June 30, 2007

QE2 to embark on farewell tour

This from theaustralian.new.com

"THE world's most famous ocean liner, Queen Elizabeth 2, is set to embark on a series of farewell voyages before retiring from the high seas to become a luxury floating hotel in Dubai.
Launched by the Queen at Clydebank in Scotland in 1967, the 70,000-tonne vessel has been sold for $118 million to the Dubai World, a state-owned tourism company that operates The Palm Jumeirah resort.

From 2009, the ship will become a hotel, retail and entertainment destination berthed at a specially-built pier at the resort on the palm-shaped, artificial island.

The longest-serving ship in the Cunard's history, QEII has undertaken 25 world cruises, crossed the Atlantic more than 800 times and has carried more than three million passengers.
Cunard Line yesterday announced the special farewell voyages would go on sale simultaneously around the world at 11pm (AEST) today.

These voyages include "Farewell to the British Isles", a final crossing of the Atlantic to New York, a "Farewell to America Crossing" back to Britain, and the final voyage from Southampton to Dubai in November.

A spokesman for Cunard said while Australia wouldn't be part of the special farewell voyages in Europe late next year, its final world voyage in February included Australia.
QEII will visit Australia for the last time in February and March next year, taking in Sydney, Melbourne, Hobart, Adelaide, Albany and Perth as part of its 26th and final world voyage.
Cunard president and managing director Carol Marlow said: "These voyages will mark the historic departure of QEII from the Cunard fleet, in a very special way.
"QEII is a much-loved vessel and we wanted to give her many loyal fans a chance to say goodbye, as well as give those who have never had the opportunity to sail abroad her the chance to do just that in her last season with Cunard."

QEII is the longest-serving liner in Cunard's 168-year history and was their longest serving flagship.

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