Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
RMS Queen Mary 2
Queen Mary 2 Docked in Ft. Lauderdale, Jan 28 2004
|Ordered:||6 November 2000|
|Laid down:||4 July 2002|
|Launched:||25 September 2003|
|Christened:||8 January 2004|
|Maiden Voyage:||12 January 2004|
|Tonnage:||150,000 gross tons|
|Displacement:||76,000 tonnes (approx)|
|Length:||345 m (1,132 ft)|
|Beam:||41 m (135 ft) waterline, 45 m (147.5 ft) extreme (bridge wings)|
|Draft:||10 m (32 feet 10 in)|
|Height:||72 m (236.2 ft) keel to funnel (includes 17 passenger decks)|
|Power:||157,000 horsepower (117 MW) GE LM2500+ gas turbine/diesel electric plant|
|Propulsion:||Four 21.5 MW pods: 2 fixed and 2 azimuthing|
|Speed:||approximately 30 knots (56 km/h)|
|Complement:||2,620 passengers, 1,253 officers and crew|
|Cost:||UK£550 million (US$800 million)|
The Queen Mary 2 is a Cunard Line passenger ship named after the earlier Cunard liner Queen Mary, which was in turn named after Mary of Teck. At the time of her construction in 2003, the Queen Mary 2 was in every dimension the largest passenger ship ever built. However, she will lose this title to Royal Caribbean International's Freedom of the Seas in May 2006. Her luxuries include 15 restaurants and bars, five swimming pools, a casino, a ballroom, and a planetarium.
The Queen Mary 2 (QM2) is the current Cunard flagship and makes regular transatlantic crossings. The ship was constructed to replace the RMS Queen Elizabeth 2 (QE2), which was the Cunard flagship from 1969 to 2004. The first RMS Queen Mary sailed the Atlantic from 1936 to 1967.
The ship prefix "RMS" is affixed to the QM2, which used to stand for "Royal Mail Steamer," but which now stands for "Royal Mail Ship." The QM2 is not a steamship like her predecessors, but is powered by gas turbines and diesel generators which produce the power to drive her four electric motors. In addition, as with her predecessors, she is a transatlantic ocean liner, as opposed to a cruise ship.
While the QM2 is the largest passenger ship, there are larger ships. A 461 m supertanker, the Knock Nevis, built in 1979, currently holds the record for sheer size. Additionally, the U.S. Navy's USS Enterprise and Nimitz-class supercarriers all are considerably greater in displacement (85,400 to 105,000 tons).
Chronology of construction
Cunard completed a design for a new class of 84,000-ton, 2000-passenger liners on 8 June 1998, but upon comparing those specifications with Carnival Cruise Lines' 100,000-ton Destiny-class cruise ships and Royal Caribbean's 137,200-ton Voyager of the Seas, immediately enlarged them.
Six months later, on 10 December, Cunard released details of "Project Queen Mary," the project to develop a liner that would complement Queen Elizabeth 2. Aker Kværner of Norway, Fincantieri of Italy, Meyer Werft of Germany, and Chantiers de l'Atlantique of France were invited to bid on the project. If construction began immediately, the liner could be in service by 2002. However, it wasn't until 6 November 2000 that a contract was signed with Chantiers de l'Atlantique , a subsidiary of Alstom.
Her keel was laid down in July 2002 in Saint-Nazaire, France. The QM2 was launched on 21 March 2003 and began her sea trials on 25 September 2003, sailing between Saint-Nazaire and the off-shore islands of Ile d'Yeu and Belle-Ile . The final stages of construction were marred by a fatal accident on 15 November 2003 when a gangway collapsed under a group of shipyard workers and their relatives who had been invited to visit the vessel. About 30 people on the gangway fell over 15 m (50 ft); 22 were injured and 16, including a child, were killed.
Construction was completed on schedule. Cunard took delivery in Southampton, England on 26 December 2003, and on January 8 2004, the liner was christened Queen Mary 2 by her namesake's granddaughter, Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom.
On 12 January 2004, the QM2 set sail on her maiden voyage from Southampton, England to Fort Lauderdale, Florida in the United States, carrying 2,620 passengers. There is currently a sister ship slated to be made and will be known as the Queen Victoria.
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