The Queen Mary 2 Web Site
The Queen Mary 2

Queen Mary 2

Since the 4th of July 1840 Cunard has afforded sophisticated travellers an opportunity to roam the oceans in luxury aboard nearly 200 liners.  Dramatic, elegant and fascinating, their magnificent ships continue to set the quintessential standards for sea travel.

Cunard first announced a study to replace the Queen Elizabeth 2 with a brand new liner in April 1990.  Now, after more than eleven years of tantalising media releases, their firm commitment to commission a new flagship has proven to be interesting news for aficionados of all things maritime.

It was only reasonable to expect to see something fairly spectacular eventuate when the Miami based Carnival Corporation came up with US$500 million for a majority holding in the upmarket Cunard brand back in early 1998, but at US$780 million or 538 million (nearly a year's profit for Carnival), why is the new liner so expensive?

The "Luxury Seeker" currently accounts for 14% of the North American cruise market. In 2001 this represents more than a million potential passengers who are willing to spend whatever it takes to secure the most luxurious available accommodation and service.

Most of this market segment won't have experienced the heady days of express liner travel and with no comparison, the Queen Mary 2 has got to be glamorous and elegant.  A class act on this scale involves parting with serious lucre.

Background

A sea cruise used to be a luxury item, like fur coats and lobster, but Carnival founder, the late Ted Arison turned it into a product affordable by the middle classes.   As all those folk born in the years immediately after World War II have begun to reach middle age with spare cash and the time to spend it and bookings to the Caribbean, the Mediterranean and Alaska have soared.

Starting out with the former Empress of Canada (left) in 1972, he created the largest cruise line conglomerate the world has ever seen, with a fleet that now includes 48 ships with another 16, worth an estimated US$7 billion, on order.  The mantle now rests with his elder son Micky, 50 (with the help of another ten members of the Arison family on Carnival's Board).

Speculations

Cunard's third generation parent company, the Carnival Corporation  is currently building a new terminal adjacent to the original Queen Mary.  The cost of the terminal, which is expected to take up to 18 months to build, is estimated at US$35 million.  Click on the thumbnail for the big picture.

Accordingly, it's quite possible that in four years time we may well witness a very special maritime event (and a great photo opportunity) when three generations of Cunard Queens come together at Long Beach, California.

The following year could see the delivery of yet another Queen, which has been tentatively named the Queen Victoria, as was the original Queen Mary.  By then the ageing Queen Elizabeth 2 will be pushing forty and at the end of her economic life span as a cruise liner.  Thus the Queen Mary 2's newer sister ship could enter service as the Queen Elizabeth 3.

It's not unreasonable to speculate that the Queen Elizabeth 2 could possibly retire as another major attraction at Long Beach.

The changing global climate is creating greater extremes in weather patterns in the Caribbean and this could eventually impact on the cruising season in that area.  Carnival's significant investment in a Pacific operation base at Long Beach could be in anticipation of that change, the predicted focus of the global economy on the Pacific rim in the new century and the still untapped Asian cruise market.

A retired Queen Elizabeth 2 and the first Queen Mary (both offering hotel accommodation with conference and exhibition attractions as part of the new Queensway Bay entertainment and shopping complex) could prove an attractive lure in the combined US $195 billion a year cruise, meeting & conference and vacation, tourism, resort markets.

QM2's Captain

"As a small boy, visiting my father on the stately Queen Elizabeth, I never imagined that one day I, too, would be the Master of a legendary Cunarder".

Captain Ronald W. Warwick is the first master of the new Queen Mary 2.

Captain Warwick made shipping history by sailing in command of the same liner that his father, the late Commodore W. E. Warwick, 1912-99, (right) commanded. The elder Warwick was the first master of the Queen Elizabeth 2 in 1969 and captained the ship until his retirement in 1972, he was the only man to captain all three Queens.  The captains Warwick served together, but it was only for one day.

Webcams

We're probably still a few years away from a live Queen Mary 2 webcam but in the meantime you can enjoy a view from the bridge of the 109,000 ton P&O Grand Princess (left) via its 180 azimuthing webcam or even the three webcams aboard the 137,300 ton Voyager of the Seas (right).  Alternatively, get a captain's eye view from the bridge of the 76,000 ton, Aurora (below). The webcam image is updated once every minute when the ship is in satellite contact.

For information about the Queen Mary2 please try these links:

CUNARD LINE

 CRUISEWEB

 



This logo is a registered trademark of Cunard Line Limited.
It was originally granted by Royal Patent to Sir Samuel Cunard, first Baronet of Nova Scotia
as the trade mark of the Royal Mail Steam Packet Company
successors to A. Cunard & Son, founded 1813.


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