Superliner (passenger ship)
|This article does not cite any references or sources. (October 2009)|
A superliner is an ocean liner over 10,000 gross register tons (GRT). The term was coined in the late 19th century, when ocean liners were rapidly increasing in size and speed. Superliners were the primary means of intercontinental travel in the first half of the twentieth century, as passengers favoured large, fast ships.
Some famous superliners include RMS Titanic, RMS Lusitania, Kaiser Wilhelm der Grosse, RMS Mauretania, Ile de France, Normandie, SS France, RMS Queen Mary, RMS Queen Elizabeth, SS Andrea Doria and SS United States.
For several decades, RMS Queen Elizabeth 2 (QE2) operated as the world's largest superliner. In 2004 Cunard commissioned Queen Mary 2 (QM2), which took over the transatlantic routes and relegated the QE2 to cruise ship duty. At 148,528 GT, QM2 she is many times larger than the first superliners. She has all the attributes required for cruise ship operations, and engages in them in addition to the regular transatlantic crossings typical of the historical superliners.
Royal Caribbean International's Freedom of the Seas and the even larger Oasis of the Seas class have replaced QM2 as the largest operating passenger ships in the world; they and other cruise ships have surpassed the traditional transoceanic ocean liners in size. However, Queen Mary 2 remains the largest ocean liner in the world.