Cruise Ships


A fond farewell to the most famous liner of them all

When the Queen launched job number 736 at John Brown's on the Clyde, on impulse, she attached the number 2 to the name of the Queen Elizabeth, much to the surprise of Cunard.

In the 41 years that followed, the QE2 was the most famous ship afloat, and in a mark of great affection, the Queen made a farewell visit on Monday, June 2, 2008.

The ship, which has been the flagship of the Cunard fleet for 35 years, was launched by the Queen on September 20, 1967, and left the fleet in November 2008 at the end of an illustrious career to become a hotel in Dubai.

The QE2 reached a notable milestone on Sunday September 4, 2005, when she became the longest serving Cunard ship, passing the 36 years 4 months and 2 days’ record of service of Scythia, which sailed from 1921 to 1957.

Yet when ther QE2 sailed for the first time in 1969 city analysts predicted that she would be mothballed within six months and that the age of the liner was dead.


Facts and figures

The QE2 was built for Cunard at the yard of John Brown and Co, in Clydebank, Scotland, at a cost of £30 million.
She was launched by The Queen in September 1967, and entered service in 1969. She instantly became the most famous ship in the world.
The QE2 has sailed more than 5.3 million nautical miles - that’s more than any ship in history and is equivalent to travelling to the moon and back 12 times.
She has carried nearly three million passengers - many of them returning again and again to their second home.
She has called at her homeport of Southampton 651 times and has completed 1,383 voyages. She has made 796 Atlantic crossings and completed 23 full World Voyages. She has sailed at an average speed of 24.75 knots over the last 36 years and she can sail backwards faster than most cruise ships can sail forwards!
One gallon of fuel moves her just 49.5 feet!
She has been commanded so far by 24 Captains.

Vital statistics

  • Operated by Cunard Line
  • Built by John Brown and Co (Clydebank) Ltd, Clydebank, Scotland; later Upper Clyde Shipbuilders.
  • Keel laid: July 5, 1965
  • Launched: September 20, 1967 by the Queen
  • Maiden voyage: May 2, 1969 - Southampton to New York
  • Registered: Southampton, England
  • Gross tonnage: 70,327 tons
  • Passengers:1,791
  • Decks: 10
  • Passenger lifts: 14
  • Crew: 1,000 approx
  • Nationality of officers: Mainly British
  • Nationality of staff: International
  • Cabins: 951 including
  • Length: 963ft
  • Width: 105ft
  • Draught: 32ft
  • Facilities

    Four restaurants, casino, three swimming pools (one outdoor), theatre/cinema, kennels, library, computer centre, fitness centre, health spa, synagogue, laundrette, doctor’s surgery, video library, helicopter landing pad, nightclub and disco

    Cunard Line

    Cunard's fleet of Queens - Queen Elizabeth, Queen Mary 2 and Queen Victoria - define a new golden age of ocean liner travel. More...

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