The most successful, furthest travelled and
famous ship in the world, ever! The last of the legendary Clyde built Cunard Queens.
Last Update to this page:
February 28, 2014
Queen Elizabeth 2 (or QE2 as she was almost always referred as) was launched in 1967 by the Queen at the famous John Brown's Shipyard in
Clydebank, near Glasgow, Scotland and began her long, long service life in May
1969, travelling nearly 6 million miles (further than any other ship ever)
before retiring to Dubai in November 2008.
She was conceived to be a transatlantic ocean liner first and foremost (fast,
strong, comfortable & safe in heavy seas), but they also designed her to capable
of cruising successfully - with full air-conditioning, vast open decks, 4
swimming pools etc.
She was the Flagship of the British merchant fleet
and the only ship providing a regular scheduled 5-day transatlantic passenger
service for over 30 years until the launch of the QM2 in 2004.
She was the first ship in the world to be
awarded 5 stars by the Royal Automobile Club, an honour normally reserved only
for top-class hotels.
For all of her 39.5 year service life, she exuded taste, class and luxury more than any other
liner. She was understated and 'comfortable' in a truly British way.
She was 'lovely' and many thousands of passengers travelled on her time after
time. Her restaurants were equivalent to the very best
hotels in the world. Glorious food was served throughout the day and night whilst
on board. Her 1,800 passengers had over 1,000 staff at their beck and
In 2008 The marvellous 'space age' Queens Room, although significantly
re-decorated and re-furnished, still felt like the room did in 1968, and all the
better for it.
Feeling completely different by day and by night.
When she was new she had
fantastic modern space-age 1960s interior decor and a revolutionary sleek modern white funnel.
Over the years she became increasingly more "retro" and in the late 1990s
this came to a pinnacle with the "Titanic" style that the public think they
wanted. Elements of the original design remained until 2008, however, if you knew where
to look and the overall effect was rather good.
In 2008, even this tapestry (above right) was original, as was the original
extruded aluminium handrails and the bannisters, although they'd been
In 2008 the Princess Grill Champagne Bar remained completely unchanged since
Princess Grill restaurant was
also unchanged from 1968 until 2008
Speed - Right up until her last
day in service in November 2008, QE2 was the fastest
merchant ship in operation capable of speeds of up to 34 knots ; her service speed
of 28.5 knots, was far beyond most cruise ships maximum speed and her
average speed, including time spent stationary in port was over 24 knots.
She could effortlessly exceed 30 knots, even on her final voyage to Dubai.
She could make the Atlantic crossing in less than 4
days. (By comparison, the 2007 Queen Victoria's maximum speed is in the
20s and she needs 8 or even 9 days to do the crossing). She could sail backwards
(19 knots) faster than many cruise ships can sail forwards.
Power - NINE diesel engines, each larger than a London double-decker
bus, connected 130,000 hp to the largest marine electric motors ever built and
gave her the most powerful propulsion plant on a non-military vessel.
She was the most powerful and fastest twin propeller ship in the world.
QE2 on the Clyde on the 20th of
September, 2007, 40 years to the day since her launch there.
QE2 was Home for her birthday, and there was a HUGE turnout
especially since everybody now knew she only had 1 year left at
sea... these photos and video is of her heading into the night, to continue her
round-Britain celebration birthday voyage.
Well Travelled - She completed 26
circumnavigations of the world and travelled 5,875,264nautical miles!! That's
further than any other ship ever has, or ever will do again. Its
equivalent to 270 times around the equator or 14 return trips to the moon.
She carried more than 3,000,000 passengers.
She completed 1,374 voyages with an average speed of 24.75 knots. She crossed the
stormy Atlantic Ocean an
amazing 806 times.
Boat deck's promenade - a site that would be familiar to travellers in
The sun deck & funnel bar.
Perfect for sheltered sun bathing
The Chart Room bar - one of my favourite spots on board
More outdoor deck space than any other ship, all teak, much of it
The wonderful Yacht Club for dancing the night (& morning!) away or a
quiet afternoon coffee or glass of wine.
Some Highlights from my many QE2 pages on this
QE2 Home Page Sam's father and grandfather have been
masters of the QE2 and his QE2 Pages are well worth a visit .
His father, Ronald Warwick, is the first master of the QM2 and Commodore of