Sunday, November 28, 2010

QE2: A Lady in Waiting

The famed Queen Elizabeth 2 - or more affectionately known as QE2 - arrived in Dubai on November 26, 2008 after serving the Cunard Line for a total of 40 years. She became one of the most beloved ships that the world has ever known, and her legacy lives on in the hearts and minds of those who sailed and worked aboard her. Sold to interests in Dubai, the QE2 was to be converted from an ocean liner to a floating hotel and tourist attraction (just as her predecessor Queen Mary was when she arrived in Long Beach, California). Several plans were made, including one to remove her famous funnel and replace it with a glass replica that would house several luxury suites. Another would replace her engine room with a dance club. These and more are outlined below:

Since the QE2's arrival two years ago, however, she has remained virtually untouched. The Cunard Queen sits empty in port with much of her furniture and fittings still aboard: as if she's waiting for the chance to set sail once again. Worsening economic conditions forced her owners to abandon their initial plans, and so she sits "like a modern-day Mary Celeste, abandoned and untouched" at her berth in Port Rashid.

No one knows for sure what the future of the Queen Elizabeth 2 may be, but one can only hope that this old ship will be saved from the breakers who would gladly dismantle the happy memories of so many people from across the globe.

References: Mail Foreign Service, "QE2 abandoned at Port Rashid in Dubai," Mail Online, March 16, 2010, under "Travel," (accessed November 28, 2010).

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