Rumor Mill Over Dubai-Based QE2 Liner Scrap Threat – Former owner Cunard Line dismisses reports that the Queen Elizabeth II liner will be scrapped.

Cruise History and News: Rumor Mill Over Dubai-Based QE2 Liner Scrap Threat – Former owner Cunard Line dismisses reports that the Queen Elizabeth II liner will be scrapped.

As reactions spread around the globe on Facebook, Twitter, newspapers comments and enthusiasts’ websites, Cunard have felt it necessary to issue a statement on their own Facebook page regarding the UK Daily Mail’s story recently on speculation that the QE2, the last of the Clydebuilt Queens, was on its way to Chinese breakers.

Cruising The Past found many conflicting stories regarding the QE2 scrapping. Cunard Line contacted the current owners of the QUEEN ELIZABETH 2 and then posted the following on their Facebook page:

“We have noted the messages of understandable concern with regard to the recent article in the Daily Mail with reference to QE2. We remain in close contact with Dubai and can reassure you that to the very best of our knowledge this story is pure speculation – one of a number of stories and rumors as we have seen over recent months.”

The Facebook statement was followed by many expressions of disbelief and comments from people who refuse to accept Cunard’s assurances.

The Mail’s story has resulted in an online wave of anger and disgust that seems to have overwhelmed appraisal of the former Atlantic liner’s current position.

Testament to the affection with which the ship is regarded amongst the general British public but drowns out Cunard’s intervention, which seems to be an attempt to cap a well at a distance.

With the Christmas holiday season in full swing it is hard to gain facts on the story, one that has so far has been repeated in newspapers such as the UK Telegraph via the UK Mail original.

Cunard’s terse and understated response concluded with:

“Our best advice would be to ignore the story.”

The UK’s Daily Mail reported yesterday that the rumours may be true, and that she is bound for a scrapyard, possibly in China.

To most it is thinking the unimaginable, that a liner of such iconic status could suffer the shipbreakers torch, but the same fate has happened to other notable and well-loved liners, such as ss NORWAY and ss CANBERRA.

So far though, it is still speculation. The Mail reported that a UK consortium had come with a plan to bring the liner home and dock her in London as a piece of real estate, but details of this are almost nigh impossible to find on the internet, despite the project having the backing of such notables as Boris Johnson, Mayor of London and David Cameron, the British Prime Minister, according to the Mail.

Initial plans when the transatlantic liner was bought by Dubai firm Istithmar seem to have fallen through and purists no doubt breathed a sigh of relief as this would have seen the ship altered visibly and her original fittings removed, but then in July of this year it was announced she would become a museum piece incorporating a 300 bed hotel and that she would stay at Port Rashid as part of a redevelopment plan for the area.

Cynics would say this appeared simply to mean the new owners couldn’t afford to strip her and redesign her, but the ships owners said it was because ‘people liked her the way she was’.

The ship is still active. She has been managed by VShips Leisure since 2008 and although Equasis still lists her as being managed by them, the Mail says that her crew have been replaced by a Chinese crew and that she is being prepared for drydocking to pave the way for her final voyage to a Chinese breaker.

However, there appears to be no hard evidence for any of this speculation, and the only mention of the British project is to be found via the Mail’s report and its subsequent repostings all over the forums, news sites and websites in the world.

Much of the speculation centers around the fact the ship is ‘languishing’ in Port Rashid, and whilst it is true this port hasn’t the glamour of her intended location, nevertheless it is a cruise ship port (in fact is was given the World’s Leading Cruise Port at the World Travel Awards 2012), and plans are being made to develop the area to attract even more cruise ship calls. In these QE2 would be very significant, if not indeed central. She is also currently used as a venue in any case. It also seems highly unlikely the world’s most recognizable (and undoubtedly most famous) liner would be offloaded for mere scrap value.

So is she going to be scrapped? Who can say except the current owners, so perhaps we’d best wait until they make an announcement…


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.

One comment

  1. think that the new owners should be contacted to confirm there intentions, after all the only thing they are interested in is the money, not the ship! maybe they could be offered more money than they paid, if in fact it has been sold,

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