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Cunard Queen Mary 2 (QM2)

The ship nobody thought they'd make... a real transatlantic ocean liner, now the only one left, the replacement for the 1969 QE2.


The Queen Mary 2 is unique.  She is the only transatlantic ocean liner left in service.  She is huge, fast, strong and has numerous unique aspects to her design that define her as an ocean liner rather than just a cruise ship.  She is the longest, widest, fastest, most powerful and most expensive passenger ship afloat.  She is a worthy successor to the 3 legendary earlier Queens.

Queen Mary 2 leaves shipyard for the final time, December 22nd 2003.  Photo from


The beginning...

After arriving in her home port of Southampton on Boxing Day 2003, Queen Mary 2 was named by the Queen on the 8th of January before setting out on her maiden voyage to Florida on the 12th.  She and her sister ship the Queen Elizabeth 2, were the only 2 true ocean Liners left in the world.

In 2004 the two "Queens" came together in a sight not seen since the 1960s:
two high-speed ocean liners, whistles blaring, together in the mid-Atlantic"

QM2's first eastbound Atlantic crossing was on April 25, 2004, when she sailed from New York. And it was a day to witness: With running mate QE2 in the lead to show her the way, the pair departed the Manhattan piers in the afternoon of what was the QE2's last scheduled Atlantic crossing to England. Somewhere mid-Atlantic, the two Cunarders closed the distance between them and the flagship role so long held by the QE2 was symbolically passed to the QM2, which then led her older sister into Southampton.

Detailed Cutaway picture
Click to see large-detail picture.
Detailed side profile

Rob's QM2 Fast Facts:-

  • Twice the size of QE2 - even though QE2 was for many years the largest in the world!
  • The first real Ocean Liner since the late 1960s QE2 (far stronger, faster and more capable than a cruise ship)
  • Cost 40% more than a cruise ship of the same size.
  • When built she was the world's Longest, Largest , tallest, most expensive passenger ship ever  (over 150,000 tonnes and over 1130 feet long)
  • The fastest liner in the world today - a title she inherited from the QE2 when QE2 retired in November 2008.

  • Not as fast as her 1930s predecessor, or as luxurious and only slightly longer (but much higher and wider)

  • Features an exact replica of the Queen Mary's whistle, together with one of the original whistles, so that she can be heard on the ocean again (although the original had 3 and they were steam driven not air!).  Note - they sound weird to me though... but nobody's explained why... QE2 sounded far better.
  • Far more manoeuvrable than the QE2.
  • Efficient and environmentally friendly with low emissions to air and water
  • Won't do as many transatlantic crossings as the QE2 did, or as fast as QE2 and her predecessors did them and can't fit through the Panama Canal so can't do world cruises the way that the QE2 did.
  • Has 4 giant propulsion 'pods', more than any other ship and larger than any other ship too.
  • 29 knots takes 7 minutes to achieve from rest and she takes 45 minutes to drift to a standstill from that speed.


Some Early artist's impressions:-

Early artists impression
The Queen Mary 2

To give you some idea of the immense size


"I'm Ready to go home now"
Queen Mary 2 leaves St. Nazaire, December 2003
Photo from Photo from Photo from

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Recommended Reading

Websites full of information and actual photos:-


Last update to this page : May 04, 2010

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