Since she first set sail in 1969, this storied ship has traveled around the world 26 times. When the Falklands War broke out in 1982, the British government called her into active duty, and she began service as a troop transport vessel.
After 40 years of luxury transatlantic cruising for Cunard Line, the “grande dame of the seas” made her final voyage in 2008, and has been languishing in Dubai’s Port Rashid ever since. We are speaking, of course, about the illustrious Queen Elizabeth 2.
We are happy to report that, after years of speculation about her fate, the beloved queen will be given a new lease on life – one fitting for a maritime treasure. According to a statement issued this week by Dubai Ports World and the ship’s current owners, Istithmar World, the 1,791-passenger QE2 will be turned into a 300-room floating hotel at Port Rashid, alongside a proposed maritime museum. The dockside hotel and museum are scheduled to open in 18 months.
Thankfully, Istithmar World Chairman Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem said the QE2′s original furnishings will remain intact, including the ship’s collection of art and historical objects. According to the Sultan,
“The vessel is truly iconic and has a huge following around the world. Our vision is to enhance the facilities on board but retain the very strong sense of history that is a fundamental part of her attraction.”
“Floating Hotels”for Events – a Growing Trend
Here at Landry & Kling, we’ve witnessed the burgeoning trend of dockside charters or “floating hotels” for all types of sporting and global events – in fact, we helped create it! In 1987, we first proposed that cruise ships be utilized as dockside hotels for a major technology tradeshow in Boston – a revolutionary concept at the time. One of the two ships we chartered was none other than….the QE2!