An Atlantic crossing on the Queen Elizabeth 2 is as close as you can get to reliving the great liners of the last 100 or so years of thriving ocean travel. Indeed, the QE2 is a piece of this past, born of the nearly160 years of experience and tradition that Sir Samuel Cunard first began with his Britannia in 1840 and developed with the grand accomplishments that were the Aquitania, Lusitania and Mauretania just to name a few of my favorites.

But the "Queen" as she is sometimes affectionately called, is much more than just her history. She is modern technology, she is powerful and efficient engineering, she is the finest of dining experiences, she is elegant gatherings, she is the sum of all her facilities... but most of all, she is the fine people who keep her traversing the north Atlantic and the entire world. She is the man who touches up her paint, she is the woman who vacuums the corridors, the waiter who brings your champagne, she is the engineer, the navigator, the chef, the penthouse butler, the purser. She is an entity who lives in the heart of anyone who has sailed on her. And I am one of those. She is inspiring, as you might guess.

From embarkation in Southampton to our arrival in New York six days later, this was the finest, most exciting, most wonderful journey I have ever taken. My review, in detail of the crossing is here if you'd care for something more in depth.

The Queen Elizabeth 2 crest.   She is owned and operated by Cunard Line, Ltd.

Trademark Cunard White Star 1998.   NONE of the information or opinions on these pages are in any way solicited and are entirely my own.

The QE2:

is 963 feet long,
205 feet 4 inches tall to the top of her mast,
116 feet 10 inches wide at her bridge wings
has 13 decks and 995 staterooms
carries 1500 passengers
weighs 70,327 gross tons
forward 2 anchors weigh 12.5 tons each
aft anchor weighs 7.25 tons
has two propellers, 22 feet in diameter, 42 tons each

drafts 33 feet 7.5 inches fully laden
carries 4,808.7 metric tons of fuel
has 9 MAN 9-cylinder medium speed turbo-charged diesel engines
produces more than 120,000 horsepower
had to have her funnel removed to install the new MAN engines in 1986
has a service speed of 28.5 knots
top speed is 33 knots

can go 20 knots in reverse
can go from 30 knots to a complete stop in 3 min 42 sec in 3/4 mile

clears the Panama canal by a maximum of 30 inches per side
keel laid 5 July 1965
was launched 20 Sept 1967
maiden voyage 2 May 1969 (to New York)
was built by John Brown of Clydebank for $70.8 million USD
served as a troopship in the Falklands War in 1982
port of registry: Southampton

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All photographs taken by Nancy Smith © 1998
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