One of my favorite Car Magazine, Car and Driver, features a comparison between two cars types from competing manufacturers, IE Mustang vs Camaro. Called ‘Comparo’ the articles follows a predictable format, test drive, scoring, the verdict, and stats.
As a passenger on both the United States and the Queen Mary 2, I thought it would be interesting to compare the differences between the two ships. Granted its not exactly an apples to apples comparison, more like comparing a Cadillac Escalade SUV with a Ford Mustang GT. However, the purpose of this comparison is to demonstrate how transatlantic luxury liners have changed in the past 60 years while still delivering a traditional ‘crossing’ experience.
R.M.S. QUEEN MARY 2.
+ The British persona, stabilized ride, getting there is still half the fun. A floating maritime museum. The last alternative to the needless haste and indignities of air travel.
– Its no ocean greyhound but who cares. No more bon voyage parties. Attempts to look like a classic ocean liner cannot overcome a strong family resemblance to the balcony laden, floating condominiums profile of a Carnival line cruise ship.
= Transportation for those who still believe that staggering round a transatlantic liner in a dinner jacket with a martini is the normal, rational, reasonable way to cross the Atlantic. A grand ocean liner that preserves In style and spirit the classic the rituals of the traditional transatlantic crossing.
S.S. UNITED STATES.
+ Speed and good looks, the ‘Concorde’ of the North Atlantic liners. Friendly personal service. The freedom of being ‘unplugged’ no cells, TV, internet. A technological marvel loaded with ‘Wow’ factor.
– The roller coaster ride in heavy weather, Strict class division cut the ship up and limited social opportunities. A troop ship disguised as a luxury liner.
= An American original. To sail on her was to experience a superb sailing machine with dashing good looks and comfort of an ocean going yacht
|R.M.S Queen Mary 2||S.S. United States|
|Purpose||Ocean liner – cruise ship||Ocean Liner – troopship|
|Length:||1,132 ft||990 ft|
|Beam:||135 ft||101 ft, 6 inches|
|Height: Keel to funnel top||236.2 ft||175 ft|
|Draught:||33 ft (10.1 m)||32.33|
|Propulsion:||Four electric propulsion pods:||steam turbine-quadruple screw|
|Top Speed:||29.6 knots||42 knots|
|Service Speed||26 knots||30-31 knots|
|Crossing time||NewYork – Southampton 6 days||New York – LeHavre 4 days 7 hours|
|Officers and crew:||1,253||1,093|
|Category||Max score||Queen Mary 2||United States|
|* Relative to its time 1952 v/s the 1990's|
* Relative to its time 1952 v/s the 1990’s
CONCLUSION ( and verdict)
At 53,300 gross registered tons and 280,000 horsepower the United States is the Ferrari of the two. Her design follows the universal formula for speed; pack the maximum horsepower in the light long hull. The end result was a superb racing machine that delivered a maiden voyage crossing in three days, ten hours and forty minutes. She is the product of a time when speed and comfort were found at sea, when big fast ships were objects of national pride and, if needed, quickly turned into troops ships ready to speed to an engagement.
At 151,400 gross registered tons and 157,169 horsepower the Queen Mary 2 provides a crossing in just under 7 days. The ship follows the Carnival Corporation formula for maximizing profits. Maximum revenue = volume to provide an exceptional high ratio of balcony cabins at a premium charge, + slow speed to lower fuel cost + each day at sea generates more cash register revenue. The end result is a cruise ship built to withstand the rigors of regular North Atlantic crossings and make a profit. Its a winning formula that appeals to Carnival stockholders and passengers who seek a relaxing, civilized crossing.
SPECIFICATIONS Column1 R.M.S Queen Mary 2 S.S. United States Purpose Ocean liner - cruise ship Ocean Liner - troopship Gross Tonnage: 151400 53300 Length: 1,132 ft 990 ft Beam: 135 ft 101 ft, 6 inches Height: Keel to funnel top 236.2 ft 175 ft Draught: 33 ft (10.1 m) 32.33 Decks: 17 12 Horse power: 157168 240000 Propulsion: Four electric propulsion pods: steam turbine-quadruple screw Top Speed: 29.6 knots 42 knots Service Speed 26 knots 30-31 knots Crossing time NewYork - Southampton 6 days New York - LeHavre 4 days 7 hours Capacity: Passengers 2620 2008 Officers and crew: 1253 1093 Maiden voyage 38322 19178