History of the RMS Queen Elizabeth 2 (QE2)
The RMS Queen Elizabeth 2 (QE2) was built by the John Brown & Company shipyard in Clydebank, Scotland, where many previous liners were constructed including the Queen Mary, and Queen Elizabeth.
Her keel was laid on the 5th July, 1965 and she was launched and named on the 20th September, 1967 by Queen Elizabeth II.
She was designed to be more competitive against air travel than previous liners by operating cruises half of the year and having only two classes and more facilities such as outdoor pools, cinemas, discos and shops.
Queen Elizabeth 2′s sea trails were problematic, and Cunard refused delivery of the ship twice.
On the 2nd May, 1969 RMS Queen Elizabeth 2 left on her maiden voyage between Southampton and New York City.
In 1971 Queen Elizabeth 2 participated in the rescue of 500 passengers from the burning French Line ship Antilles, and had a bomb threat, resulting in the arrest of the hoaxer.
Only a year later terrorists threatened to blow up the ship on a charter cruise between New York and Israel for the nation’s 25th anniversary.
The next few years were also difficult, with boiler problems resulting in her being stranded and her passengers taken off, coral reef damage requiring urgent repairs and even an engine-room fire on July 23rd, 1976 forcing her to return to Southampton.
In May 1982 Queen Elizabeth 2 transported troops fighting in the Falklands war.
After mechanical issues, between 1986/7 she was converted from steam power to diesel, and had her passenger accommodations modernized. She was to be refurbished again when acquired by the Carnival Corporation in 1998.
She was sold to Istithmar (Dubai investment company) on the 18th June, 2007 and subsequently retired. The intended use was to become a ‘luxury floating hotel, retail, museum and entertainment destination’ at Dubai World, but due to financial reasons Queen Elizabeth 2 remains berthed at Port Mina Rashid in Dubai, in seaworthy condition.
Did you know, RMS Stands for Royal Mail Ship
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