The Queen Elizabeth 2 is bound for Asia, but thankfully, not to the scrapyard. Oceanic Group, a Singapore-based maritime company, will lead the renovation and conversion of the historic liner into a luxury floating hotel.
The QE2 operated transatlantic service from Southampton, UK, to New York, USA from 1969 to 2008. She was the last oil-fired passenger steamship to regularly cross the Atlantic in scheduled liner service – in operation for nearly 40 years as an ocean liner and later a cruise ship.
From Oceanic Group: On 17 January 2013, in Port Rashid, Dubai, Oceanic Group unveiled its plans to transform the QE2 into a luxurious floating five-star hotel, securing its long-term future and extending the iconic ship’s legacy to new generations in Asia. Under Oceanic Group’s innovative concept, QE2, “The Most Famous Ocean Liner in the World”, will become a destination tourist attraction.
The QE2 is a global legend. She has carried over 2.5 million passengers, who have come to regard her as synonymous with luxury, elegance and exclusivity. Now, loyal fans of QE2 will be delighted to hear that she is beginning a new journey as a floating 5-star hotel, the first in Asia-Pacific.
The announcement is the latest in a long string of “plans” for the QE2 who for the last four years has been docked in Dubai. Speculations on her future have included keeping the vessel in Dubai as a hotel and seafaring hub, moving her to South Africa for the 2010 World Cup, or even being sold for scrap.
From The Telegraph: No firm timetable has been set for the QE2′s journey east. First, it will undergo full checks for seaworthiness in Dubai that could take up to three months, said Khamis Juma Buamin, chairman of shipyard operator Drydocks World.
The interior of the ship has been meticulously maintained since its last voyage in late 2008, and Dubai will retain ownership of the vessel after its conversion to a hotel. mr Buamin said technicians will now do any needed upgrades to the hull, engine and other systems. He gave no cost estimate, but noted it will be “a lot” to get the more than 45-year-old ship ready for the seas.
“Once we are finished with it, she’ll be 18 years old again,” Mr Buamin told reporters. After that, millions will be spent to restore the rest of the ship to its “glory days,” said Mr Chui. Read more here…
Captain Jonathan Atkin, renowned maritime photographer and a member of WHC’s steering committee, has many spectacular shots of the QE2′s last voyage to New York on his website, shipshooter.com
by Mai Armstrong for Working Harbor Committee