Swettenham Pier, Regal beauty of the seas

Article Reference: The Star Online

 THE majestic Queen Mary 2 (QM2) has sailed into town and is now casting its imposing shadow on the Penang Swettenham Pier International Cruise Terminal.

 Since 8am on Thursday, hundreds of curious locals and tourists have been gathering to admire the beautiful lines of the massive luxury ocean liner making her maiden port call at the pier as part of her 2010 Royal Route of Exploration world cruise.

The luxury cruise liner Queen Mary 2 which made its second stop at Port Swettenham in Penang on Thursday.

 roups of community leaders, journalists and travel agents were invited to board the 2,345m-long ship for a tour and luncheon.

 At the time of the liner’s construction in 2003, she was the longest, widest and tallest passenger ship ever built, with a gross tonnage (GT) of 148,528 tons.

 Today, she ranks third in terms of size, to the 225,282 GT Oasis of the Seas which was constructed late last year.

 QM2 made history by being the largest ship to sail to Malaysia in March 2007.

One of the luxury shops inside the Queen Mary 2.

 This is her second visit to the country.

 Dubbed the world’s grandest and most magnificent luxury ocean liner, QM2 set sail on Jan 4 from the United Kingdom on a 101-day world cruise.

 Facilities include 15 restaurants and bars, five swimming pools, a casino, a ballroom, a theatre, and the first planetarium at sea.

 Musical shows can be enjoyed at the lavish Royal Court Theatre and bookworms will be thrilled by the huge library.

The oppulent Britannia Restaurant located at the bottom of the sweeping staircase.

 Exuding a quintessentially British feel, this jewel of the Cunard Line shipping company has a maximum speed of 29.62 knots and a cruising speed of 26 knots, much faster than most other passenger ships including the Oasis of the Seas.

 It is no surprise that the Queen Mary 2 has been named Travel Weekly’s best luxury cruise ship for the sixth consecutive year.

 Singers Dame Shirley Bessey and American Idol winner Ruben Studdard have travelled on board.

One of the lounges inside the luxury Queen Mary 2 liner which docked at Port Swettenham on Thursday.

 Visitors include celebrity talk show host Barbara Walters, property tycoon Donald Trump, rocker Jon Bon Jovi, rapper Jay-Z, R&B superstar Beyonce Knowles and actors Glenn Close, Antonio Banderas, Hugh Jackman and Elizabeth Hurley.

 Royalty and world leaders like US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have also visited the ship.

A bar for passengers on board the luxury cruise liner to unwind.

 QM2 arrived from Phuket and departed for Port Klang after 10 hours of docking at the pier.

 he will also be making maiden port calls in Cairo, Phuket, Shanghai, Adelaide and Perth, Durban and Cape Town.