April 1, 2005


Off the Cruisecritic boards:
"found this article but I know that it is with some other actual true info, not April Fool's stuff so I was wondering if anyone knows about this?

Cunard Line has announced that for many more years to come its acclaimed flagship, "Queen Mary 2", will continue to be the biggest (148,528 gt), the longest (1,132 feet), the tallest (236 feet) the widest (135 feet) and, at a cost of US$ 800 million, the most expensive passenger ship in history.

"'Queen Mary 2' has proven to be extremely popular with our valued guests, and in order to be able to give even more people from around the globe an opportunity to sail in this already legendary liner, we proudly announce that 'QM2' will undergo a 'chop-and-stretch' operation this upcoming fall," Cunard spokeswoman April Scherz said.

"Queen Mary 2" will return to her birthplace, the renowned Chantiers de l'Atlantique shipyard in France, in October. There, a pre-fabricated, 98 ft. middle section will be added by cutting the ship in half and then inserting the section. This will increase the ship's length to 1230 feet and its gross tonnage to 186,000 gt.

Construction on the new "QM2" section has commenced at the St. Nazaire shipyard. It will include 231 additional staterooms and suites, as well as some exciting new public spaces, on which details will be announced, soon.

As a result of "Queen Mary 2's" extended drydocking during which the "stretching operation" will be carried out, the ship's October 14th, 20th, 16th, and November 1st trans-Atlantic crossings have been cancelled. Passengers on the affected sailings who will receive attractive alternative offers will be contacted by Cunard within the next couple of weeks.

Ocean voyaging has inspired many works of art and literature during the Golden Age of Travel. Now, Cunard's iconic "Queen Mary 2" has become the first-ever ocean liner to inspire a clothing line by one of America's most revered design houses: Lilly Pulitzer. The new collection, called Hail to the Queen, will debut this spring in stores throughout the US. "It is a great compliment to have a clothing company of Lilly Pulitzer's caliber theme an entire line around 'Queen Mary 2,'" says David Gevanthor, vice president of marketing for Cunard Line. "We were delighted to have inspired the Lilly Pulitzer design team to create a collection that exudes a timeless sensibility. 'Queen Mary 2' appeals to a more genteel style of travel and leisure."

"I was enchanted by 'Queen Mary 2' during a recent Transatlantic crossing," says Sandi Davidson, Vice President and Creative Director for Lilly Pulitzer. "It was on this memorable voyage that Hail to the Queen, Lilly Pulitzer's Summer 2005 collection, was first conceived."

A tribute to the timeless elegance of ocean travel, Hail to the Queen was inspired by "Queen Mary 2's" glamorous restaurants, lavish stateroom accommodations, spectacular entertainment and the elegance of a more genteel era. Cunard's "Queen Mary 2" has re-defined the luxury ocean liner for the 21st century, combining more than 160 years of tradition with modern innovations hardly dreamed of only a few years ago.

The Summer 2005 Lilly Pulitzer signature print, Junk on the Trunk, is a tribute to vintage travel trunks, featuring nautical details, images from exotic ports of call and tropical flowers in traditional Lilly Pulitzer bright colors. The Hail to the Queen collection features flowing skirts, wide leg pants and novelty dresses in airy summer fabrics like cotton eyelet, linen, and silk charmeuse - all perfect for vacation and travel. Selected items in the collection pay homage to "Queen Mary 2's" many dining and entertainment venues: Golden Lion, inspired by the ship's traditional English pub; Winter Garden, elicited by the elegant room serving the British ritual of afternoon tea; Illuminations, a glow-in-the dark print inspired by "Queen Mary 2's" dreamy planetarium, the only one afloat, and the beautiful white-on-white Queen's Floral print - there is a unique pattern to suit any taste. All prints are offered in a number of fun and feminine styles, perfect for summer barbecues, graduations or weddings.


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