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Queen Mary 2
The Queen Mary 2 is set to make its maiden voyage Monday.
(ABCNEWS.com)
Ship Shape
World's Largest Cruise Ship Set for First Transatlantic Luxury Voyage

ABCNEWS.com

S O U T H A M P T O N, England, Jan. 11 — As the Queen Mary 2 prepares for its maiden voyage, leaving England Monday for Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., the world's largest ocean liner has two kinds of admirers — the 2,600 people who have tickets, and the millions who don't and may not be able to afford them anyway.
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"We can't get up there," said Christie Taylor, an admiring bystander near the tightly guarded ship's berth in Southampton, England. "We can't get any closer."

As Britain's Queen Elizabeth II saw when she christened the ship named after her grandmother in Thursday, the $800 million "QM2" is more like a floating city, generating enough power to light a city of 300,000 people. The ship can carry 2,600 passengers, with a crew of 1,300.

‘Glamour and Aura … of the 1930's'

The QM2's owners are gambling that luxury travel will be in demand. Some passengers on the 14-day maiden voyage are paying $2,900 to cross the Atlantic in a room without a window. Others are paying $37,000 for a fancy suite. There is a ballroom, planetarium, 14 restaurants, a 1,000-seat theater and 24 massage parlors.

"Because of the size, we've been able to recreate the glamour and aura of the ships of the 1930s," said Stephen Pryor, the ship's chief architect.

It is the largest, longest, tallest and widest passenger ship ever built — almost as long as the Empire State Building is high, more than twice the length of Seattle's Space Needle, and longer than four football fields. It's a quarter of a mile from bow to stern.

"Ships are getting bigger for two reasons," said Jim Glab, a travel writer for CruiseMates.com. "Number one is economic — the more passengers per ship, the more revenue per sailing. And on the marketing side, surveys have shown that people want more things to do on board."

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