Carnival Corporation announced it has finalized a contract with France's Alstom Chantiers de l'Atlantique shipyard for the construction of the Queen Mary 2, a new 150,000- ton "liner-style" vessel for its Cunard Line unit. The largest ocean liner ever constructed, Queen Mary 2 will have a basis- two capacity of 2,620 and will be built at a cost of approximately $780 million (U.S.). Expected to enter service in late 2003, the Queen Mary 2 represents the first new ocean liner constructed in more than three decades.
At 1,132 feet long and 17 decks high, the vessel will stretch nearly four football fields in length with a height equal to a 23-story building. Queen Mary 2 will also have a beam of 135 feet, making it the longest and widest passenger ship ever constructed. Its unprecedented size provides for the widest variety of modern amenities and facilities aboard any ocean-going vessel. Nearly two years in the planning stages, Queen Mary 2 will be the most luxurious liner afloat and will set a new standard in seagoing vacations, with dramatic public spaces designed to evoke the style and elegance of the grand transatlantic era of ocean travel.
The vessel's numerous technological advancements will include a state-of- the-art MerMaid (TM) "podded" propulsion system comprised of two fixed and two rotating units allowing for easy maneuverability, along with a diesel and gas turbine power plant capable of creating 157,000 horsepower, which will enable the ship to sail at 30 knots, significantly faster than other cruise ships.