Up close and personal with the world's favourite cruise ship
The Queen Mary 2 is a remarkable feat of modern engineering. It offers a unique cruise experience and is the only ocean liner still in operation. Celebrating its 10th birthday in 2014, cruisesalefinder.com.au is raising a glass to this stunning self-sufficient city.
So, here are the top 10 facts you might not have known about Cunard's Queen Mary 2.
- She is the fastest passenger ship in operation today, with an open ocean speed of around 30 knots (56km/h).
- Passenger bookings are made years in advance and it is absolutely imperative that the voyage runs on time, due to the frequency of the ship's travels and the amount of work required to facilitate a smooth trip. The Queen Mary 2 can never be late.
- Four diesel generators and two gas turbines help power the vessel. The world's first four-pod propulsion system (Rolls-Royce), powered by a diesel electric system.
- Famous passengers have included former US President George H.W Bush, Tony Blair, Nelson Mandela, John Cleese and film director George Lucas.
- The flagship has travelled an estimated 1.5 million nautical miles and carried more than a million passengers in 10 years.
- Don't worry about a medical emergency, the on-board 11-bed Medical Centre is much like a mini-hospital. It has an X-ray machine and will take care of you. And while people are important, so are animals. Kennels are available (but only between Southampton, Hamburg and New York) for dogs and cats.
- As part of the entertainment, public speakers have included author Billy Bryson, BBC royal correspondent Jennie Bond, Lord Digby Jones and author Lynne Truss.
- The QM2 houses the biggest library and bookshop at sea, with around 8000 books, and the first-ever floating planetarium: Illuminations. And of course there's a 3D cinema and five swimming pools.
- The executive chef is kept quite busy. There are 16,000 meals a day, with around 150 tonnes of food on-board, including 65,000 fresh eggs, 3.3kg of Russian caviar and 75kg of lobster (all on Wedgwood crockery).
- The first-ever US copy of J.K. Rowling's book, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, was transported in a transatlantic crossing by the Queen Mary 2.
Want to take a closer look?
We took this exclusive aerial footage of the Queen Mary 2 while it was at rest at the port of Sydney's iconic Darling Harour. She was a stunning addition to the beautiful Sydney skyline, alongside the Harbour Bridge and Opera House. Just sit back and take it all in...