In what perhaps will become one of the most ambitious and widely publicized ship launching this Century, Cunard Line announced the itineraries for Queen Mary
2's maiden voyage at a press conference held in New York this morning.
The vessel, which is expected to be the largest ocean liner ever constructed, will include a traditional six-day transatlantic crossing, Caribbean voyages from New York, Rio de Janeiro sailings at Carnival time and journeys to Europe and the Americas are just a small sampling of what the 1,132-ft. (345-m) vessel will offer.
With its keel to be laid on July 4, QM2, has already picked up myriad of interest, according to Deborah Natansohn
, senior vice president, worldwide sales and marketing, Cunard Line. "Since we announced our intent to build Queen May 2, I have been inundated with questions about the vessel's itinerary, Natansohn said. "Right now there is a waiting list of approximately 2,000 people who would like to book spots on the vessel's maiden voyage.
Natansohn also added at the press conference that bookings for QM2 will begin on August 1, for the vessel's maiden voyage scheduled to occur on January 12, 2004 from its homeport in Southampton, U.K. to Fort Lauderdale, Fla. The vessel will use both New York and Florida as its U.S. bases for a series of warm-weather sailings throughout the Caribbean. Due to the vessel's speed of more than 30 knots, it has the capability to sail a deep Caribbean route
out of New York - a route, which more often than not traditionally departs from Miami or Fort Lauderdale.
The 150,000-grt vessel, which is currently being constructed in St. Nazaire, France at Alstom Chantiers de l' Atlantique, will hold 2,620 passengers in 1,310 staterooms.