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

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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