QE2 to end 40-year reign with final voyage to Dubai in 2008
Continued from Page 1
The QE2’s fate is similar to that of a predecessor, the Queen Mary, which is a floating hotel and tourist attraction in Long
Cunard said it would deliver the QE2 to
Dubai World in November 2008, where it
would be permanently berthed at a specially constructed pier at the Palm Jumeirah.
Istithmar said the QE2 would commence
service in its new role in 2009, after an extensive refurbishment that would aim to
re-create QE2’s original interior decor and
fittings and build an onboard museum of
the ship’s history.
“QE2 at the Palm Jumeirah will become
one of the must-see experiences of Dubai
and of the Middle East,” said Sultan Ahmed
bin Sulayem, chairman of Dubai World, in
The Palm Jumeirah was developed in
2001 as a residential, tourism and leisure
destination by Nakheel, also a Dubai World
company. It is the first and smallest of three
Palm Islands Nakheel is developing that
will double the length of Dubai’s shoreline.
From the air, the island looks like a palm
tree; residential and tourist properties are
built along its trunk, crescent, and fronds.
QUEEN ELIZABETH 2 HISTORY
C ontract to build QE2 signed between Cunard
a nd John Brown Shipyard
L aunched by Queen Elizabeth II in Scotland
C unard formally accepts delivery
M aiden voyage, Southampton to New York
C rosses Atlantic westbound in a record time
o f 3 days, 20 hours and 42 minutes
Q ueens Grill penthouses added, altering
e xternal appearance
S ails from Southampton on first World
C ruise, a journey of 38,000 miles
F irst transit of Panama Canal, making it the
l argest ship to travel through the canal
U sed by the British Government as a troops hip in the Falklands Islands Campaign
Leaves New York for Southampton on its
C ompletes 5 million miles — a world first
A ‘perfect match’
Nakheel said that over the next five years,
the Palm Jumeirah will become home to
more than 30 beachfront hotels, and that
it recently inked a 15-year deal to bring a
Cirque de Soleil show to the island.
Charlie Taylor, Nakheel’s communications manager, said that the QE2 and the
Palm Jumeirah were a perfect match.
“The QE2 is a major symbol of maritime
history and was quick to become a maritime icon. And the Palm Jumeirah, since its
development, has also very quickly become
an iconic landmark,” Taylor said. “So to
have the QE2 on the Palm Jumeirah, you
are bringing together two icons.”
Taylor also said that Dubai was established by sailors from around the Middle
East and has a strong maritime
heritage, a sentiment echoed by
Dubai World in its promise to preserve the ship’s heritage. Dec. 30, 1964
“Dubai is a maritime nation and
we understand the rich heritage of Sept. 20, 1967
QE2,” said bin Sulayem. “She is April 18, 1969
coming to a home where she will May 2, 1969
For Carnival Corp., Cunard’s June 1970
parent company, the move made
sense. Cunard’s second new-build
in three years, the Queen Victoria, October 1972
will join the fleet in December.
“When we merged with P&O Jan. 4, 1975
Princess, we had certain strategic
things we wanted to do, and part
of that strategy was to modern- March 25, 1975
ize the fleet,” said Carnival CEO
Micky Arison during a conference May 3, 1982
call last week to discuss the company’s second-quarter earnings.
“We are only moving out capac- June 14, 1995
ity that is not consistent with the
fleetwide profile these brands have Aug. 29, 2002
today,” added Carnival COO Howard Frank.
“We are just bringing in the new May 1, 2004
Queen Victoria, and we have these
two modern ships and this very
old, terrific, great ship — but that Sept. 4, 2005
in the long term, eventually we
have to retire. It’s very old.” June 18, 2007
Reaction to the sale has been
mixed. While some Cunard aficio- Nov. 11, 2008
nados have expressed resentment
towards Cunard for selling an icon
of steam travel to what they consider a theme park, others were
relieved it would live out its days
with its original status preserved.
“If you look at other ships that
have gone, certainly having it as
the way it is intended is better than
being broken up and destroyed,”
said Matthew Schulte, executive director of
the Steamship Historical Society of America, based in Rhode Island.
“She’ll be there for a while the way the
Queen Mary is in Long Beach. It’s great that
she’s there, because there are people that do
not have other opportunities to
see vessels such as this.”
Taylor, of Nakheel, also predicted that having the ship on
Palm Jumeirah would allow
“far more people to be able to
experience it and see what it’s
like than maybe when it was
sailing around the world.”
John Maxtone-Graham, a
steamship historian and author, has sailed on the QE2 no
less than 50 times. He said he
was surprised by the announcement, because while on a 2005
trip to Norway and Iceland,
the curtains, carpeting and bed
skirting were replaced in his
“And I thought, at least this
is a ship that’s not about to go
out of business,” he recalled.
the ship would have continued
sailing until 2010, when an updated International Convention
for the Safety of Life is expected
to retire many older ships. The
QE2 as it is now would not be
in compliance with the new
regulations, which preclude any
combustible materials, such as
that the 40-year-old ship beat
the standard life expectancy of
a cruise ship, which is about 30
years, thanks to a “heart transplant,” as he called the QE2’s
conversion from steam to diesel
electric engines in 1987.
As much as he would like to
think the QE2’s berth in Dubai
would preserve its maritime
life, he said past passengers will
“A ship must be moving,” he said. “It
must have a mission.”
P asses Cunard flagship status to Queen Mary
2 when the Boston Cup is transferred to Comm odore Warwick on the QM2
B ecomes the longest-serving Cunard ship in
the company’s history
C unard announces QE2 sale to Dubai World
D ate for final voyage, Southampton to Dubai
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