Reports in maritime circles indicate that the former Cunard liner QUEEN ELIZABETH 2 will depart Dubai on October 18. A festive send off, according to a few reports, will accompany the fabled ship as she departs for her transformation in to an hotel ship in a Chinese shipyard, possibly first calling at Singapore and Hong Kong. The QE2 will sail under her own power.
The QE2 has been moored at Dubai’s Port Rashid since October 2011 after retiring in 2008.
Plans for the hotel project were first announced in January 2013, when Dubai-based Drydocks World took over management of QE2 from Dubai World’s investment arm Istithmar.
The plan for her future still appears very murky with no specific destination for her placement, and descriptions of the hotel make over vary between 300 to 500 suite hotel, and no specific shipyard identified.
According to financial press the new company, QE2 Holding, made up in international investors involved in the project’s operations, while the ship will continue to be owned by the Dubai government, Drydocks World LLC . The hotel ship rebuild is expected to be finished in 2014 and the operation is expected to become profitable within a decade of opening.
*Rob Lightbody of www.theqe2story.com (An independent internet site and discussion forum for enthusiasts of the legendary QE2 Ocean Liner) remains skeptical of the latest announcement, based largely on press releases from QE2 Shipping LLC, Dubai & QE2 Holding Pte Limited.
MARTIN COX - Founder and publisher of MaritimeMatters, inspired by maritime culture and technology growing up in the port of Southampton. He works as a photographer in Los Angeles, and his works has been exhibited in LA, San Francisco, New York, London and Iceland. Martin is the co-writer of the book “Hollywood to Honolulu; the story of the Los Angeles Steamship Company” published by the Steam Ship Historical Society of America. The Los Angeles Maritime Museum has commissioned artworks and collected his photographs.