14 September 2010

1,001st


From the Schenectady Gazette on this day in 1967:

Queen Mary Leaves Port For Last Crossing Today

By GRANVILLE J. WATTS

LONDON (AP) - The Queen Mary sails to New York for the last time Saturday--and the Atlantic will be a little emptier without her.

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The 81,000 ton three-funnelled Cunarder will be packed to capacity with 1,500 passengers, many of them Americans who flew to Britain especially to make the historic journey.

After a final round trip the 31-year-old liner will sail from Southampton around Cape Horn next month to her new home at Long Beach, Calif.

That American city bought the vessel for $3.5 million Aug. 18 and will turn her into a hotel, museum and office block.

When the Queen Mary has completed her final round trip, she will have made 1,001 Atlantic crossings and carried more than two million people, including 810,000 troops during World War II, since her maiden voyage in 1936.

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Her sister ship, the Queen Elizabeth, will be retired and sold next year.

A 56,000-ton slim-line Cunarder, currently known as Q4, will be launched at Clydeside Wednesday, but it is still open whether the ship will be named a queen to keep up the tradition.

Betting in shipyard pubs is 5 to 1 that she will be named the Queen Victoria, and 6-1 on Queen Mother.

The Queen Mary--second biggest liner in the world after the 82,997-ton Queen Elizabeth--was withdrawn from service by Cunard because she was losing about $2 million a year to air competition.

In her prime the old ship was unbeatable. She held the blue riband for the fastest Atlantic crossing--3 days, 15 hours, 48 minutes--until she lost the title to the American liner United States in 1952. The United States took 3 days, 10 hours, 40 minutes, to cross on her maiden voyage.

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