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Please Note: Cruise-Australia and my other related maritime sites are 100% non-commercial and privately owned sites. Be assured that I am NOT associated with any of the cruise companies nor any travel or cruise agencies, etc! The author has been in the Passenger Shipping industry for a very long time and although now semi-retired, but I am delighted to share all my knowledge with those who love to take their vacation by sea! Thus I continue to write on worthy Cruise Companies and their wonderful Ships in order to better to inform cruise and ship enthusiasts for their pleasure, but more so to ensure that you, my wonderful reader will make the best-informed choice possible!


MV Queen Mary 2

QM2 was for a very short time the world largest cruise ship

Photograph provided by Carnival Australia


From Birth to Reality

On Thursday January 08, 2004, her Royal Highness, Queen Elizabeth II said those all too familiar words at the naming of MV Queen Mary 2 … “I name this ship Queen Mary 2. May God bless her and all who sail in her,” then with the push of a button a hefty “Jeroboam of Veuve Cliquot” bottle of champagne smashed against the starboard side of the bow.

At the time the 151,400 GRT (Gross Registered Ton) QM2 was the largest, longest, tallest, widest, and the most expensive passenger ship ever built. She was built by Chantiers l'Atlantique Ship Yard’s at St Nazaire in France at a cost of a massive US$800 million. And once she had been fully completed and made ready to sail, she departed on her 14-day maiden cruise on Monday January 12, 2004

Cunard’s chief executive, Pamela Conover said, “Queen Mary 2 is the first transatlantic liner to be built in over 30 years and she is really a transatlantic liner built for the 21st century.” With the Queen Mary 2 sailing under the Red Ensign, the flag of the British merchant fleet, the British government said she is a symbol of the revival of the nation's once-mighty seafaring tradition.”

Since then she has undertaken a good number of Trans-Atlantic voyages as well as around the world and countless shorter cruises, and she has become a popular cruise ship with many, but especially with the Americans market! QM2 accommodates 2,600 passengers in the lap of luxury having a complement of 1,253 officers and crew. Although some call her a “liner,” her overall design is based on the modern Carnival style cruise ship, especially when we consider her hull which is a modified Carnival Vista Class hull, similar as those found on the smaller MV Queen Victoria, which does not have a dummy rounded stern section tacked onto her stern to make her look like a older style Cunarder, but it is a fake, like the black stripes on the forward superstructure which are to represent decks from a distance. All very American really, but then she is more American than British, considering that Carnival had a hand in her design! As a maritime historian, I certainly may not applaud her exterior design, however she is certainly a superb cruise ship and a popular one as many past passengers have sent me their cruise reports, and we certainly hail her as one of the fine hotels afloat and highly recommend this ship as a must try!

The Grand Lobby


Royal Court Theatre


Queens Lounge - Ballroom 


The Planetarium

QM2 offers a host of fine facilities, including expansive promenades and sweeping staircases running between her 15 decks, that rises some 74 metres above the water. She has no less than 10 restaurants, five swimming pools, and a planetarium. QM2 also boasts a ballroom, numerous bars, and a massive two-story theatre with seating for 1,000 patrons, a casino, gym, luxurious kennels for those pampered pooches (only on Trans-Atlantic crossings). The artwork onboard is estimated to be worth $A6.6 million. Passengers will pay from A$2,145 to more than A$49,500 for their passage in well-appointed accommodations, most of which have private balconies.


The photographs shown below provide just a small sample of the accommodations available on the QM2. But it does take you from the very best top of the ship to an inexpensive inside cabin, thus providing an overall picture of the comforts available. Some these days, are set on having a balcony, well great if you wish to spend the extra. Personally I am always happy with a window. Cabins up high in the ship are not always the best as those who sail frequently know. Thus, lower decks tend to be popular with frequent cruisers, and they chose a cabin amidships. They tend to be closer to all the ships venues and, OK, for those who are not the best sailors, it is the best spot on the ship! Choose an inside or outside cabin? Frankly, I know many who choose and inside cabin and save a great deal of money, meaning having done several cruises they can do another cruise. The idiom is, well you only sleep in there, and there is a great deal of truth in that. But, it is all up to personal preference. Mine is a window, and I feel a balcony is a waste of time. You usually get blown away anyway. I have had balconies on three cruises and hardly used then on each due to the wind factor, out of the many weeks I would have spent up to 8 hours on them. Not worth the money! The promenade and Lid decks are free and there are stewards running around ready to get me a drink at beck and call!

The Lounge of the Grand Duplex




Queen Mary Suite


Deluxe Balcony Stateroom 


A functional, but economical inside twin/double bedded room


Sheer Size

MV Queen Mary 2 is the successor of the magnificent Cunard liner RMS Queen Mary, which was built in Scotland and launched in 1936. She was named for the present queen’s grandmother; the wife of King George V. QM1 is easily recognised by its distinctive triple funnels and is now permanently berthed at Long Beach California, used as a convention centre, hotel, restaurant, entertainment and ritzy wedding venue.

The elegant Queen Mary was one of England’s greatest Liners - Seen here at Long Beach California

Image provided by “Hotel Queen Mary” Long Beach

Visit our RMS Queen Mary pages on


A size comparison between the RMS Queen Mary and MS Queen Mary 2

QM2’s sheer size allowed the creation of a variety of passenger spaces. This in turn allows for a world of diversity. Athletes will find one of the best-equipped playing fields anywhere. Sybarites can enjoy the rejuvenating treatments of the world-renowned Canyon Ranch SpaClub. If you are into health and fitness, there is a state-of-the-art gym including a separate weight room. Visit to the planetarium, a wine tasting seminar, or take a walk down history lane at the Maritime Quest Exhibit. QM2's is a veritable City at SeaTM. She is the liner of the future, yet has the touch of yesteryear.

Keeping Fit!


There is a fully equipped Gym and fitness Centre 


Pavilion Pool has a sliding glass roof as well as two Jacuzzis 

As stated earlier, personally, being a conservative, unlike the ex QE2 now in Dubai, I do not find her exteriors pleasing, as her hull design is based on ships already built for the other Carnival stable of ships, which includes Holland America Line, P&O Cruises UK, Princess Cruises and Costa Cruises, etc. However having said that, I believe that internally the QM2, is without a doubt a ship of the future setting new standards in luxury, offering an unequalled number of facilities of any luxury cruise ship today, but, please do not call her a liner, for she is not! Managements of modern cruise companies today have no shipping background whatsoever and they have no idea what the word liner means. I have been in the passenger shipping industry since 1960 and operated a cruise company in the seventies, and these modern so-called experts that come out of the hospitality, banking & marketing industry and frankly some continue to offend me! MV Queen Mary 2 and all other ships sailing today are “cruise ships,” even though they may make Atlantic crossings for short periods of time.

More Lounges, Bars & other public Rooms


Chart Room Bar


Chart Room Bar & lounge


Golden Lion Pub



There is a well-stocked Library


I left it to last, for there has to be one – the Casino




The magnificent two deck high - Britannia Restaurant 


The Queens Grill. This ultimate dinning experience comes at quite a cost!!!


Todd English Restaurant 


The elegant Asian Lotus Restaurant 



An impressive bow shot!


QM2 Specifications

Tonnes:                  151,400

Length:                   345 meters / 1,132 feet

Width:                    41 meters / 135 feet

Draft:                     10 meters / 32 feet 10 inches

Passengers:             2,620

Crew:                     1,253

Power:                    157,000 horsepower, environmentally friendly, gas turbine/diesel electric plant

Propulsion:             Four pods of 21.5 MW each; 2 fixed and 2 azimuthing

Speed:                   Max 30 knots (34.5 mph)


Interesting Facts


QM2 is five times longer than Cunard’s first ship, Britannia (230 ft.)

QM2 is 113 feet longer than the original Queen Mary

QM2 is more than twice as long as the Washington Monument is tall (550 ft.)

QM2 is 147 feet longer than the Eiffel Tower is tall (984 ft.)

QM2 is more than 3 times as long as Westminster Tower (Big Ben) is high (310 ft.)

QM2 is only 117 feet shorter than the Empire State Building is tall (1248 ft.)

QM2 is more than three times as long as St. Paul’s Cathedral is tall (366 ft.)

QM2 is as long as 41 double-decker London buses (31 ft. each)

QM2's whistle (taken from the original Queen Mary) is audible for up to 10 miles


A stern view of the QM2 and two of her pools 


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