CUNARD LINE’S LEGENDARY QE2 RUNS AGROUND TODAY ON FINAL VOYAGE

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QE 2 – Arriving today at Southampton

One of the world’s most famous cruise ships, the Queen Elizabeth 2, briefly ran aground on Tuesday before arriving in its home port for the last time, its owners said, as it makes cruise ship history.

The 70,000-ton vessel ran onto a sandbank off the Isle of Wight as it approached Southampton, where it was paying its final call before heading to Dubai where it will become a floating hotel as reported by Cruising The Past (http://cruiselinehistory.com/).

Two tugs helped by the rising tide managed to re-float it, and the ship eventually arrived in port 15 minutes behind schedule.

“She touched a sandbank called Brambles but with the tide rising she was able to get away,” said Eric Flounders, a spokesman for the QE2’s owners Cunard.

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September 20 1967: Queen Elizabeth II and John Rannie attend the launching of the QE2, Clydebank, Scotland

“We are not aware at this stage of any damage to the vessel and everything is proceeding today as planned. We don’t know exactly what happened for the vessel to get stuck,” he added.

US cruise operator Carnival sold the QE2 for about 50 million pounds in November last year to Istithmar — the investment arm of state-owned tourism company Dubai World.

After being refurbished the vessel will be turned into a five-star hotel at a specially-constructed pier on the world’s largest man-made island, The Palm Jumeirah.

Launched by her namesake in September 1967, the QE2 is Cunard’s longest-serving ship. The 963-feet long ship weighs 70,000 tonnes and can carry up to 1,778 passengers and more than 1,000 crew.

She has travelled 5.5 million nautical miles — the equivalent of travelling to the moon and back 13 times — undertaken 25 world cruises, crossed the Atlantic more than 800 times, and carried more than two million passengers.

Cruising The Past will have complete coverage of her final day in Southampton.

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About Michael L. Grace

MICHAEL L. GRACE is part of the award winning team that created the internationally performed award winning musical SNOOPY, based on PEANUTS by Charles M. Schultz. SNOOPY continues to be one of the most produced shows (amateur & stock) in America/Worldwide and has had long running productions in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and in London's West End. There are over 100 individual productions every year. He has written movies for TV, including the award-winning thriller LADY KILLER, various pilots and developed screenplays for Kevin Costner and John Travolta. Besides co-writing and co-producing SNOOPY, he wrote and produced the one-man play KENNEDY. He produced P.S. YOUR CAT IS DEAD by pulitzer prize winning author James Kirkwood. He wrote the stage thriller FINAL CUT which had productions in the UK, South Africa and Australia. His one-man play, KENNEDY - THE MAN BEHIND THE MYTH, was developed for HBO and has starred Andrew Stevens, Gregory Harrison and Joseph Bottoms. He has recently been involved in European productions with CLT-UFA, Europe's leading commercial television and radio broadcaster. He wrote MOWs THE DOLL COLLECTION, THE BOTTOM LINE and LAST WITNESS for German television. While in college and graduate school he worked as a foreign correspondent for COMBAT, the famous leftwing Paris daily, and as a travel writer. He visited more than 50 countries. He struggled as an actor, then joined the enemy and entered the training program at William Morris. He became a publicist and worked for Colonel Tom Parker, Elvis Presley's manager, at Paramount and MGM. He followed with a brief stint as a story executive, working in the frantic horror genre period of the early 80s and wrote THE UNSEEN. He went onto write for episodic television and develop series pilots. He was a continuing writer on such series such as LOVE BOAT, PAPER DOLLS, and KNOTS LANDING. He developed screenplays for such major award winning directors as Nicolas Meyers, Tony Richardson and J. Lee Thompson. He has written for all the major networks and studios. He has been hired numerous times as a script doctor, doing many uncredited rewrites on TV movies and features. He is currently writing A PERSON OF INTEREST, a thriller novel, and, IT'S THE LOVE BOAT... AND HOW IT CHANGED CRUISING BY SHIP a non-fiction book dealing with how the hit TV series as a major cultural phenomenon and altered the style of cruising by ship. He was raised in Los Angeles. He attended St. Paul's, USC and the Pasadena Playhouse. He received a B.A from San Francisco State University where he majored in theatre arts and minored in creative writing. He is listed as a SFSU leading alumni. He also apprenticed at ACT - The American Conservatory Theatre. For a brief period he had intentions of becoming an Episcopal(Anglican) priest and attended seminary at Kelham Theological College in the UK. When "the calling" wasn't there, he left seminary and did graduate work at the American University of Beirut. He has guest lectured at USC, UC San Diego, McGill, Univ. of London and the Univ. of Texas on the business aspects of making a living and surviving as a writer, focusing on development hell, in the Hollywood entertainment industry. Grace is a lifetime member of the Writers Guild of America, the Dramatist Guild and former regional chairman of the Steamship Historical Society of America. He resides in Palm Springs.

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