Queen Mary 2 (Cunard Line)
Queen Mary 2 is the flagship of the Cunard Line fleet. She is the only ocean liner in existence that performs a scheduled transatlantic crossing several times a year. She replaced the Cunard flagship, Queen Elizabeth 2 which retired in 2008.
She is much bigger than her two younger sisters and has a longer bow with straighter lines for crossing the Atlantic Ocean. She has four azipods, two of which are fixed and two which can rotate 360° which combined with her three bow thrusters allow her to manoeuvre in and out of most ports without the assistance from any tugs.
Queen Mary 2 is on the bucket list for many people allover the world and no wonder – she combines the classic elegance of the old ocean liners with today’s modern technology and benefits. With her four stabilisers she can cross the Atlantic Ocean in as little as six days in rough seas with only the smallest of movements as her heavy bow cuts through the waves. She has huge amounts of facilities available aboard to keep you entertained during voyages from fencing classes and ballroom dancing to the only planetarium at sea and recently her cinema was upgraded to allow the showing of 3D films.
She has four categories of accommodation. Britannia, Britannia Club, Princess Grill and Queen’s Grill. All four classes have separate restaurants and Princess and Queen’s Grill passengers have their own separate private deck with their own whirlpool and butler service.
She has a full wrap around deck which allows passengers to walk (or run) the entire way around the ship, it is traditional and all in teak. As the ship is so big her decks are extremely wide which allows people to use the sun-loungers (also teak) whilst people stroll by.
Queen Mary 2 has a ballroom and a classic British Winter Garden venue. She caters mainly to the British but has very strong followings from American, Australians and especially German customers who flock to the banks of the River Elbe in Hamburg every time she visits.
Her restaurants encompass a traditional buffet, called King’s Court which in the evenings is split into four different cuisines and has a special chef’s restaurant allowing passengers to watch their food be cooked before they eat it. There is also the Main Dining Room and within it a separate restaurant for the Britannia Club passengers. The Princess and Queen’s Grill passengers both have their own separate restaurants and there is also food available in the Golden Lion Pub and the various cafes.
Queen Mary 2 is unlike most cruise ships and you have to experience her to feel the true power of an ocean liner. The fabled transatlantic crossing is her speciality and should be tried at least once by every serious cruiser out there!
|Cruise Line||Cunard Line|
|Ships in class||
|Ship Length||345.03 m (1132 ft)|
|Ship Beam||39.93 m (131 ft)|
|Ship Draft||9.75 m (32 ft)|
|No. of decks||17|
|Service Speed||24 knots|
|Registry Port||Hamilton, Bermuda|
|Home Port||Southampton, UK|
|Build Date||July 2002|
|Build Cost||£460 million GBP|
|Entered Service||January 2004|
|Last refit||June 2016 (dry dock, extra staterooms, £90m+ spend)|
|Next refit||October 2021|
Ship deck plans
Queen Mary 2 was announced to the world in June 1999 by a very excited Carnival. Five years later, she took her maiden voyage in January 2004.
In 2009, Queen Mary 2 celebrated her 5th Birthday by sailing around the United Kingdom on a 10 night anniversary cruise. She got special permission to sail fairly to close to the shore of most of the coast line and local papers up and down the country reported the amazing site of the ocean liner just a few miles off their coastlines. At each port she had fireworks and bands play to welcome her and watch her sail away.
She has performed a number of world cruises with one interesting one in 2011 where she had to change two ports of call because of natural disasters; The Christchurch Earthquake and the Japanese Tsunami. In her 2012 World Cruise she did her first ever circumnavigation of Australia. This sector of the World Cruise was sold out many months in advance of her even setting off from Southampton.
In November of 2011 she sailed to Hamburg for a dry dock and her biggest refit yet. Cunard replaced the carpet in all of the staterooms and totally refurbished The Golden Lion Pub. At this time she also changed her port of registration from Southampton to Hamilton like her sisters had done just a few months earlier. This marked the end of 170 years of British Cunard ships and although some people were vocal about it, it hasn’t changed how any of the three ships operate day to day.
In June 2012 she met up with both her sisters for the second time (it was first time at Southampton) to celebrate The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. All three ships performed a bow to bow salute and crew stood on the fore deck whilst all three ships signalled each other with their whistles. In the evening they performed the same routine with fireworks before each setting off on their separate cruises with Queen Mary 2 leading the way.
In May 2016, shortly after returning from her World Cruise she undertook a 25-day long dry dock at the Bloss+Vohm shipyard in Hamburg. Billed as “QM2 Remastered” over 200 tonnes of extra steel work were added and 30 new staterooms on the top deck. Additionally, several bars and restaurants were reconfigured and the entire project had a budget of £90 million GBP. All staterooms are due to be refurbished throughout 2016 – with all Queen’s and Princess Grills staterooms complete by the time she left dry dock. During the 25 days the ship had over 2,600 contractors working on her!