The iconic Queen Mary 2, the last ocean liner in service, is expected to dock in Durban soon, marking a historic event for the maritime industry. Operated by Carnival-owned Cunard Line, this majestic vessel has captured the imagination of travelers and enthusiasts worldwide .
Built to transport passengers and cargo on long-haul voyages, ocean liners have stronger and thicker hulls compared to their cruise ship counterparts. The Queen Mary 2, for instance, boasts a hull that is almost twice as thick as most standard cruise vessels. Additionally, the ship can reach speeds of up to 30 knots in open water, cutting through the waves in even rough seas. This design ensures a safer and more stable journey for its passengers .
The Queen Mary 2 resumed service after a 20-month pause, returning as the flagship of the Cunard fleet . Weighing 151,200 tons, the vessel can accommodate up to 2,620 passengers and 1,253 crew members, making it the largest, fastest, and most expensive ocean liner ever built. Constructed at a cost of £460 million, this marvel of maritime engineering has continued to awe those who set eyes on it .
Although ocean liners have largely been replaced by cruise ships, the Queen Mary 2’s scheduled docking in Durban will serve as a reminder of the golden age of maritime travel. This event is sure to draw enthusiasts from around the world who wish to experience the grandeur and legacy of the world’s last ocean liner.
Note: While the Queen Mary 2 is the last ocean liner in service, another vessel by the name of Queen Mary has also garnered attention in recent years. The former Southampton-based liner is currently undergoing critical repairs, with restoration costs estimated at over $23 million . This ocean liner, launched in 1934 and retired in 1967, has been docked in Long Beach harbor and serves as a tourist attraction .