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Last Updated: Thursday, 22 April, 2004, 16:49 GMT 17:49 UK
Crowds cheer QM2's arrival in US
QM2 in New York
Big ship, Big Apple (Photo by BBC News Online reader Declan Kiely)
The Queen Mary 2, the largest and most expensive ocean liner in history, has arrived in New York.

The cruise ship sailed past the Statue of Liberty and barely cleared the huge Verrazano Bridge before docking in Manhattan's harbour at 1600 BST.

The Cunard liner left Southampton on 16 April with 2,600 passengers on board.

The QM2, which cost 550m and weighs 150,000 tonnes, encountered rough seas on its way to New York, but arrived on time to be greeted by cheering crowds.

'Historic day'

"This is an historic day for Cunard Line," company president Pamela Conover said.

"It is the first time in 35 years that we welcome a new ship to New York."

QM2 in New York
A warm welcome (Photo by BBC News Online reader Declan Kiely)

The QM2 will be joined in New York on Saturday by its sister ship, the Queen Elizabeth 2.

The new liner will be taking over the transatlantic route from the QE2, and will be making 13 crossings between Southampton and New York in her inaugural year.

But first, the ships will sail back to Southampton in tandem, arriving in the UK on 1 May.

BBC News Online reader Declan Keily said: "I got up before 6am to cycle over the Brooklyn Bridge to the West Side in order to watch the first arrival of the QM2 to New York City.

"As she sailed majestically up the Hudson River I raced alongside on my bike and got these pictures as she docked. "

Tight security

QM2 in New York
Sail past (Photo by BBC News Online reader Adam J Lambert-Gorwyn)

Passengers lined the deck of the liner to see the arrival and the Fire Department of New York's boats, spouting red, white, and blue spray, welcomed them.

The ship was also greeted with high security.

It is expected that security around Manhattan's Pier 92, where the ship is docked, will remain tight.

The ship was named by the Queen at a lavish January ceremony and her maiden voyage, from Southampton to Florida, started 12 January. She has since cruised around the Caribbean and visited Brazil.

Passenger injured as QM2 leaves
16 Apr 04  |  Hampshire/Dorset
QM2 completes maiden voyage
26 Jan 04  |  Hampshire/Dorset
Queen launches QM2
08 Jan 04  |  Hampshire/Dorset
In pictures: Queen Mary 2 launch
08 Jan 04  |  Photo Gallery

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