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RMS Queen Mary 2


jocap
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I was looking at an AIS map, and saw that QM2 is crossing from Southampton to New York.

I have a vague memory of a cruise ship lecturer saying that she had the RMS because she carried the Royal Mail.

Does she still carry mail? Doesn't it all fly these days? If she doesn't, does she loose the RMS?

Also, I think the lecture mentioned that QM2 is the only liner left, because she sails on a particular line across oceans.

I thought she was a liner because of her specifications... am I wrong? Would this not apply to other cruise ships which just go on one particular route?

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43 minutes ago, jocap said:

I was looking at an AIS map, and saw that QM2 is crossing from Southampton to New York.

I have a vague memory of a cruise ship lecturer saying that she had the RMS because she carried the Royal Mail.

Does she still carry mail? Doesn't it all fly these days? If she doesn't, does she loose the RMS?

Also, I think the lecture mentioned that QM2 is the only liner left, because she sails on a particular line across oceans.

I thought she was a liner because of her specifications... am I wrong? Would this not apply to other cruise ships which just go on one particular route?

Ocean liner and not a cruise ship.  Being built as a ocean Liner requires about 40% more steel. 

 Wiki says.

Queen Mary 2 is the flagship of Cunard Line. The ship was constructed for eventual replacement of the aging Queen Elizabeth 2, the Cunard flagship from 1969 to 2004 and the last major ocean liner built before the construction of Queen Mary 2. Queen Mary 2 had the Royal Mail Ship (RMS) title conferred on her by Royal Mailwhen the ship entered service in 2004 on the Southampton to New York route, as a gesture to Cunard's history.[14]

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39 minutes ago, jocap said:

I was looking at an AIS map, and saw that QM2 is crossing from Southampton to New York.

I have a vague memory of a cruise ship lecturer saying that she had the RMS because she carried the Royal Mail.

Does she still carry mail? Doesn't it all fly these days? If she doesn't, does she loose the RMS?

Also, I think the lecture mentioned that QM2 is the only liner left, because she sails on a particular line across oceans.

I thought she was a liner because of her specifications... am I wrong? Would this not apply to other cruise ships which just go on one particular route?

I understand that QM2 was given the RMS designation by UK’s Royal Mail in recognition of Cunard’s history - so it would probably continue even if she no longer carried mail.

 

She was built as a liner - more steel in her hull for strength, and a deep “V” hull (vs the flat bottom of modern cruise ships) to better handle the North Atlantic crossings which remain a significant segment of her itineraries.

 

The “liner” designation refers to her design, rather than itineraries.

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The RMS is an honorific these days.

 

A "liner" does not sail on a specific "line", it is a liner because it makes trips back and forth across the ocean.  It has everything to do with itinerary, not design.

 

There is no structural "rules" or "classification" that delineates a "liner" from a "cruise ship".  The decision to add structural strength to the QM2 was Cunard's decision, not one forced by a design criteria.  As for hull shape, if you've ever looked at the QM2 in drydock, you will see the exact same flat bottom hull that every cruise ship and cargo ship afloat today has.  In fact, the after part of the hull, over the 4 azipods, was so flat that the ship could not keep to a steady course when in following seas during sea trials, and had to be brought back into drydock and a "skeg" or false keel was added to give the water flow a straighter path into the azipods.  What QM2 does have, different from cruise ships, is a lower "block coefficient", meaning the shape of the hull (still flat bottomed) is less like a cinder block than the cruise ship hulls.  This is done by narrowing the bow further back, so that when looked at from above, the forward deck is "sharper" than the "blunter" bows of the cruise ships.

 

Cunard has taken the title of "liner" because it provides a link to their past, and the culture of the ocean liners of the past, when there were no cruise ships.  While the QM2's design makes her more suitable for off-season crossings of the Atlantic, other cruise ships could do the same crossings, with a bit more circumspection and probably more motion for the passengers.  I sailed on the QE2 back in the 70's in October, and while I was okay with the motion, it did bother a good proportion of the passengers.  Even the QE2, like the QM2, only does crossings part year, while the old time liners did it year round.

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Thank you all. I do remember hearing Stephen Payne, the naval architect of QM2 on TV, saying he had a much free-er hand with building this ship, than with other cruise ships, probably because QM2 would be doing the Northern run more frequently. All very interesting!

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1 hour ago, Underwatr said:

Form follows function, though. 

True, but Branson called a catamaran high speed yacht a "passenger liner" to compete for the Blue Riband trophy.  I could call a bunker barge a passenger liner if I sold tickets on it, and towed it across the Atlantic regularly.  I know how sensitive the Cunard faithful are about the "ocean liner" designation.

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  • 2 weeks later...

During the morning of 4 May 2019, whilst walking up on the top decks of QM2, I noticed that she was flying the Royal Mail flag.  Later, in his midday broadcast, the Captain mentioned it, something to do with it commemorating an anniversary.  I'm afraid I don't remember the full details but think it was the anniversary of Samuel Cunard first being awarded the mail contract, or when one of his ships carried the first official mail.

 

Given his excellent sense of humour, I was wondering if the Captain was going to say "May the 4th be with you"!  He didn't, but he definitely mentioned the Royal Mail flag.

 

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  • 1 month later...
On 5/4/2019 at 9:54 AM, chengkp75 said:

The RMS is an honorific these days.

 

A "liner" does not sail on a specific "line", it is a liner because it makes trips back and forth across the ocean.  It has everything to do with itinerary, not design.

 

There is no structural "rules" or "classification" that delineates a "liner" from a "cruise ship".  The decision to add structural strength to the QM2 was Cunard's decision, not one forced by a design criteria.  As for hull shape, if you've ever looked at the QM2 in drydock, you will see the exact same flat bottom hull that every cruise ship and cargo ship afloat today has.  In fact, the after part of the hull, over the 4 azipods, was so flat that the ship could not keep to a steady course when in following seas during sea trials, and had to be brought back into drydock and a "skeg" or false keel was added to give the water flow a straighter path into the azipods.  What QM2 does have, different from cruise ships, is a lower "block coefficient", meaning the shape of the hull (still flat bottomed) is less like a cinder block than the cruise ship hulls.  This is done by narrowing the bow further back, so that when looked at from above, the forward deck is "sharper" than the "blunter" bows of the cruise ships.

 

Cunard has taken the title of "liner" because it provides a link to their past, and the culture of the ocean liners of the past, when there were no cruise ships.  While the QM2's design makes her more suitable for off-season crossings of the Atlantic, other cruise ships could do the same crossings, with a bit more circumspection and probably more motion for the passengers.  I sailed on the QE2 back in the 70's in October, and while I was okay with the motion, it did bother a good proportion of the passengers.  Even the QE2, like the QM2, only does crossings part year, while the old time liners did it year round.

 

Hi its nice to read every ones comments about the Queen,s yes through the ages Cunard has always been number one for quality having served on the RMS Queen Mary for four years and the smaller 22,ooo t  Carmania all lovely old girls of there time,  and then it was four days seventeen hours for Marys voyage from New york to So,ton

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On 5/4/2019 at 4:54 AM, chengkp75 said:

A "liner" does not sail on a specific "line", it is a liner because it makes trips back and forth across the ocean.  It has everything to do with itinerary, not design.
There is no structural "rules" or "classification" that delineates a "liner" from a "cruise ship".  ... >
Cunard has taken the title of "liner" because it provides a link to their past, and the culture of the ocean liners of the past, when there were no cruise ships.  ... >

 

To support and amplify Chengkp's explanation:
The origins of the "liner" designation go back to the past century (and late 19th century), and indeed referred traditionally to a regularly-scheduled run, published in advance, versus random and opportunistic cargoes.

 

Back in the 1950s, my father sailed as a navigating officer (later in command) with Brocklebanks (a cargo line under the Cunard umbrella) and with the Indo China Steam Navigation Company (ICSNC) run by Jardine Matheson (the 'Noble House' of Hong Kong).

Some of his early Brocklebanks ships were "cargo liners", making regular trans-Atlantic runs between the UK and the US and following a (fairly consistent) schedule carrying break-bulk (general) cargoes.

His later assignments were with Brocklebanks to South Asia (India, Vietnam, etc.) and the Middle East,  and subsequently with ICSNC to the South China Sea (Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, Singapore, Macau) . These ships were operated as "tramp steamers", accepting cargoes on the spot market ... from various origin ports to various destinations as required, and carrying any cargo within their capabilities: zoo animals, locomotives, bagged rice, barrels, crates, lumber, etc.

 

By that definition, most cruise ships would be considered "passenger liners" since they typically ply scheduled runs to recurring ports of call ... albeit they often vary the departure ports and destinations according to season.

 

In addition to that criterion, the "ocean liner" designation is an informal tag intended to differentiate the more traditional-looking finer lines of the old-school passenger ships and the QM2, which also boasts a marginally less blocky-looking superstructure. And yes, the construction is more robust to render her more suitable for any sea-states that might be encountered than are the scantlings of the typical "cruise ship" designs.

 

And finally it is a matter of branding. Cunard takes great pains to distance their brand from the "lesser" brands, despite the fact that their QV and QE are virtual clones of the Vista Class operated by Holland America and others.
QV Captain Ian McNaught has asserted that the Queen Victoria "is a liner based on her classic decor".

 

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