21 December 2007

From "QE2" to "QE New"

On 18 June 2007 Cunard, owned by Carnival Corp., announced it would retire and sell the 40-year-old QE2. The last true ocean liner will become a tourist destination at the Palm in Dubai come next November. In early October of 2007 Cunard and Carnival signed an agreement with Fincantieri Shipyards (Monfalcone yard) in Italy to build a new ship, already destined to be named "Queen Elizabeth", and scheduled to be launched and named in the autumn of 2010 by the Queen. The new ship will be the second-largest ever built for Cunard at 92 000 tons, and will carry 2092 passengers. Cunard is hoping for a lot of ship for its €500 million. In keeping with tradition, the ship will have the standard black hull and red funnel, and be registered in Southampton. In keen anticipation of this new ship, on which I intend to sail the inaugural voyage, allow me to be the first to say: "I hereby name this ship the "QE New". May god bless her and all who sail in her."