The Queen Mary 2, the largest ocean liner** ever built, is scheduled to cross the Atlantic Ocean from New York City to South Hampton in seven days, departing the Big Apple on Tuesday, August 28 and arriving in Southampton, England, on Tuesday, September 7.
And I’ll be on board.
There are larger ocean-going ships but the QM2 is the largest cruise liner (**see below) and by all reports one of the most elegant vessels on the high seas. If placed vertically next to the Empire State Building, it’d rise just over a 100-feet shy of New York’s most storied skyscraper.
Cunard Line, the company that operates the QM2, Cunard’s flagship, and her sister ships the Queen Elizabeth and the Queen Victoria, has been in continuous operation from 1840. My paternal grandparents arrived into the New World from Italy on a ship. With the barest of necessities on board—not quite the same level of luxuries as the QM2. That is the last time anyone in my family crossed the Atlantic by ship. I’ve always wanted to take the QM2 across the pond and I’m delighted to do it a century after the Salvatos established their family name in the U.S.
- Overwhelmingly straight (we hear that it’s gayer than you’d expect);
- Too formal (there are two balls planned during the week); or
- Too stuffy (the people in the photos sure look relaxed!).
**What’s the difference between ocean liners and cruise liners or ships? Turns out there’s a subtle but significant difference according to Cunard publicist Laruel Davis:
“A cruise liner/ship is made to do just that: cruise at lower speeds. An ocean liner such as Queen Mary 2 is made specifically to cut through major bodies of water such as the Atlantic at higher (read: non-cruise) speeds. This is why she, more than any other ship, is so well suited to regular Transatlantic service.