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.

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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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