From: Hobart, Tasmania, Australia
ORIGINAL: Matti Kuokkanen
How much would it cost to build a new ship (same class) from scratch?
The Queen Mary 2 is the only ship in the same class today. Whilst there are many, many cruise liners, it's the only ocean liner in the world. The difference is that an ocean liner is built to handle virtually any seas in almost any part of the world. Cruise liners try to avoid bad weather and high waves but the QM2 tackles the North Atlantic, even through storms. That's not to say cruise liners are weak, and they occasionally ride out very nasty conditions but their raison d'être is tooling about in calm (usually tropical) waters. She's built tougher than cruise liners and her cruising speed is also higher (about 26 knots vs 23 knots). All this doesn't come cheap. The QM2 cost about US$900,000,000 over thirteen years ago.
So, adjusted for inflation, that's the sort of money you're looking at. Some sort of replica, although a romantic notion, isn't feasible. Passenger expectations have risen radically since the 1930s and people are just not going to pay for conditions thought acceptable back then. The Queen Mary, although huge for her day, is dwarfed by today's liners and wouldn't pay her way. Technology has massively moved on too. All in all, a non starter.
It'd be a pity if the Queen Mary isn't savable. These liners represented a fascinating period of transport technology and those of her generation were engaged in a speed and luxury arms race that was only eclipsed by the Second World War and the advent of affordable air travel. Whilst not vital for travel anymore, cruising is a huge and growing industry. My parents have been on several, the best of which was a Mediterranean holiday on the Queen Elizabeth when she was new, a few years ago. I convinced them that it actually represented excellent value for money after you consider accommodation, travel costs, convenience, facilities and food. They loved it.
The history of ocean liners is really interesting and is embroiled in the great power politics of the late 19th and 20th centuries. They obviously played a vital role in wartime too. This is a good documentary series from the 90s...
< Message edited by Neilster -- 3/16/2017 6:41:28 AM >