The longest serving Cunard liner, QUEEN ELIZABETH 2 was retired in 2008 and has been idle at Dubai ever since. After 10 years of uncertainty, the ship will finally open in a new stationary role, dockside at Cruise Terminal 1, possibly as early as April, 2018. In preparation the QE2 was taken into drydock for the third time since arriving in Dubai, where workers stripped her paint down to the bare steel and gave the ship a completely fresh coat of new paint. All her underwater openings were welded shut, including her bow thrusters and stabilizers, and both propellers were removed. On the Boat Deck, the lifeboats, davits and winches had previously been removed and the deck has now been widened. Cunard logos on the sides have been replaced with large “Dubai Mina Rashid” logos which also appear across the stern. The ship was moved to drydock on March 18th and was towed back to her possibly permanent dock on March 29th. Plans for the ship were best described in the owner’s publicity statement quoted here: “Discover a world of gastronomy, entertainment and nightlife experiences onboard the QE2. From casual and fine dining, to grand theaters and nightclubs – she will have a selection of 12 diverse venues to uncover at her prime location in Dubai’s Mina Rashid…“. While the ship will never sail again, nor be quite the same as it once was, it does appear that she will have a future of sorts with a new career in the Middle East.
QUEEN ELIZABETH 2 at Cruise Terminal 1 Dubai March 29, 2018
Credit for this breaking news to Rob Lightbody’s excellent QE2 Story : Keeping the Legend Alive
Shawn J. Dake, freelance travel writer and regular contributor to MaritimeMatters, worked in tourism and cruise industry for over 35 years. A native of Southern California, his first job was as a tour guide aboard the Queen Mary. A frequent lecturer on ship-related topics he has appeared on TV programs. Owner of Oceans Away Cruises & Travel agency, he served as President of the local Chapter of Steamship Historical Society of America. With a love of the sea, he is a veteran of 115 cruises.
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