HISTORY OF THE QE2 – Cruise and Social History.

The Queen Elizabeth 2, or QE2 as she is commonly known was the flagship of the Cunard Line for nearly 40 years. QE2 made her maiden voyage in 1969 and was one of the last great Transatlantic liners. At 70,327 tons and 963 feet long with a top speed of 32.5 knots she is also one of the fastest and grandest passenger vessels ever built. QE2 is arguably the most famous liner in the world. QE2 is currently docked permanently in Dubai. QE2 is the world’s most loved ocean liner. She spent 35 years as the Cunard flagship and has traveled over 5.6 million nautical miles, more than any other ship; has carried over 2.5 million guests; has completed 25 World Cruises; and has crossed the Atlantic 803 times. QE2 leaves the Cunard fleet in November 2008 to begin her new life in Dubai as a first class hotel and entertainment destination.

The QE2 on her final visit to Honolulu, Hawaii.

Link here to visit a terrific website covering everything about this great ship. For complete information visit the QE2 website by clicking here.

A brief history follows of the Cunard Liner QUEEN ELIZABETH 2.

30 Dec 1964 Contract signed with John Brown Shipyard of Clydebank.
5 Jul 1965 Keel laid. Assigned ‘job number 736’.
20 Sep1967 Launched by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
19 Nov 1968 QE2 sets sail from the fitting out berth at John Brown’s under the command of Captain ‘Bil’ Warwick.
26 Nov 1968 Start of preliminary trials in the Irish Sea.
22 Apr 1969 Mini maiden voyage to Las Palmas.
2 May 1969 Official maiden voyage to New York.
8 Jan 1971 Rescued passengers from Antilles, which had run aground.
May 1972 Ransom demand in mid-Atlantic.
1975 First world cruise.
May 1982 QE2 requisitioned for Falklands War as a troop transport. On 12 May 1982 she set sail for St Georgia with 3000 troops aboard. QE2 arrived safely back in Southampton on 11 June 1982.
Oct 1986 Work starts in Germany on the conversion from steam to diesel engines.
1987 QE2 wins The Queen’s Award for Export Achievement.
7 Aug 1992 Hits uncharted rocks off Vineyard Sound.
Dec 1994 Extensive, much publicized refit.
11 Sep 1995 Encountered Hurricane Luis on a Westbound Atlantic crossing and got hit by a 95 foot wave.
2 Jan 1996 QE2 logged 4 millions miles
1996 Following the sale of Trafalgar House to Kvaerner, Cunard Line ownership is transferred to the Norwegian construction
May 1998 Kvaerner sell Cunard Line to the American owned Carnival Corporation.
4 Oct 2001 Captain R W Warwick performed the wedding ceremony of his daughter Rebecca on-board QE2 in Boston.
29 Aug 2002 QE2 logged 5 millions miles at sea.
Apr 2004 QE2 completed a tandem crossing of the Atlantic with the new QM2.
27 Nov 2008 QE2 is officially handed over from Cunard to new owners Nakheel and birthed permanently in Dubai.



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"…