Is the former Cunard Line QE 2 up for sale again?


Is the former Cunard Line Queen Elizabeth II (known as the QE 2) up for sale again?

The QE2.  Will she end up as a hotel or sent to India to be scrapped?  As Dubai goes broke – we look at more steamship history.

When Cunard began operating the Queen Mary 2, the venerable Queen Elizabeth II (known as the QE2 which operated from 1969-2008) which hosted the world’s elite was supposed to have an illustrious future after begin converted to a floating hotel which would have seen the ship eventually be moored at Palm Jumeirah, Dubai known for its palm tree-shaped islands. Those plans may be in jeopardy.

The QE2 was purchased by Istithmar, a private equity firm operated by Dubai World. Istithmar bought the QE2, once the largest passenger ship in existence, in 2007 for an estimated $100 million.

The RMS Queen Elizabeth (number 1) never made it to hotel status like the RMS Queen Mary.   The “Elizabeth” ended up burning in Hong Kong harbor.

It is no secret Dubai World is in trouble with $22 billion in debts racked up during their global investment acquisition activity during the past decade. Dubai was one of the first nations to publicly admit their financial issues due to the worldwide recession. The announcements from Dubai rattled the financial markets during the fall of 2009.

The potential sale of the QE2 is not unprecedented. Istithmar has already shed some assets at a reported loss. In December 2009, the firm sold the The W Hotel Union Suqare (one of the few buildings in Manhattan grandfathered for a roof-top sign) in New York for only $2 million in a foreclosure auction. Istithmar reportedly paid $285 million for the boutique.

QE 2 on a world cruise – Video.

Questions remain including how do you value a historic luxury cruise ship with a storied past no longer in service? And, who are the potential buyers? Queen Mary in Long Beach; she may have some new competition.



About Michael L. Grace

During the mid-80s, Michael Grace worked as a writer on the TV Hit Series THE LOVE BOAT. He wrote many of the two hour special featuring great stars of the past, including Lana Turner, Claire Trevor, Anne Baxter, Ethel Merman, Alexis Smith, etc. The public’s access to these stars, in familiar dramas and comedies, made them want to go on a cruise. They could see the stars in an ordinary world as “regular” people. The phenomenally successful series was responsible for creating the cruise industry as we know it today. By the time he was writing for Love Boat, the great steamship companies and their liners were flying hand me down foreign flags, painted like old whores, scrapped or doing three day cruises to the Bahamas. He had sailed on over thirty ships and liners with his parents, aunt and grandmother in late 50s to early 70s. The very successful CRUISING THE PAST website has been an outgrowth of Michael’s strong interest in cruise and social history. Drawing on his own knowledge and a vast maritime and social history collection, he is able to produce a very successful website. Michael is part of the award winning team that created the internationally performed award winning musical SNOOPY, based on PEANUTS by Charles M. Schultz. He has written for television and films. Read more by going to "About" (on the above dashboard) and clicking "Editor"…