updated 12/6/2004 2:27:34 PM ET 2004-12-06T19:27:34

Overweight American passengers have broken dozens of seats on the Queen Mary II, the world's biggest and most luxurious cruise liner, according to Britain's The Sunday Telegraph newspaper.

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The French company that supplied chairs on the cruise liner told the newspaper it is repairing and replacing them as quickly as they collapse under plus-sized passengers.

A spokesman for the company Alstom Chantiers told the newspaper that some of the passengers, mostly those from the United States, were heavier than expected.

Many of the broken seats were in the bar and restaurant areas, according to the British paper.

There has been a rise in the number of obese and overweight people going on cruise holidays because of cramped seating on airplanes and trains, an obesity expert explained to the Telegraph.

The Queen Mary II, which set sail on her maiden voyage in January this year, is more than twice as long as the Washington Monument. It carries 2,620 passengers and 1,250 crew, and cost an estimated $800 million to build.

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