Queen Mary 2 Celebrates 10th Birthday In Southampton

10 January 2014, 06:00 | Updated: 10 January 2014, 06:23

Cunard’s flagship Queen Mary 2 celebrates her first ten years of service this year.

Since her spectacular naming by Her Majesty The Queen on 8 January 2004, Queen Mary 2 has undertaken a total of 419 voyages including over 200 Transatlantic Crossings and called at 182 ports in 60 countries.

Since becoming Cunard’s flagship on completion of her maiden transatlantic crossings in May 2004, Queen Mary 2 has remained unchallenged as the world’s largest, longest, tallest, widest and most expensive ocean liner ever built and the most famous and fastest passenger ship in operation today.

At 1,132 feet in length Queen Mary 2 would be taller, if stood on her stern, than the tallest building in Europe, the Shard in London, and would be over three times the height of St Paul’s Cathedral. Her 151,400 gross tonnage is the equivalent of nearly 19,000 London buses, and she boasts over four times as many rooms as the Dorchester hotel. She took a million hours to design, eight million hours to build and the one thousand miles of welding holding this amazing liner together would stretch from London to Moscow.

In her first ten years of service she’s sailed the equivalent of three times to the moon and back. She’s carried over 1.3 million guests, enough to fill Westminster Abbey 651 times. As well as human guests, over 2,000 dogs have travelled on Queen Mary 2, five times as many as in Battersea Dogs Home.

Looking after the guests on board Queen Mary 2 is what Cunard does best, and over the past decade the crew have served over 58 million meals, sufficient to feed the combined population of Hong Kong, Sydney, Cape Town and New York for an entire weekend. The 21.9 million cups of tea served on board to date would fill an Olympic swimming pool three times over. If the 2.7 million scones baked on board were stacked on top of each other, they’d reach 80 miles in height.

Cunard’s passengers have enjoyed almost 8,000 guest lectures, the equivalent of nearly a year’s continuous radio broadcast. And they love to celebrate on board too: the one and a quarter million bottles of champagne drunk since her launch would be enough to fill 200 world-record-breaking 7 metre high champagne waterfalls.

Queen Mary 2 will depart on her eighth World Cruise on 10 January 2014 when she and Queen Elizabeth sail together from Southampton after a fusillade of celebratory fireworks. The major 10th Anniversary celebrations will begin on 9 May 2014 when all three ships of the Cunard fleet will arrive together in their homeport of Southampton and sister ships Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth will salute the flagship’s first ten years. The day will feature special sail-pasts, a celebratory lunch and a spectacular send-off of fireworks as all three ships set sail together from Southampton that evening, with Queen Mary 2 leading the way. Further details about the day’s events planned will be forthcoming soon.

That day, 9 May 2014, Queen Mary 2 will set out of the first of two special commemorative Crossings to and then from New York that underline her role as the only passenger ship in the world maintaining a scheduled service across the Atlantic, something a Cunard ship has done since 1840.

Taking part in Cunard’s acclaimed ‘Insights’ speaker programme during the 9 – 16 May 2014 Crossing to New York will be two special individuals: Commodore Ron Warwick, who holds the distinction of being the first Master of Queen Mary 2, and Stephen Payne OBE, who was largely responsible for the overall design of the ship.  In their separate talks, they will present fascinating insights into the operation and construction of the world’s grandest ocean liner.

Both the Commodore and Stephen Payne will sail from New York to Southampton with Queen Mary 2 on the 16 – 23 May 2014 crossing, and will be joined by comedian Roy Walker as part of the entertainment line-up.

Fares for the 9 – 16 May Crossing to New York start from £1,279 per person including a one-way transatlantic flight and $80 on board spending money. Fares for the 16 – 23 May Crossing from New York to Southampton start from £1,249 per person, with the same benefits. Reservations can be made by contacting a local travel agent of calling 0843 374 0000.

Angus Struthers, Cunard’s Marketing Director, says:

“Since entering service in 2004, Queen Mary 2 has reigned supreme on the Atlantic and around the world, proudly carrying more than a million guests. She has attracted awards, accolades and admiration as the greatest ocean liner ever built for a decade and we intend to mark her first ten years of service in style.”