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