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Old June 18th, 2007, 06:44 PM
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Default QEII Moving to Dubai

I saw this mentioned on CruiseMates news page but I thought there might be interest in discussing the departure of the QEII. Here is the report from Yahoo.

Quote:
DUBAI (AFP) - The booming Gulf emirate of Dubai announced on Monday it had bought the Queen Elizabeth 2, one of the world's most majestic cruise liners, and planned to turn it into a luxury floating hotel.


Dubai said it has paid Cunard Line 100 million dollars for the liner, the latest move in its ambition to become a global tourism desert hotspot ranking alongside Las Vegas.

"Dubai is a maritime nation and we understand the rich heritage of QE2. She is coming to a home where she will be cherished," Dubai World chairman Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem said in a statement.

The QE2 has crossed the Atlantic more than 800 times in its 40-year lifetime and carried over 2.5 million passengers.

But it will sail no more once it is berthed at a huge multi-million dollar palm-shaped artificial island and turned into a luxury hotel from 2009, according to the plans unveiled by Istithmar, the investment arm of state-owned Dubai World development company.

The Palm Jumeirah, which is one and a half times the size of New York's Central Park and can be seen from space, will eventually include thousands of luxury apartments and villas as well a hotel part-owned by billionaire Donald Trump.

The 963 foot (293 metre) long ship weighs around 70,000 tonnes and has a combined guest and crew capacity of 2,794, Cunard said on its website.

Dubai's latest purchase is just another step in the city-state's sprint to become a major tourist and leisure destination to rank alongside Las Vegas and Orlando in the United States.

The ship, which was launched by Queen Elizabeth II herself in September 1967, is the longest-serving cruise liner in Cunard's 168-year history and was its longest-serving flagship.

Since it came into service in 1969, the ship has undertaken 25 world cruises, has crossed the Atlantic more than 800 times and has carried more than 2.5 million passengers.

Istithmar said its refurbishment programme would aim to recreate the ship's original interior and would also include a museum celebrating its rich history.

Dubai has undertaken several other mega-projects in order to more than double the number of its tourists to 15 million by 2015.

Work on Dubailand, a cluster of billion-dollar schemes billed as the "world's most ambitious tourism, leisure and entertainment project", is well under way.

Scheduled for completion around 2025, Dubailand is estimated to cost 235 billion dirhams (64 billion dollars) and will also house the world's largest transparent snow dome and a Universal Studio theme park.

Equally ambitious is Burj Dubai, or Dubai Tower, which is touted to become the world's tallest skyscraper.

Launched in early 2004, the construction of the one billion dollar tower by South Korea's Samsung should be completed at the end of 2008.
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Old June 18th, 2007, 07:13 PM
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Very interesting. My father sailed on her a few times. On his first cruise on her when he filled out his comment card or something he stated he was available anytime for a cruise. So most of his times was when they would call him a few days prior to sailing and to a NY/London and back for an excellent price. HE loved that ship.
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Old June 21st, 2007, 03:36 PM
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I'm guessing it was a deal just too good for Cunard to pass up. The ship is very old, and I don't think any cruise line would have paid that much for her.

I hope the purchasers are able to make something nice out of her. So far, turning cruise ships into hotels has not proved profitable, though I still would visit the Queen Mary in Long Beach any time. The museums are amazing.
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Old June 21st, 2007, 05:14 PM
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I've sailed twice on QE2 (note spelling, which is distinct from QEII as that refers to The Queen - apparently Cunard were made to take account of this!!) and thoroughly enjoyed it.

Yes, I know she is an old ship, but she looks like a ship, sails like a liner and is full of character. We were told that she would not be in service beyond 2009 because of the difficulties in continually updating her to meet safety and other regulations.

I think it is sad she is going, but I'd rather she is a floating hotel for a while than be used for scrap!

I hope Queen Victoria will keep up with the traditions and not just become another mass market product.
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Old June 25th, 2007, 12:02 AM
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Wow, money is like water in the lake to some people.
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Old June 25th, 2007, 12:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Motter
I'm guessing it was a deal just too good for Cunard to pass up. The ship is very old, and I don't think any cruise line would have paid that much for her.
I'm sure they wouldn't have given much for her ... just based on what the expense would be to get her SOLAS-compliant by 2010.

But still ... I guess I entertained the fantasy that Cunard would have kept her sailing. I hear she is a major moneymaker for the fleet, with a very, very loyal following. She sails full most of her cruises, and gets far more for her accommodations that the QM2 gets.

I only once sailed the QE2 ... very recently, as in April of this year. When I booked the sailing (a TransAtlantic from Southampton to New York), I did so as merely an alternative to flying. I didn't want to fly home from Venice after a Veendam respositioning cruise from Tampa. I never had any great expectations of particularly enjoying the experience. I am a die-hard HAL fan.

Well, sometimes having lower expectations is a good thing. They are easily met ... and very often exceeded. I fell in love with that ship within an hour after boarding. There is just something unique about her ... an old World charm. It's not a cookie-cutter ship. You'll find all sorts of nooks and crannies ... uneven decks ... hidden lounges and spaces ... as well as wide open spaces that encourage you to stop, settle in and order a drink.

I was really looking forward to doing more sailings on the QE2. Now, I can only hope to maybe be onboard her for the tandem crossing on October 16, 2008. I'm already booked on the QM2 for that crossing, since I will need transportation to Europe at that time for a Prisendam respositioning back to Fort Lauderdale. Hopefully, we can crunch the numbers and move over to the QE2 for that sailing ... and get to spend six final days on a living legend.

Dubai is lucky to get her. I hope they realize that.

Blue skies ...

--rita
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Old June 25th, 2007, 01:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rita
Well, sometimes having lower expectations is a good thing. They are easily met ... and very often exceeded. I fell in love with that ship within an hour after boarding. There is just something unique about her ... an old World charm. It's not a cookie-cutter ship. You'll find all sorts of nooks and crannies ... uneven decks ... hidden lounges and spaces ... as well as wide open spaces that encourage you to stop, settle in and order a drink.
Rita: I had somewhat of the same feeling when I boarded the Norway in 2004. I had heard many mixed stories about her but when I went onboard all I could see was the lavish mix of intricate woodworking, the labyrinth of passageways, the ornate decorations of the lounges and beauty of the cabins. Granted some of the cabins weren't that beautiful and some were downright closets but it was still a wonderful ship and I was and still am very sad she is no longer with us.

I have to go back to the Queen Mary and see her again. From Paul's report she may, now be better taken care of then she was in 2002 when I visited her. Then she was more of a theme park and was in REAL need of TLC. She still had signs of her glory and Churchill's dining room was beautiful but the cabins were drab and the majority of the staterooms were closed or in a state of disrepair (and not for remodeling).

What really made sad was the "Ghosts of the Queen Mary" tour. It almost made me feel cheap to walk along with some young actor trying to turn the Queen into a "Haunted Mansion" ride at "Liner Land". Between the high school special effects and his inaccurate descriptions I felt cheap and sad for the old girl, when I walked away.

I'm glad the QE2 has a better fate in store. At least, I "hope" she does.

Take care,
Mike
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