Two Malvern residents joined the first few privileged visitors on board the Queen Mary 2.

Lee and Hilary Harrison, from Select World Travel, in Church Street, travelled to Southampton to inspect the world's largest, and most expensive transatlantic liner on Friday.

Mr Harrison said: "Our first view of Queen Mary was quite breathtaking. There is indeed no other ship like her. She is a giant compared to sister ship Queen Elizabeth."

He went on to describe the 'lavish and impressive' suites on board the Cunard liner, and added: "It is not until you walk into the middle of the ship and look down at both ends of the corridors that you realise just how long QM2 is compared to other cruise liners."

Among the 1,132 feet long liner's list of impressive facilities are swimming pools, ballrooms, a terrace pool with sunbeds, a 473-seat planetarium and a conservatory garden based on Kew Gardens.

An impressed Mr Harrison said: "With the demise of Concorde, the Queen Mary has entered the realms of being one of the must-do things to do during a lifetime."

The liner set sail from Southampton for its maiden voyage to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, on Monday afternoon, complete with 2,620 passengers.