QE2 prepares to leave Dubai

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qe2drydock_x.jpgWhile Cunard flagship Queen Mary 2 makes history this week on her 200th Transatlantic crossing , illustrious predecessor QE2 is being prepared for departure to a new home in the Far East.
Its Dubai owners have announced the ship will depart under its own power on October 18, and will visit Singapore and Hong Kong before it enters a Chinese shipyard for work to complete its conversion into a luxury hotel.
The ship, which itself completed 812 Transatlantic crossings during its 40 years service, was sold to Dubai property developers Nakheel for £50 million in 2008.
Earlier plans to moor it at the lavish Palm development were abandoned when Dubai’s economy ran onto the rocks and QE2 languished at a dusty quayside in Port Rashid until a new deal was struck earlier this year.
A brief period in dry-dock followed and work has been undertaken to prepare its power plant to be brought back into full service for the journey. An announcement is expected in August to disclose which Chinese shipyard has been chosen to carry out the remaining work.
Plans include the creation of accommodation suites from 60 to 150 square meters, a number of restaurants and a selection of shops. The work, which will cost about £60 million, is expected to be completed in 2014.
The ship’s extensive collection of memorabilia and maritime artifacts will be taken ashore when it arrives in Singapore on November 1. They will be stored in a secure warehouse until they can be returned to the vessel.
The announcement deals a final blow to any faint hopes that the QE2, which saw distinguished service during the Falklands conflict, will be found a new home on the River Thames.
The two partners of Out of Time Concepts, the company behind the scheme, tried to find a home for the ship in Liverpool in 2012. They claimed to have the support of chancellor George Osborne and Mayor Boris Johnson for the London plan, but they are now locked in an acrimonious personal dispute.
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By | 2017-06-15T15:59:31+00:00 8 July 2013|Cruise News|0 Comments

About the Author:

John Honeywell is a travel writer specialising in cruise ships and cruise travel. Winner of CLIA UK's Contribution to Cruise award 2017.

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