Queen Mary 2 or QM2 is the largest passenger ship ever built. The ship has a nightclub, a spa, a wine bar, 15 restaurants and bars, a library, and a planetarium. The ship is 1,132 feet long, has the capacity to carry 2,620 passengers, and weighs about 151,400 tons. The maiden voyage on January 14, 2004 made history, and the project was such a success that it was awarded a maritime Oscar from Berlitz in their 2005 guide to Ocean Cruising and Cruise Ships.
The project was announced by Cunard on June 8, 1998 and the original plan called for an 84,000 ton and 2,000 passenger liner. Stephen Payne was hired as the project manager to head the project. In late 1999 there was sufficient incentive to scale up the Queen Mary Project, which would push back delivery dates. Later in March of 99', Cunard announces the letter of intent to build the liner at Chantiers de L'Atlantique shipyard in Saint-Nazaire, France. It was expected to be launched at the end quarter of 2003 and cost nearly US$780 million dollars.
Designing the vessel was going according to plan and, a scale model tank test was conducted on a fifteen foot QM2 to simulate hurricane conditions. The liner reacted well and the results pleased the designers, engineers, and executives. There was reason for concern following the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. A company that was investing heavily in the liner nearly became bankrupt and rumors were going around about the project being halted. In October, it was reaffirmed that the vessel project will still go on and the finishing date will remain the same as before.
On January 16, 2002, Cunard's Line's president Pamela Conover made history by pressing a button that cut the first sheet of steel in the construction of QM2. On June 11th, 2002 Queen Mary Itineraries were announced for the first voyage, and the tickets were immediately sold out, which exceeded all of the expectations. The scheduled date for the QM2 to...