Did you know? - Fascinating facts and useful trivia factoids about people, products and places

The latest passenger liners

Longest and biggest cruise liners

When Ferdinand Magellan led the first circumnavigation of earth in the 16th century, his 5 ships were about 33 metres (100 feet) long, and reached 10 knots. Today, cruise liners exceed 300m (1,000ft) in length and reaches 25 knots.

Other beauties in the big league include the Norway, at one stage, the longest liner at 315,5 metres (1,035 feet), yet she’s not in the top ten by Gross Registered Tonnes (GRT), registering 76,049 tonnes. The Grand Princess, which cruises the Mediterranean, is, at 109,000 tonnes, one of the biggest. She accommodates 2,600 passengers. The Carnival Destiny – at 101,000 tonnes the first liner to displace more than 100,000 tonnes – accommodates more passengers, courting 3,400 passengers at a time in the Caribbean. The two 142,000 tonnes sister ships Voyager of the Seas and Explorer of the Seas are not shy of their size, either. They cruise in at 308 metres (1,025 feet) in length. The Titanic, built for $10 million in 1911, was 265 metres (883 feet) long.

Not to be outdone in any manner Queen Mary 2, launched by Cunard on 12 January 2004, is 345 metres (1,132 ft) long, displaces 150 000 tonnes and accommodates 1 253 crew members at the service of 2 620 passengers in the grandest luxury. Queen Mary 2 was the world’s largest, longest, tallest ocean liner… until Royal Caribbean International’s Freedom of the Seas was launched in April 2006. Although QM2 is 6m longer, Freedom of the Seas comes in at 160,000 tonnes, is 339 metres (1,112 ft) long, 56m (184 ft) wide and has a cruising speed of 21.6 knots. She is 15m wider than QM2 and pampers 4,375 lucky passengers in her 1,800 rooms across 15 decks. Her sister ship, Liberty of the Seas, was launched a year later, being considered the largest ocean liner. She features a waterpark, cantilevered whirlpools, and onboard surfing. But they all are outdone by the magnificent Independence of the Seas, launched in April 2008.

Queen Mary 2 - click to read more

Cunard’s Queen Mary 2, featuring 17 decks and towering 62 metres (200 ft) above the waterline, one and half times higher than the Statue of Liberty, only 35 metres shorter than the Empire State Building.
Click the pic for more on the Queen Mary and Queen Mary 2.

The Queen Elizabeth was the longest cruise liner when she was launched in 1938, at 314 metres (1030 ft). She was destroyed in a fire while being renovated in Hong Kong harbour in 1972.

The biggest ship in the world, the oil tanker Knock Nevis (formely Jahre Viking) is 458 metres (1,502 ft) long. A big oil tanker ships about 132 million litres (34 million gallons) of petrol. Enough to drive a car 47,000 times around the earth.

Gross Registered Tonne (GRT) is 100 cubic feet. It is a measurement of space, not weight.

Bon voyage!