Queen Mary 2, “The Last Great Ocean Liner”, will maker her first and only 2016 stop in Newport, RI on Wednesday, September 28th.
Queen Mary 2 (QM2) is Cunard’s flagship and revered by many as the most magnificent ocean liner ever built, she has a capacity of 2,695 passengers and 1,253 officers and crew.
On Tuesday evening, the QM2 let What’sUpNewp know via Twitter and Facebook that she was departing New York, N.Y. and heading toward the City-By-The-Sea.
The QM2 was the first major ocean liner built since Queen Elizabeth 2 in 1969, the vessel she succeeded as flagship of the Cunard Line. The new ship was named Queen Mary 2 by Queen Elizabeth II in 2004 after the first RMS Queen Mary, completed in 1936. Queen Mary was in turn named after Mary of Teck, consort of King George V. With the retirement of Queen Elizabeth 2 from active duty in 2008, Queen Mary 2 is the only transatlantic ocean liner in service running between Southampton and New York, although the ship is often used for cruising, including an annual world cruise.
At the time of her construction in 2003 by Chantiers de l’Atlantique, Queen Mary 2 was the longest, widest, and tallest passenger ship ever built, and with her gross tonnage of 148,528 also the largest. She no longer holds this distinction after the construction of Royal Caribbean International’s 154,407 GT Freedom of the Seas in April 2006. Although later cruise ships are larger, Queen Mary 2 remains the largest ocean liner (as opposed to cruise ship) ever built.
Queen Mary 2’s facilities include fifteen restaurants and bars, five swimming pools, a casino, a ballroom, a theatre, and the first planetarium at sea. There are also kennels on board, as well as a nursery. Queen Mary 2 is one of the few ships afloat today to have remnants of a class system on board, most prominently seen in her dining options.
Queen Mary 2 has the Royal Mail Ship (RMS) title conferred on her, as a gesture to Cunard’s history, by Royal Mail when she entered service in 2004 on the Southampton to New York route.
Queen Mary 2 is not a steamship like many of her predecessors, but is powered primarily by four diesel engines, with two additional gas turbines used when extra power is required; this integrated electric propulsion configuration is used to produce the power to drive her four electric propulsion pods as well as powering the ship’s hotel services.
Like her predecessor Queen Elizabeth 2 she is built for crossing the Atlantic Ocean, though she is regularly used for cruising; in the winter season she cruises from New York to the Caribbean on ten or thirteen day tours. Queen Mary 2’s 30-knot (56 km/h; 35 mph) open ocean speed sets the ship apart from cruise ships, such as Oasis of the Seas, which has an average speed of 22.6 knots (41.9 km/h; 26.0 mph); QM2’s normal service speed is 26 knots (48 km/h; 30 mph)
Earlier this year, the Queen Mary 2 spent 25 days in dry dock for a refit that cost in the region of $132 million, renovating its staterooms, restaurants and public areas.