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Last Updated: Saturday, 16 April, 2005, 23:21 GMT 00:21 UK
Queens of the seas home together
QE2 and QM2
The Queen Mary 2, right, and former flagship, the QE2
Two of the world's most famous ocean liners berthed in Southampton for one day only on Saturday.

The Queen Mary 2 and the QE2 were on their first UK visits this year and it was only the second time they had been in their home port together.

The QM2, flagship of the British merchant fleet, sailed past the moored QE2, the former flagship, saluting her as she left for a transatlantic trip.

The QE2 followed her soon afterwards, heading for a Mediterranean cruise.

A large crowd lined the Solent seafront as the two Queens of the high seas left the harbour.

Royal launch

"It was a fantastic sight," said one eyewitness after seeing the two Cunard giants in close proximity.

The Queen Mary 2, which cost 540 million, is the biggest, longest, tallest, widest, and most expensive passenger ship in history.

She weighs 151,400 tons, is 1,132ft (342m) long, 236ft (72m) tall and 135ft (41m) wide.

She is also the fastest and probably the most famous passenger ship in the world.

The QE2, which was launched by the Queen in 1967, will this year become the longest serving Cunard liner, overtaking the 36 years and six months of Scythia (1921-1957).

The QM2 was in port after returning from a six-month Caribbean season on Saturday morning. The QE2 had just completed her 23rd world cruise.

Ceremony marks end of era for QE2
01 May 04 |  Hampshire/Dorset
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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