Thursday, January 19, 2006

Queen Mary 2 Motor Hits Channel, But Ship Can Still Sail

One of the Queen Mary 2's four propulsion motors hit the side of a shipping channel, but the world's largest ocean liner should be able to continue its voyage to South America, Cunard Line said Wednesday. The $800 million ship was being examined in Port Everglades, but its departure was tentatively scheduled for Wednesday evening, the Santa Clarita, Calif.-based company said. The vessel returned to the Fort Lauderdale area port shortly after leaving Tuesday when the crew reported hearing and feeling a shudder. The damaged motor, known as a pod, will be taken out of service until permanent repairs can be made.
Queen Mary 2
But the British-flagged ship's three other pods will let it continue safely on a 38-day voyage, although at a slightly reduced speed, the company said. The slower speed shouldn't affect the trip, but the one-day departure delay will change the schedule of the voyage's first leg, the company said. Passengers will get details of compensation before the ship leaves Florida. The 2,543 passengers spent the night onboard the ship and took tours of South Florida on Wednesday, the company said. The ship left New York on Jan. 15 and was scheduled to arrive in Los Angeles on Feb. 22. Queen Mary 2 will lose the title of world's largest passenger ship when rival Royal Caribbean International launches the Freedom of the Seas in May.

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