A travel writer was just on the 1 O'Clock News on the BBC saying she doesn't think it will appeal to the Arab market and they will have little interest in her cultural background.
It appears Cunard/Carnival have made the decision to sell on a short term financial basis. I fear the QE2 may meet the same fate as the two Queens of the 1930s with one taken to a place with little cultural interest in her and apparently destroyed for insurance purposes and the other taken to the side of America she had little to do with where she has been incompetently managed as a hotel/tourist attraction and is now a shadow of her former glorious self.
Whilst this is very sad news I suppose the withdrawal of her at 40 years old was going to be inevitable at some point. The viability and cost of running a liner of that age has to be considered. I'm surprised to be honest she wasn't withdrawn earlier than this. Lets just hope that lessons will be learnt from the fate of The Queen Mary and a proper future will be secured for her.At least she won't suffer the fate of being stranded and cut apart on some beach at Alang. I have fond memories of travelling on her to New York back in Christmas 1992.
I am not surprised by the announcement. Like the original Queens she has just become too old to compete in the all-cruise world. I certainly hope that the QE2 will be given a send-off from the fleet similar to the one given the original Queen Mary. Maybe a "last great cruise" from NY to Southampton, a few jets overhead and a 40 foot paying off banner.
With 100 million to play with I hope that we will see a third ship in the fleet.
As long as the party in Dubai do not ravage the ship like the Queen Mary in Long Beach, it is fine enough, definitely better than the fate of many other ships. The problem in today's market is the increasing financial difficulty of ships causing many to go to the breakers or otherwise. Why in this case, Carnival/Cunard decided to replace the QE2? To fill in the place of the last great ocean liner, the QV would have a near-impossible task to fulfill.
I think that the QM2 will be the one replacing the QE2 as the legend. It it already on its way to becoming a legend in its own right and was built to take over the transatlantic route.
The QV is a cookie cutter vista class cruise ship that will do cruises out of Southampton and world cruises.
The more time I have to think about this the more I wonder just what the middle east weather will do to her. I can imagine the air conditioning plants that are going to be needed to keep a livable air temp. in a nearly all steel ship hull. I also would think that the decking isn't going to last long with that kind of direct sunlight.
Cunard really did not handle this situation with any class.I really did believe the propaganda that the Cunard Line announced that there were no plans for the QE2 to be retired or sold,that Cunard had planned to keep the QE2 sailing past 2010 until 2015 or 2016.Just earlier this year when Cunard announced that the QE2 would do a tandem crossing with that phony Queen,Queen Victoria and that both ships would join the QM2 in New York on January 13,2008 there were would be in the first time in Cunard's history 3 Queens in the same port on the same day.Well Cunard's time as a 3 Queen line would only be less than a year since the QE2 will be doing her final voyage on November 11,2008.One question I really want to ask is was the Queen Victoria really necessary? If Carnival Corp. which is the parent company which owns the Cunard Line thinks that Cunard could only be profitable as a 2 ship line they could have just have left Cunard the way it is now with the QM2 and the QE2,keep the QE2 sailing until 2015 or 2016 and the year before her retirement announce the final season of QE2 voyages and then give her a proper retirement and replace her with another ship.That would have been the proper way for Carnival/Cunard to handle the final years of the QE2'service life.I do very much understand the need for Carnival Corp. to build the QM2 when Carnival Corp. first bought Cunard 9 years ago.The QE2 was an aging 30 year old ocean liner and Carnival Corp had to invest in Cunard with the construction of the QM2 to keep Cunard profitable.But it is a different story with the phony Queen,Queen Victoria.She is not a true ocean liner,she is just a cheap cruise ship and she is not really needed.The way the Carnival Corp. handled the QE2 situation was like drawing a moustache on the Mona Lisa.
I thought the QM2 looked phony enough until I saw the QV, definitely one of the ships that can be switched with Carnival/Princess/Holland America if needed. I don't see anything special and I repeat she will have a near-impossible task of filling in the boots of the QE2.
Jeremy, I will make a promise never to book a cruise aboard the phony Queen,Queen Victoria and that all of my voyages aboard Cunard will be only aboard the Great Queen,Queen Mary 2.I am not sure if I even want to go one last time aboard the Great Queen Elizabeth 2 because of her soon becoming a floating hotel in Dubai and because I know of that fact makes me just feel so sad that the QE2's retirement is less than a year and a half away instead of it being in 2015 or 2016 as I have wrongly predicted.
The Queen Mary 2 is the current "last true ocean liner" and like the QE2 before her, was built for regular transatlantic crossings and part-time cruises. I just returned from a crossing on her and she is deserving of ALL of the hype about her. If you want to be technical here, the last true ocean liner is now awaiting asbestos removal and scrapping at Alang. Correct me if I am wrong, but wasn't the France built only for transatlantic travel and not any cruising?
As for the QE2 sale, it is probably smart of them to accept that offer from Dubai at this time when she is still immensely popular and hasn't began to have accidents due to age or have the fickle general public forget about her where she might face a fate like the France.
Business-wise what they did by accepting a $100 million offer for the QE2 is very smart. They probably thought that this offer would not come around again in the future and places like the Clyde or Southampton probably would not have come close to this amount and they would probably have had to end up donating her. Also a place like Dubai has obviously a LOT of money to maintain something (in luxury condition) that will only need increasing amounts of money to keep her floating and in good shape (case in point Long Beach and the Queen Mary).