End of the line
From the Miami Herald-
The Queen Elizabeth 2 will end her storied career as an ocean liner and begin a new stint as a posh resort in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.Impressive, but can it turn back time? LOL.
Cunard Line, a unit of Miami-based Carnival Corp., said Monday it sold the grand old vessel, which was launched in 1967, to Dubai World for $100 million.
Cunard plans to deliver the QE2 to Dubai World in November 2008. Istithmar, Dubai World's investment arm, plans to refurbish the ship as a floating luxury hotel, retail and entertainment resort and berth it at The Palm Jumeirah, the largest man-made island in the world.
Dubai World, a holding company that manages businesses and projects for the Dubai government, said it plans to recreate QE2s original interior decor and fittings and to devote a museum to detailing the ship's extraordinary history.
The tourist attraction is slated to open to the public in the beginning of 2009, according to Istithmar.
''We are delighted that when her legendary career as an ocean liner ends there will continue to be a permanent home for her that will enable future generations to continue to experience fully both the ship and her history,'' Cunard President Carol Marlow said in a statement.
The QE2 was launched in 1967 by British Queen Elizabeth II. The ship was christened and sailed on her maiden voyage in 1969, and became the longest-serving ship in Cunard's 168-year history, Cunard said. The vessel has crossed the Atlantic Ocean more than 800 times and has carried more than 2.5 million passengers.
According to Cunard, the QE2 remains the fastest merchant ship in operation, capable of hitting 32.5 knots. The line likes to note she can sail backward faster than many cruise ships can go forward.
I've been on a cruise just once in my life. The wife likes those things, but to me the Caribbean is just more of Florida to me. Sunshine and Palm trees. Alaska may be interesting. As far as the QE2 goes, a floating hotel beats the scrap yard. Maybe there are enough Middle Eastern tourists to keep this ship afloat though don't be booking me to Dubai any time soon.
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