Ocean Liner QE2's Fuel Consumption - smashing the myth!

The QE2 is often used in conversation as a way of saying "very large thing that moves"  This is because for many years she was just about the biggest and most famous passenger ship around.  She was certainly the most powerful.  One of the common misconceptions this brought about is the myth that QE2 can only travel 6 inches per gallon of fuel.  This is far from the truth.

In fact, per passenger, the QE2 is actually more efficient than travelling by my other favoured form of transport, the 2001-style MINI Cooper.

To dispel the myths I've decided to add this page in the hope that it will help people to obtain the real information.  I've also been e-mailed this question many times and this will save me typing a reply next time!

These figures are all based on her 1987 fitted Diesel-electric powerplant.  Her original steam-turbines were around 35% less efficient at her cruising speed).

At her cruising speed of 28.5 knots (she's the world's fastest liner) QE2:-

  • Can travel 50 feet per Gallon of fuel.
  • 0.00947 MPG (105.6 Gallons per Mile)
  • That's 18 MPG for each of her 1900 Passengers or 27.6 MPG if you include the 1015 crew
  • In US Terms: 15 or 23 MPG
  • In Metric Terms: 13.07 l/100km or 8.55 l/100km

At a cruising speed of 20 Knots
(This is more like the speed a normal cruise ship travels) QE2 is 2.5 times more fuel-efficient so...

  • Can travel 125 feet per Gallon
  • 0.023674 MPG (42.24 Gallons per Mile)
  • That's 45 MPG for each of her 1900 passengers or 69 MPG if you include the 1015 crew
  • In US Terms: 37.4 or 57.5 MPG
  • In Metric Terms:  6.28 or 3.41 l/100km



  • There are 5280 feet to a mile
  • There are 0.8327 Imperial Gallons to a US Gallon
  • Information sourced from


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