Tight security as QM2 arrives in Hamburg

19th July 2004, Comments 0 comments

19 July 2004, HAMBURG - The Queen Mary 2, the world's largest cruise ship, arrived in Hamburg Monday to the sound of tooting tugboats and cheering crowds and amid unusually tight security by German anti-terror forces.

19 July 2004

HAMBURG - The Queen Mary 2, the world's largest cruise ship, arrived in Hamburg Monday to the sound of tooting tugboats and cheering crowds and amid unusually tight security by German anti-terror forces.

Tugs blew their whistles and fireboats shot fountains of water into the air as the Cunard liner sailed majestically up the River Elbe from the North Sea shortly before 7am.

A crowd estimated at more than a quarter of a million jammed quays and docks along the river to catch a glimpse of the vessel. Waterfront pubs and restaurants were open early to toast the ship's arrival in Germany's largest port.

Hundreds of the ship's more than 2,600 passengers lined railings to wave to landlubbers as the vessel glided into its berth while a Dixieland band played When the Saints Go Marching In.

Police were out in force to screen for possible terrorist attacks, authorities said. Helicopters patrolled the skies, and a no-fly zone was set up over the port district.

Police boats patrolled the Elbe to ensure that small craft were not allowed near the ship during its 24-hour stay in Hamburg, its first stop on the continent of Europe since its maiden voyage to New York earlier this year.

Unlike previous visits of the Cunard line's Queen Elizabeth 2, no public tours of the new ship were to be available. No one was to be allowed aboard the ship without stringent security checks.

Following a day trip for passengers to Berlin, the QM2 is scheduled to leave for Southampton at about 7am Tuesday after taking on more passengers.

Completed earlier this year, the QM2 is the largest cruise liner at 345 metres in length and weighing 150,000 tons.

DPA

Subject: German news

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