Elizabeth names French-built QMII
SOUTHAMPTON, England, Jan 8 (AFP) - Queen Elizabeth II formally named the Queen Mary 2, the world's biggest ocean liner, on Thursday ahead of its maiden transatlantic voyage to the United States.
“I name this ship Queen Mary 2. May God bless her and all who sail in her,” the British monarch said, before a hefty jeroboam of Veuve Cliquot champagne smashed against the spotlit starboard side of its black bow.
Horns blew in celebration, and the 2,000 invited guests broke into a triple chorus of “hip, hip, hurrah!”
Built in France for Cunard, the venerable British shipping line now owned by Carnival Corporation of the United States, the Queen Mary 2 is the first transatlantic liner to be built in over 30 years.
At 345 metres (1,132 feet), with 15 decks, the liner is longer than the largest US aircraft carrier, and it will be able to carry 2,600 passengers in the lap of luxury – with 1,250 crew to pamper them.
The mammoth 150,000-tonne vessel is scheduled to begin its 14-day maiden voyage, to Fort Lauderdale, Florida on Monday. The trip has sold out, as have those for its first Southampton-New York crossing in April.
Subject: France news