Posted by: cruise2 | 11 March, 2008

Final Season for QUEEN ELIZABETH 2

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Cunard Line’s famed Queen Elizabeth 2 continues her farewell season —
the iconic ship’s 40th year since her maiden voyage — her final year with the
fleet will be highlighted by a series of poignant voyages, including
three calls in favourite North American ports that are expected to draw
an outpouring of well-wishers. Widely considered the most famous ship in
the world, QE2 has logged more than 5.6 million nautical miles
(equivalent to travelling to the moon and back 13 times), carrying over
2.5 million passengers. She will complete her service for
Cunard Line in November 2008 as the company’s longest-serving liner.

“Without question, QE2 is legendary. One of the most beloved ships in
our 169-year history, we anticipate a good showing of QE2 enthusiasts in
each of her final ports,” said Carol Marlow, president of Cunard Line.
“She has been a hostess to royalty, celebrities and the most noted
personalities from all over the world. In addition, she has been a
witness to history, serving magnificently as a troop carrier in the
Falklands Conflict. Adored the world over, she is, quite simply,
irreplaceable,” Ms Marlow added.

Following her 26th and final World Cruise, which departed New York amid
unprecedented fanfare on January 13, 2008, Queen Elizabeth 2 will embark on
19 voyages, including stops in the Mediterranean, Norway, Portugal and Canada.
“These voyages, which are extraordinarily popular with longtime Cunarders,
afford our guests an opportunity to connect for the last time with one of
the 20th century’s most celebrated cultural icons,” said Ms Marlow.

Her final visits to Los Angeles (March 30), Ft. Lauderdale (April 10)
and New York (Oct. 16) will be duly celebrated by Cunard, with her
final New York departure marked by commemorative festivities, as
Cunard’s historical North American connection is strongest here. “From
1847, when Cunard’s Hibernia first sailed into New York, to today, the
city has been an integral part of Cunard’s history,” said Ms Marlow.

Among the highlights are the Line’s role in the immigration
movement of the late 1800’s, when over 2.5 million immigrants sailed to
New York from Liverpool (Cunard’s first home port) and, more recently,
QE2‘s 707 calls, to date, to New York.

Forty Years of History

Named by Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II in 1967, RMS Queen Elizabeth 2 immediately captured the upbeat mood of the era. Admired for her sleek, elegant
lines and contemporary interiors, she was embraced on both sides of the
Atlantic. Upon her launch, the Queen’s sister, HRH Princess Margaret,
viewed the ship as a symbol of change, noting “This new Cunarder will
show that design in Britain is exciting and full of vigorous common
sense.” Lord Snowdon concurred, writing, “What you have achieved with
QE2 makes one proud to be British … the mood is breathtaking.”

Throughout her history, QE2 spent part of the year sailing Cunard’s
signature Transatlantic route and the rest in pursuit of the sun. To-day,
her fleetmate, RMS Queen Mary 2 carries on the Line’s Transatlantic
tradition, sailing 24 Crossings this year.

Historical Notes

Queen Elizabeth 2 has garnered her fair share of “firsts,” “onlys” and “only-on-Cunard” anecdotes. Among the fascinating facts:

— With a top speed of 32.5 knots, QE2 is the fastest passenger ship in
the world. She can sail backwards (full speed astern is 19 knots),
faster than most cruise ships sail forward.

— In 1982, she became the world’s largest hospital ship when
transporting injured troops from the Falklands War.

— In 1996, the first satellite transmission of a TV programme from a
ship at sea went out from QE2.

QE2 has hosted more celebrities than any other ship. Early passengers
included Lord Mountbatten, Lynn Redgrave, Peter Sellers, Ringo Starr, Count Basie and Gracie Fields; more recent regulars include David Bowie, Rod Stewart, Sir Harry Secombe and Sir Jimmy Savile.

Youngest Fleet, Oldest Traditions

With the completion of Queen Elizabeth 2‘s service to Cunard Line, and with the
upcoming debut of the company’s new ship, Queen Elizabeth in 2010,
Cunard will have the youngest fleet in the industry. “Although
37 years passed between the launch of Queen Elizabeth 2 in 1967 and
Queen Mary 2 in 2004, only three years passed before the launch of Queen
Victoria
last year. The Cunard lion is roaring again and in true Cunard
fashion, it is doing so with unerring style,” added Ms Marlow.

There is limited space available on QE2’s final voyages. For more
information about QE2 or Cunard Line, contact The Cruise People, Ltd. at 1-800-268-6523. This Commodore level agency has been selling Cunard voyages since 1972 with such Cunarders as Cunard Adventurer, Cunard Ambassadore, Cunard Countess, Cunard Princess, Franconia and Carmania.

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