Posts: 1962
Joined: Tue May 18, 1999 8:32 am

QM2 The End Of Hmmmm...

Wed Aug 02, 2000 1:48 pm

Airliners are interesting, that's why we're here. We're all little boys inside. But let's admit it. They have no soul. They're just wiseass creations. Metallic cylinders filled with theater seating. Perched precariously upon a tentative balance between gravity and lift, thrust and drag, all kept together by rivets and glue and computer calculations. Half the mass is just the fuel used to get you there. Like a moon rocket. Not much room for error. They get you from A to B. Fill in the customer survey card for complaints.

No fanfare. No confetti. No soul. When everything goes fine, they're boring as hell. When things aren't boring, they're terrifying as hell. And when they crash, there's no glory. It's just spam in a can.


Ocean liners, on the otherhand, are interesting too. But not just from a little boy's perspective. But from the traveller in all of us. They are also romantic, a place for adventure, and the setting for a great story, romantic, dramatic, or action. Whatever you want that story to be. And they have a soul. And if they sink, they become legend. If you're lucky and you survive, maybe you can play yourself in the motion picture.

When the Queen Mary 2 hits the water in 2003, she'll be replacing the QE2 on the transatlantic run. She won't be a garish, tacky, tasteless abomination of a cruise ship the likes of which we already have in spades to take dumbass Homer Simpsons down to the Carribean islands and back. A ship cruising around like pimp in a flashy Camaro. No sir. This ship is going to do the Atlantic crossing. A ship with a purpose. A ship that has a mission. Just like a real traveller. A real traveller has a mission.

I'm going to do my best to get on that maiden voyage. I'm going go out tomorrow and get a tuxedo measured to fit. From then on, I cross the pond this way and only this way. Money be damned. Who needs it? I'll win my ticket in a card game just before sailing.

We are all familar with the saying that "getting there is half the fun". Well, I can tell you this, they weren't talking about the Concorde.

CUNARD SIGNS LETTER OF INTENT FOR QUEEN MARY 2 $700 Million Liner Will Be The World's Longest, Largest Ever -- and the Fastest Cruise Liner Since QE2

Miami, March 9, 2000 Cunard Line announced today that the company has signed a letter of intent to build its super-liner Queen Mary 2 at the Alstom Chantiers de L'Atlantique shipyard in Saint-Nazaire, France. The liner is expected to be launched in the last quarter of 2003. Once launched, Queen Mary 2 is intended to fly the British flag, with her homeport being Southampton, England.

"The signing of this letter of intent is a significant milestone in the birth of this unique vessel, " said Micky Arison, Chairman and CEO of Carnival Corporation (NYSE:CCL), Cunard's parent company. "Over the last months, our vision of the first true ocean liner to be built in a generation has evolved from a dream to a detailed plan on paper. We are satisfied that the shipyard that created Normandie, France and other legendary liners has the capability to make that dream a reality."

Alstom Chantiers de L'Atlantique, which employs over 4000 workers in its facility, has a continuing record of delivering ships of unusual size and style. Recent projects at the yard resulted in large ships for the coastal cruising trade. However, it is entirely another matter to construct a purpose-built transatlantic liner. From the architect's plans to the nature of the steel plating that forms the skin of the hull, a liner differs in most details from the sorts of ships that have been built in the last three decades. Nonetheless, Alstom's officers are confident that their company represents the best choice for Cunard.

" We want to build this magnificent ship because of our history and because of our future," said Alstom Chantiers de L'Atlantique Chairman and CEO Patrick Boissier. "We understand the character of the ship they want to build, and we know how to build that kind of ship."

"The level of excitement and interest in this project is beyond anything we could have imagined," said Cunard Line President and CEO Larry Pimentel. "Queen Mary 2 seems to embody the public's renewed fascination with the romance of a bygone era of sea travel. Now that excitement and interest is being transformed into a tangible project, with dollars and cents attached to it. From the start, we believed that this project could be realized. Now we have agreed to the fundamentals of how we are going to make Queen Mary 2 not merely a reality, but a sound investment and a resounding success."

"QM2 will measure over 1130 feet in length," Pimentel continued, "That's just 117 feet shorter than the Empire State Building is tall. She'll tower nearly 21 stories in height from keel to masthead, with a gross registered tonnage of nearly 150,000 tons."

Pimentel stated that QM2 is expected to carry just 2800 guests, which is a very small complement for a ship of this size, and a guest-to-crew ratio of about two to one will enable a superb service standard.

"But aside from her sheer size," said Pimentel, "She is a marvel of innovative features, specifically designed for her. For instance, she will be propelled by the world's first four-pod ship propulsion system, utilizing two fixed and two rotating propulsion pods that will enable her to cruise at nearly thirty knots. Inside, she'll have all the dramatic features and grand scale that marked the great liners of the past, enhanced by the latest technology for comfort and convenience. The combination of all of these elements will produce the most luxurious ocean liner ever built."

A recent agreement with the City of Long Beach, California and its affiliates which operate the floating hotel Queen Mary has cleared the way for Cunard Line to use the name Queen Mary 2 for its new liner.

The final building agreement is subject to several conditions including the finalization of definitive contracts and financing.

Length: 345 meters / 1131 feet
Beam: 40 meters / 131 feet
Beam at Bridge Wings: 45 meters / 147.5 feet
Draft: 10 meters / 32 feet ten inches
Height (Keel to Funnel): 72 meters / 236.2 feet
Gross Registered Tonnage: Approximately 150,000 tons
Passengers: 2800
Crew: 1300 +
Top Speed: Approximately 30 knots (34.5 mph)
Power: 140,000 horsepower Environmentally friendly, gas turbine/diesel electric plant
Propulsion: Four pods of 20 MW each. 2 fixed and 2 azimuthing.
Strength: extra thick steel hull for strength and stability for Atlantic trade
Stabilizers: Two sets
Cost: Estimated 700 million dollars

Some comparisons:

QM2 is five times longer than Cunard's first ship, Britannia (230 ft.)
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 ½ 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 36 double-decker London buses (31 ½ ft. each)
QM2's whistle will be audible for ten miles.

For more information, call any travel agent or Cunard Line
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© 2000 Cunard Line. All Rights Reserved

This thing is going to be twice the size of the QE2. And four times the gross registered tonnage of the Titanic. Four times! And guess what? There's going to be lifeboat capacity for everyone!

I'm there, boys.


An optimist robs himself of the joy of being pleasantly surprised
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RE: QM2 The End Of Hmmmm...

Wed Aug 02, 2000 2:03 pm

what are you trying to say?

life wasn't worth the balance, or the crumpled paper it was written on
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RE: QM2 The End Of Hmmmm...

Wed Aug 02, 2000 2:14 pm


That is one IMPRESSIVE ship they have planned! Good Lord 1131 feet, can we Nimitz Class aircraft aircraft carrier size -and then some-?!

It will be an awesome sight to behold in New York Harbor, although I wonder if they have a dock large enough to handle it. (LOL)

As far as names go, Queen Mary 2 isnt bad and reflects a great lineage with Cunard but something like "Britannic" sticks out as something more British sounding along with emblazioning the Cunard-White Star heritage as well.

Maybe a potential sister ship name to the QM2? (G)

One ship that really was a sight to behold in books was the SS would be incredible to see a copy of that most beautiful ship France produced again. Not to steer away from the incredible "France" built in the 1960s (now "SS Norway" of course)..but the Normandie was simply a most beautiful piece of maritime architecture created.

I was in Philadelphia, PA in recent weeks on business and came across a most incredible scene as I traveled along the harbor/river front between the USS Olympia museum and the Philly Airport...the SS United States. The thing has the same powerplant as a Forrestal Class aircraft carrier inside it and explains why it caputred the coveted BlueRiband speed trophy in 1952.

It's in need of serious repair and I hope the owners are successful in getting the financial backing to restore her. I believe there is a website on the Net featuring the efforts to save the SS United States at Http://

Cheers from a fellow Ocean Liner 'Nut

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RE: QM2 The End Of Hmmmm...

Wed Aug 02, 2000 2:27 pm

Yes I agree, if I had the time and money and need to visit Europe, I would do that by ship.

It's nice to be able to spread out, but the airplane will always rule as the fastest way to get there.

I remember someone out there with a quote: (yell if I get it wrong)

"If you ever have the urge to be shot through the air at 600 miles an hour in a pressurized tube, just think of us here at UsAir."

The bread 'n butter of any transportation industry is getting the greatest number of people on board, and getting them from point A to point B as fast at they can. Whether that is in a 2000 passenger ship or a 400 passenger 747, it really makes no difference to them ($$$).

RE: QM2 The End Of Hmmmm...

Wed Aug 02, 2000 3:01 pm

Hey there Hmmmm...

I hear Cunard are offering a special package deal. You fly to Miami by Concorde to join the ship.


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Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2000 1:45 am


Wed Aug 02, 2000 3:22 pm

If you do not believe that airplanes have a soul, you really shouldn't call yourself an airliners fan.

Some may consider this strange, but I know there are others out there who will agree with me on what I am about to say. I used to work as a flight attendant, and every morning when I would go out to the plane I would run my hand along it's smooth belly, say "hi girl, how are you?" I would look down her long lines in admiration and imagine the air rushing past at mach 0.83.

"More gentle a caress than he had ever shown any woman." (my regards to Martha Ostenso).

Some other flight attendants and pilots would laugh at me or shake their heads. But that plane and I had a connection. We went a lot of places together, I knew the how she handled turbulence, what seat to sit in for the quietest flight, the little quirks, you know, those sort of things. You can say all you like but I will swear to you that airplanes have souls.

Read some of Richard Bach's books where he talks about the souls of aircraft. You will believe.

I loved my boeing, I really did, until someone bought her and took her away :..(


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RE: QM2 The End Of Hmmmm...

Wed Aug 02, 2000 6:32 pm

See you on the QM2, the most impressive piece of technic ever (to be) created by man. I´m sure, I´ll love that thing when I´ll see it finally like I´m a fan of the original Queen Mary since I´ve seen her in all its incredible grandeur.
But we are on here, aren´t we?
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RE: QM2 The End Of Hmmmm...

Wed Aug 02, 2000 7:08 pm

Ocean liners were my first love, but I've never been on one - looks like QM2 will be my first. Looks pretty impressive, although I don't think the Brits have had a really great liner since the Titanic / Olympic / Gigantic or maybe the QE / QM, but these were always outclassed by the continentals, specifically the Normandie / Ile de France et al - the French really knew how to go overboard, so to speak. The Italians too - as I said in a previous post (I think to Surf), my heart will always belong to the Andrea Doria.

Anyone else here ocean liner fans?

TWA902fly and Marair should be ashamed of themselves. Nasty idiots, judging by their contributions to this thread.
fly Saha Air 707s daily from Tehran's downtown Mehrabad to Mashhad, Kish Island and Ahwaz
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RE: QM2 The End Of Hmmmm...

Wed Aug 02, 2000 9:43 pm

Hey hmmmm...
very interesting topic. I agree with what you said...
"We're all little boys inside"..... but in a liner I would say we are all little boys running up and down    

I agree that flying is exciting, but, in my opinion, nothing beats the sea  

My dream is to cross the atlantic on a sailing boat (and watch the airliners passing by.....ha ha)

I wish you Godspeed , fair winds, and a following sea.

Best Regards,


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RE: QM2 The End Of Hmmmm...

Wed Aug 02, 2000 10:36 pm

Twice the size of the QE2. Wow. I've always wanted to cross the Atlantic on that.

RE: QM2 The End Of Hmmmm...

Thu Aug 03, 2000 1:05 am

YAHOO HMMMMMM! I LOVE Oceanliners!!! This past monday I was given a private tour of the QE2 and was loving every minute of it (including champagne and hor'doeuvre's in the Queens Room!!!) And for anyone who knows their ocean liner history, the CGT French Line NORMANDIE was the most beautiful ocean liner built, of all time!!! It's my all time favorite! Look flying on a British Airways or Singapore Airlines 747-400 in first class or even business is awesome and certainly the fastest way to go but NOTHING beats the elegance and grandeur of crossing the Atlantic on a *true* ocean liner (not cruise ships built for cruising and NOT crossing, there is a difference).
Don't forget to visit and stay aboard the Queen Mary in Long Beach, CA, the only art deco ocean liner from the 1930's still around...and have sunday brunch in the first class dining room (brunch is great)!!!
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How Does One Purchase A Ticket For This?

Thu Aug 03, 2000 4:07 am

Hey... how does one get in on this maden voyage? From where does she leave from?


- Neil Harrison

RE: QM2 The End Of Hmmmm...

Thu Aug 03, 2000 4:08 am

I don't think QM2 is replacing the QE2 on the transatlantic run. I think they are going to alternate. Harkens back to Cunards two ship North Atlanic express service with the Queen Mary and the Queen Elizabeth, as the Elizabeth was built as the Mary's running mate.
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RE: QM2 The End Of Hmmmm...

Thu Aug 03, 2000 5:37 am

I can assure you all that 1131 feet is really not that long, and the piers in New York Harbor are certainly big enough to handle it - at least some of them are.

The SS United States, the greatest liner ever to have sailed the ocean, which will never be outdone in terms of style and every other aspect of shipping, was 990 feet long and the Normandie is a lot longer than that. The Queen Elizabeth (the original, not the QE2) was 1100 feet in length too. 1131 feet is not really that long.

The QM2 may be a fantastic and amazing liner - and with any luck NOTHING like some of the leviathans sailing the Carribean, - or even the QE2 (sailed it, didn't like it from a True Liner pont of view) - but it wil never have the grace and style of the liners built before the Second World War, like the original Mary & Elizabeth, and the Leviathan and Berengaria. (Yes I do appreciate that the latter were well before WWII and were built in Germany...)

I hope Cunard can really reproduce the true luxury and style of the original liners on board their new QM2. But I doubt that it is possible. Technology of one type or another ensures that nothing will be exactly as it was on the originals. TVs should not be provided, but somehow I don't think that some Americans sailing the North Atlantic would put up with that. But I could! No phones, no computers, HEAVEN!


N 8 6 3 D A

RE: QM2 The End Of Hmmmm...

Thu Aug 03, 2000 6:12 am

Oh Puh-lease..the SS United States surpassing the Normandie in terms of style? It was so spare...and..DULL. It was just

Wasn't it only a two class ship, too?


RE: QM2 The End Of Hmmmm...

Thu Aug 03, 2000 6:38 am

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RE: QM2 The End Of Hmmmm...

Thu Aug 03, 2000 7:08 am


You really have something against two-class anythings, don't you?!?!   The United States was a three-class liner, to relieve your worries!

The Normandie was a fantastic liner and, I agree, incredibly stylish. The way it met its fate is a great shame, and largely due to the fact that no-one thought that water on-board might cause it to capsize. To let it burn might have meant it survived, but they didn't - and it didn't. Shame. Great liner. All the 30's liners (including the German ones) were and always will remain unsurpassed.


N 8 6 3 D A
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RE: MAC_Veteran

Thu Aug 03, 2000 7:34 am

Actually the name Britannic was already give to the sister ship of Titanic. Brittanic was sunk in Greece during WW2, most probably by a U-boat, but recently (1-2 years ago) the wreck was found and the first photos that were released were indicating that the explosion was from inside-out...... strange.
I heard that a diving expedition was going to be formated, but never heard anything else.

Fly jets and sail racing/cruisers  
And don't forget: the fate of the sailor is to sail upwind  
Godspeed, Fairwinds and a following sea to everybody.
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RE: QM2 The End Of Hmmmm...

Thu Aug 03, 2000 8:09 am

I see that I'm not the only one here that has a thingy for ocean liners. It's great to hear all the positive comments. And the enthusiasm for a different way of getting across the pond.

Now, I assumed that the QE2 would be on her way out only because I can't see two ocean liners serving the Atlantic trade. But the more the merrier. But I do think the QE2 will be relegated to cruising.

As far as her maiden voyage, that is undetermined at this time. They have not actually begun laying the keel yet. This news item was about the signed letter of intent. But barring any change of heart, I would say the Queen Mary 2 is a sure thing. They predict 2003 as the completion year, so add one year to that. That gives you 3-4 years to save up and get your tuxedo fitted. Or if you're a poor soul, that gives you enough ime to get good at cards.

(In the very room I am in now, I have a very old steamer trunk, almost identical to this one, that will be carrying my belongings when I travel!)

I agree that the Normandie was the best looking ocean liner ever. I hope that the Queen Mary 2 will reflect that look, and not the cruise ship look. Hopefully, her hull will be painted black in classic liner fashion with red from the waterline down. I think that is what Cunard has planned. I assume it's only going to have one funnel. Myself, I would make the profile a classic four-stacker. (The other three fake ones would house luxury suites.)

Much of the enthusiasm for this Queen Mary project was generated by the public's renewed fascination with ocean liners, as the article pointed out. And that, I believe, was generated by all the Titanica we've been enjoying during the '90s when there seemed to always be some documentary on A&E, or other channel, about the classic ocean liners of the 20th century, or about the Titanic in particular. And that enthusiasm was really stirred with the movie Titanic. Ironically, a movie about a great ship sinking seems to have made millions of people want to travel on one again.

For the first time.

It seems odd that we today can be nostalgic for a time in which none of us lived. But somehow millions of us long to go back to that time. I guess I'm one of those.

So Cunard is going to build the QM2. And it's very exciting for another reason. This is the first time since the '30s that an ocean liner billed as the world's biggest was built. The QE2 was smaller than the Queen Mary and the QE. After that there was a period of down scaling that eventually led to the death of the atlantic liner all together. Eventually, the Atlantic liner shrunk to about 150 feet long and only about 12 feet wide.

Now, as we enter the 21st century, we find ourselves going through a renaissance. Almost as if it was 1900 all over again and the gilded age was upon us once more. A time in which we are again building ships, and airplanes, of record breaking proportions with demonstrative adjectives such as Biggest, Longest, Most Luxurious. The last time we heard those labels was just after the turn of the century when the White Star line announced the Olympic, and her sister ships the Titanic and Brittanic. The Biggest. The longest. The Most Luxurious. It must have been an exciting time to be alive. And it seems as if we are going to get the chance to live through that era all over again. One hundred years later.

Which brings me to my question for the forum.

There is a law of hydrodynamics (motion through water) that states that as size increases to the cube, resistence in the water increases only to the square. So what that means in English is that as a ship increases in size, it can go faster, easier. That does not mean that a ship can go faster simply because it is bigger. What it does mean is that if a ship increases its mass by 40%, say, it can achieve the same speed without having to increase its propulsion power by 40%. A smaller increase in horsepower would do the trick. So what this means is that a larger ship is more efficient on the water than a smaller ship.

And it makes sense. A rowboat paddled by two men across the Atlantic wastes a lot of its energy just fighting waves. Not much energy left over for actual forward movement. Very little mass also means very little inertia.

Why am I telling you this? Well, with all the talk of a super airliner capable of carrying 1000 passengers across the oceans, I feel obligated to float the idea (pun intended) of doing the same thing. But by ship.

Naturally, a ship, even a very large one, can not skim
the water at a ground speed of 500 mph. But it wouldn’t have to in order to make economic sense. A ship like the QE2 can travel at 32 knts. Which is about 36 mph. A ship, say, five times the size could travel at 100 knts, say, or 112 mph, and still operate in a standard hydrodynamic fashion. Keel and rudder. No hydroplanes or hovercraft dynamics need apply. And 112 mph to a ship five times the size of an aircraft carrier would be very stable. In fact, the waves would barely be visible to the naked eye. Under normal seas, it could be the first ship in the world with a billiards room. LOL.

I calculate that a ship five times the mass of the QE2 could carry, in a mostly economy accommodation, 25,000 passengers. Few cabins. Mostly just sleeper seats, the size and comfort of a BA first class seat.

But you say, at 100 mph its groundspeed is still five times slower than a 747. Yes, but would it matter?

Think of it. If the ship departs New York at 24:00 hr GMT, it would take about 30 hours to cross the Atlantic to Southampton at 100 knts. In other words, one day + 6 hours. You arrive in Southampton at 06:00 GMT+ 1. One day is what we already allot for transatlantic journeys.

(In 1952, the SS United States, crossed the Atlantic in a record time of 3 days, 10 hours and 42 minutes, at 36 knts. A ground speed of 42 mph)

Even though the flight is only about 7 hours, jetlag consumes the rest of the day and we are left snoozing in our hotel trying to catch up. Meanwhile, 23 hours later, the mega ship arrives in port and its 25,000
passengers disembark, rested, fed, relaxed. Sure, to some, every hour is precious. For some among us, aircraft are the only mode of transportation.

But what about the rest? How many of us would take such a ship, spend the 30 hours onboard, and get there a day later, if we could cross the Atlantic for 1/3rd the cheapest airfare available today? That is why I’m posing this theory to you.

By some simple calculations, a ship making one run across the atlantic with 25,000 passengers aboard, in aircraft-style sleeper seats, with a few restaurants, shops, and a promenade deck for stretching (enclosed), could do so at a very economical price. Perhaps, for the cheapest seats, a transatlantic crossing might cost as little as $200 USD. Compare that to an airline ticket. An airline ticket that gets you there the day before, but several hundred dollars poorer.

So the question begs. What percentage of the flying public would chose a 30-hr crossing for $200 USD as opposed to a 7-hr crossing for $700 USD? I submit to you, that a large percentage of the current flying public, fly today because that is the only, and the cheapest, way to get across the atlantic. Especially for the millions of backpackers. College students. Immigrants. Young families. Seniors on pensions.
The unemployed?

The potential market is in the millions. And I submit that there is even a bigger market for those for whom even a cheap airline ticket is more than they can afford, and thus, do not travel transatlantic at all.

I believe that filling a 25,000-seat ship once a week, between New York and Southampton, could be quite possible, and quite lucrative. Sure, you still have to take the train to London, or to Paris, or to Berlin, but that could also be apart of the package price. What about LA to Tokyo? SFO to Singapore? The economies become greater at even larger distances. The ship takes 90 hours at sea. The plane takes one day and half. The ship economy price? 600USD. The aircraft economy price $2000 USD. The difference pays for your hotel stay.

Economies of scale like that open up all new possibilities for travel by a public constrained to the economies of air transportation. Not to mention the millions who don't fly at all because they are phobic. How’s that for a market? The mega ship gets every one of them. The airlines, as it is, get none.

That fills another ship.

If we take a look at transatlantic history we can see the reason why the airliners puts the ocean liners out of business 50 years ago. Economies of scale. The 707s and DC-8s could carry 120 people across the atlantic in 7 hours or so. For about $1,500 USD adjusted for inflation. The ocean liners charged only a bit less and they took 6 days to make the journey. But even before deregulation, by the early '60s, ocean liners like the QE were priced out of the economy market. Not because they became more expensive, but only because airfare became much cheaper with mass volume.

Air travel became cheaper, and faster. But most importantly, it was cheaper. So the airliners got the business and the queens of the sea were forlorn. Each of my parents came to Canada by ships in the mid '50s. My dad by himself looking for work, and my mother with her family (on the Stockholm) looking for a new life away from impoverished and decimated Europe.

Jet travel at that time was brand new and still for the rich. That is where we get the term the jet set. But by the early '60s, ocean liners could not keep with the increasing efficiencies of the economies of scale offered by the larger airplanes, flying into increasing larger airports, with increasingly more frequent schedules. Soon they were forced to abdicate their role as movers of the masses. As the airlines grew to huge sizes with multitudes of airliners, the economies of scale got better and better. And with the advent of the 747 wide body in 1970, just 10 years really after the decline of the ocean liner as the usual mode of transport for the masses, the airlines mastered the economy of transatlantic travel.

So the great liners were pulled from service. The Normandie caught fire in New York harbor, the QE became a floating university in Hong Kong Harbor which promptly also burned down, the SS United States awaits her fate in mouthballs, and the Queen Mary suffered the indignity of being moored in cement. To name the more notabley ones. And Cunard, the only major line still operating on the Atlantic, decided instead to become a luxury line acting as a pastime for the rich and the retired with their QE2. The rest is history.

But the same economies of scale can work again. In favor of the transatlantic ship. Remember the law of
hydrodynamics we mentioned? The bigger the ship gets, the more efficient it becomes. The more efficient it becomes, the faster the practical top speed can be. Make it big enough, and it can go fast enough, and it can do so while carrying a huge cargo of humanity.

In short, I propose that, at 100 knts, and 25,000 passengers in sleeper seats, the supership can get its revenge on the transatlantic airliner. Economies of scale at work once more.

What do you think? In theory, of course. Accept the premise for a moment and forget about the technical details such as draft limitations, harbor access, train connections, etc.. Would you ride a supership across the Atlantic for that kind of money? I believe that millions would go just for the allure of the experience.

But would it get your business? If a 30-hr transatlantic journey on an ocean liner could get you from America to England, or France, for $200 USD, would you forsake the airlines?

By the way, it would have the latest in state-of-the-art facilities and safety features. It would be practically unsinkable. Unsinkable, I say, my good man. (Well...better than an airliner anyway. If the rudder gets jammed, we just go around in circles. )

And lots of lifeboats. Enough for, at least, half the passengers.


Being a sentimentalist, I would power the ship the old fashion way. By coal-fed steam boilers. So I would need stokers to shovel the coal from the coal bunkers into the boilers. Is Marair working full time?
An optimist robs himself of the joy of being pleasantly surprised
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The Titanic

Thu Aug 03, 2000 8:39 am

I've always been sentimental about the Titanic. It sank on my birthday, April 14. However, my birthday was in 1981.

I love the movie and, I too, yearn for the days of the luxary liner.

However, I doubt your sleeper seat cattle car arrangement will fly over at Cunard. I think they'll be better off going with private cabins.  

- Neil Harrison
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RE: QM2 The End Of Hmmmm...

Thu Aug 03, 2000 8:49 am

Not a bad idea at all, but I guess it is impossible to be implemented. I think that theoretically your argument stands, but practically it has no chance. (and I am not getting to the technical problems... first of all, I think It would be impossible to get this ship moving )
My point is that for such an operation to be profitable it should be able to operate continuously... Some airlines in off-season they offer JFK-LHR for $250, and still they can not fill up their 747's.
How could you fill 25000 passengers on a mid october trip?
I would be the first to go with the liner, but I guess it won't have any chance (financially). Personally I would take a liner now if it was the same price with an airline. But it is not even close.......



P.S. Send me Marair's resume and I will see what I can do.  ............................ just kidding.
Marair be receptfull of some genuine sense of humor.

RE: QM2 The End Of Hmmmm...

Thu Aug 03, 2000 8:52 am

Well hmmmm, I DO love ocean liners but if i'm going to cross the Atlantic by ship, I really want a private cabin, with dining rooms and lounges, "smoking rooms" (okay well that's an anachronism these days practically, and - I dont smoke :P) I like your enthusiasm but I dont think 30 hours in an airline style sleeper seat, even the "suite" type, would allow people enough privacy. I mean I went almost as many hours on the train overnight from Portland, Oregon to Los Angeles, California in coach on "The Coast Starlight" and by the end of the trip, I was going CRAZY!!! Now if I travel overnight on the train I ALWAYS go first class and get a bedroom in a sleeping car. So, I don't know.....

Now, how about airships? Zepplins? Like the Hindenburg? (with non flammable lifting gas of course).
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RE: QM2 The End Of Hmmmm...

Thu Aug 03, 2000 9:51 am

Thanks for your comments.

While I agree that the market logistics would be radical, I'm not so sure the market is not there. Remember that those $250 fares to Europe are last minute things. And there aren't too many of those. As a rule, if you want to fly from New York to London, be prepared to pay about $700 USD for an advanced-paid ticket.

When People's Express started up in the late '70s after deregulation, they were stampeeded by the masses for their low fares. They even acquired 747s to handle the load. Of course, they were driven out of busines by the bigger carriers who absorbed losses just to kill People's Express. But they built it. And the people came.

If you could guarantee a seat, transatlantic, for $250 dollars, nobody knows how big that market could be. And don't forget the phobic flyer market. Make the ship's capacity 15,000 passengers if you will. Then change sleeper seats to basic cabins if you like.

Airliners have to make many crossings to make a buck. But as an ocean liner, the frequency would be once a week, or even bi-weekly. In theory, if Continental Airliners, say, could afford the luxury of flying all their transatlantic passengers in one shot, for the entire week, on one plane the size of a starship, they would make a lot more profit at the end of the year. Every flight has fixed costs attached. The more cattle you can jam into one craft, the more profit you make. That is the rational behind mass transportation. And the ocean liner is the grandest example of that.

The interesting thing about this mega ship notion is that since 1970, and the introduction of the wide body plane, the speed and size of airliners have not changed at all. It has remained stagnant for technical reasons.

However, the size and speed of an ocean liner can be increased many fold before reaching any theoritical limit. To make a plane go faster than current speeds, you get into a totally different price structure because of the technical challenges of shooting people at twice the speed of sound. Aircraft become less cost efficient as they pass that point.

Ocean liners, however, face no such immediate barrier. Their speed, and size, can be increased dramatically and doing so actually increases their efficiency. A larger ship, be default, will go faster. Make it faster, and fares will fall. The exact opposite dynamic of the airliner.

In theory, I think it could be done. With the right numbers. Well, look at it this way. It was done. Before jets took over in the '60s. But those aircraft were competing with 800-1,500 passenger vessels, and the speeds of those smaller vessels were 30 knts max. I believe a ship, configured with a mix of sleeper seats and cabins, travelling at 100 knts could give the airlines a scare.

Of course it will never happen. But we'll still have QM2.

An optimist robs himself of the joy of being pleasantly surprised
Tom in NO
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RE: QM2 The End Of Hmmmm...

Thu Aug 03, 2000 12:15 pm

I'm sure QM2 will be quite an engineering marvel, but (with all due respect to the good people who sailed on the Titanic), I am reminded of the following little saying.....

"The ark was built by amateurs, but the Titanic was built by professionals!".....

To quote Hmmm.........."hmmmmmmm"

Tom in NO (at MSY)
"The criminal ineptitude makes you furious"-Bruce Springsteen, after seeing firsthand the damage from Hurricane Katrina
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RE: QM2 The End Of Hmmmm...

Thu Aug 03, 2000 1:11 pm

That's funny. I don't recall saying that.

But, in fact, look at it the other way. The Titanic was designed and owned by the White Star Line. The Ark was designed and owned by God.

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RE: MAC_Veteran

Thu Aug 03, 2000 1:30 pm


Yeah I remember the recent National Geographic special on the RMS Britannic featuring Dr Bob Ballard, the same guy who found Titanic. Jacques Cousteau found it back in the 1970s and aired a special on Britannic as well. The wreck is in very solid shape and quite accessable. The long lived Olympic made it all the way until 1934 when it met the scrapper's torch. Not bad for a ship launched in 1910-11 timeframe.

What is odd is in the late 1930s, Britannic's name was used again on a much smaller, diesel powered two funneled ship. I believe that ship or it's twin sister met a watery grave during WW2.

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Thu Aug 03, 2000 4:05 pm

Hey this is an aviation site. You should start a spotters site for cruise liners.

for us aviation fans, we have to look forward to the Airbus A3XX....

687 passengers!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

a massive plane!!!!

Just think: if the new Q. Mary II ever breaks down they would have to send FOUR A3XX's to pick up all the passengers!!!!!!
Bruce Leibowitz - Jackson, MS (KJAN) - Canon 50D/100-400L IS lens
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RE: QM2 The End Of Hmmmm...

Thu Aug 03, 2000 7:50 pm

Mac_Veteran: I was mistaken : Actually it was the sister ship of the Titanic the Britannic that sunk on the Aegean Sea on 1916.
Quote from an excellent site about the Britannic exploration:

The Mystery of the Britannic's Sinking

On November 21, 1916, just over four and one half years after the loss of the Titanic and a little over 18 months after the torpedoing of the Lusitania, the British hospital ship HMHS Britannic was sunk. On her sixth voyage as she passed the Greek island of Kea, an unexplained explosion sent her to the bottom of the Aegean Sea in a mere 55 minutes. Despite some allegations that a German U-boat had deliberately torpedoed her, the largest British passenger ship at that time almost certainly had struck a mine. Or had she?

Although only 30 of the more than 1,000 hospital staff and crewmembers were killed, the loss of the ship caused considerable concern. Many survivors stipulated that they had seen torpedo tracks prior to the explosion, lending credence to the belief that the Britannic had not hit a mine but had in fact been the victim of German aggression. Also, despite the numerous and costly improvements after the loss of the Titanic, the Britannic sank with amazing rapidity.

In 1975, underwater explorer Jacques Cousteau located the Britannic in 400 feet of water. Closer inspection the following year revealed the wreck to be lying on its starboard side with a large hole visible in the port side through to the seabed. Interestingly, the steel plate around this hole was bent outward, despite the fact that the mine had reportedly detonated to starboard, leading to speculation that a secondary explosion from an unknown cause had occurred. Controversy persists as to whether this hospital ship was secretly carrying munitions or whether she was the innocent victim of a secondary explosion from another source.

Only additional exploration of this gigantic wreck can determine whether a torpedo or a mine initiated her descent to the bottom of the Aegean Sea. And, only careful study can determine if, in fact, a second explosion hastened her sinking.


RE: QM2 The End Of Hmmmm...

Thu Aug 03, 2000 8:03 pm


Another beautiful post. I am a loyal follower.

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RE: QM2 The End Of Hmmmm...

Fri Aug 04, 2000 1:26 am

Anyone know of the launch date for H.M.S. Mistress Camilla?

Wonder how many slot machines that one will have?

Just curious.

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RE: QM2 The End Of Hmmmm...

Fri Aug 04, 2000 3:06 am


Given that the Britannic was coal fired, I wonder if a coal dust explosion hastened the ships end? I think the area where the mine or torpedo went off was close to the coal bunkers. These types of explosions happened quite frequently and it doesnt take much to set one off. Imagine if the Britannic survived WW1 though? She would have been *quite* a sight and quite popular with the passengers. It could -conceivably- have made it all the way to the WW2 era serving as a troopship then, probably would have been converted to oil burning boilers during the 30s. Alas fate had other plans.

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RE: QM2 The End Of Hmmmm...

Fri Aug 04, 2000 3:48 am

Well said. That is what differentiates ships from airplanes. Ships over the time evolve to a personality, whether airplanes have evolved to commodities and remain anonymous workhorses.
With airliners I guess things are much more easier and less sentimental: They kill the "horses" when they get old, firstly because of safety reasons, but always because of underlying financial incentives.
Half of the people in this forum would praise the DC-10 the B727, are missing the 707, and hope that the Tristar will continue flying, but everyone would prefer to go with the 777 and the PTV's. I hope you got my point.
On the other hand, ships can sustain theit glory , but alas are subjected to fate as well

Best Regards

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RE: QM2 The End Of Hmmmm...

Sat Aug 05, 2000 8:50 am

The mystery of the sinking of the Lusitania in 1915 is probably not similar in dynamic to that of the Brittanic in 1916. Dr. Ballard's expedition to the wreck of the Lusitania a number of years ago faced the same question as others: Why did the Lusitania sink so fast, and why were there two explosions heard when only one torpedo was claimed to have been fired.

The Lusitania was just rounding the southern tip of Ireland on her way home to Southampton after a long journey across the Atlantic. In fact, she was just a few miles from the Irish shore when she was torpedoed. With her journey almost completed, her coal reserves were low. It seems that after the torpedo hit, coal dust was stirred up the almost empty coal bunkers, and that coal dust explosion was the secondary and more devastating explosion witnessed, and heard, by survivors and eyewitnesses ashore. As the coal bunkers were below the waterline, the ship was holed in a much more dramatic fashion than she should have been having only suffered one torpedo hit.

Ironically, life boat capacity for everyone was meaningless. She sank in mere minutes taking 1,198 passengers and crew with her.

The Brittanic struck a mine. That is now the consensus. But there were no reports of a second explosion. In fact, unlike the Lusitania, the Brittanic took her time, sinking in a bit over an hour. A coal dust explosin below the waterline would have sent her down in minutes.

Fortunately, the only people killed numbered 30, who were lowered in two lifeboats that were slashed by the still rotating propellers. Everyone else was rescued in time.

With all the enthusiasm for ocean liners here, I'm thinking that maybe I should start just for the fun of it and include a forum like this one.

What's your favorite ocean liner?
Who is better? Cunard or Sun Cruises?
Anyone here visit the bridge?
Which was better, the Normandie or the Ile de France?
Best color scheme on an ocean liner?
What was your worst steerage experience?
Breaking News! QE2 sinks!
Who's going on the Queen Mary 2?
New routes for YWG?

That is, if Johan doesn't beat me to it.


Thanks for your comments. Glad you enjoyed the thread, Mx5_Boy.

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Sat Aug 05, 2000 11:31 am


I was quite (positively) surprised to fin this topic here on and would of course support you in the foundation of by uploading some pictures (I met the Norway last summer in Oslo, the QE2 some years ago in Bremerhaven and New York etc etc....)  

BTW, whenever I am in the LAX area I stay at the "Hotel Queen Mary" which costs about the same as an average Holiday Inn, but offers a far more unique way of staying in LAX resp LGB. The old First Class cabins which now serve as hotel are incredible... you always have the feeling that the voyage would start any minute  

About the older liners : Do you know the book "Lost Liners"? I think it is a very interesting book about the reasons why ships sunk, it also contains a lot of interesting pictures, including an artists view of the entire wreck resting on the ground of the sea.

Best regards,

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RE: QM2 The End Of Hmmmm...

Sat Aug 05, 2000 12:50 pm

I went aboard the Queen Mary when I was near LAX. Amazing. Unfortunatly, I didn't stay there. I also have the book "Lost Liners." Its a great book.

RE: QM2 The End Of Hmmmm...

Sat Aug 05, 2000 12:58 pm

"...Set a course for adventure, you're mind on a new romance..."
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RE: QM2 The End Of Hmmmm...

Sat Aug 05, 2000 1:30 pm

...Love won't hurt anymore. It's an open smile on a friendly shore...

Ahhh....the '70s!
An optimist robs himself of the joy of being pleasantly surprised

RE: QM2 The End Of Hmmmm...

Sat Aug 05, 2000 1:43 pm


RE: QM2 The End Of Hmmmm...

Sat Aug 05, 2000 2:04 pm

She's a HUGE sucker.   I am so glad they are building her. I want the old fasioned Atlantic Crossings back, the days when we could sail on the Queen Mary, Olympic, Aquatania, Mauritania, Lusitania, Titanic, and all the others. And Aviation, can stay for the fast traveler. If I decide to go to England, I am going to sail in the cheapest statroom, and enjoy the voyage.

United 707  
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RE: QM2 The End Of Hmmmm...

Sat Aug 05, 2000 4:00 pm

That's the spirit, United 707.

You see. My mega ship idea is going to work. We've got the future in transatlantic travellers right here!

Build it and they will come.


An optimist robs himself of the joy of being pleasantly surprised

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