Spanish fisherman nets camera lost on cruise ship two years ago

Back in October 2008, Mr. and Mrs. Gregory from South Africa were enjoying a cruise on the magnificent Queen Mary 2, making photos of their vessel passing alongside the famous QE2.

When taking their photos, the camera accidentally fell overboard into the Atlantic off the coast of Ireland. Usually, dropping a camera into the ocean means the end of the camera, and the photos stored on it.

To the couples amazement, their camera and memory card were returned to them this week after a Spanish fisherman caught it in one of his nets.

Apparently, Benito Estevez found the camera, and was able to track down where the photos were taken, contacted the cruise line, and managed to reunite the couple with their photos.

Of course, the camera was damaged beyond repair, but the memory card was still in excellent condition, as were the photos stored on it.

Peter Shanks, the CEO of Cunard obviously took good advantage of this fantastic event, and had the following to say:

“In all my years in the travel industry I have never heard of such a heart-warming stroke of luck and we at Cunard are delighted that Mr. and Mrs. Gregory have been reunited with their photos. The images are even more poignant as they depict the last transatlantic crossing of the great QE2 and can never be taken again.”

Kudos to everyone involved – I’m guessing that most fishermen would just throw trash like that away, but to go to this much effort to reunite someone with their photos is a breath of fresh air.%Gallery-71848%

Final resting place for the QE2 not so final after all

Last year, we wrote about the very last voyage ever for the famous Cunard QE2. This magnificent vessel was purchased for $82 Million by Dubai developer Nakheel. The plan was to dock the ship, and convert her into a luxury hotel. As it turns out, that very last voyage ever is not as final as first thought.

Part of the contract with Cunard meant that Nakheel could never use the vessel as a passenger carrying cruise ship.

Of course, back when they signed that contract, they probably didn’t realize Dubai was going to suffer from the effects of the global recession.

The scope of the slowdown of the Dubai economy has now forced the final resting place of the QE2 to be put on hold, and the ship is going to act as a not-so-luxury hotel down in Cape Town for the 2010 football world cup.

It is still unknown whether the Dubai project will continue as planned or whether the resort planned around the QE2 will become yet another victim of the Dubai economic meltdown.

Dubai plans to cut up the Concorde like the QE2

Dubai has a thing for buying British vessels and cutting them up. Not long ago, it snapped up the retired cruise ship the QE2 with plans to cut it in half, add a section to the middle, and turn it into a floating hotel. The latest buy it and slice it plan is with one of seven British Concorde’s.

A Dubai consortium wants to place the Concorde–sans wings, near the altered QE2 as part of its fake island creation, the Palm Jumeirah.

Even though the Concorde hasn’t flown since 2003, thus doesn’t need its wings, there are some who think that cutting off the wings is a real slap in the face to British aviation. With people upset about the QE2 alteration project, this must seem like adding insult to injury.

Granted, there’s something a bit Sci-fi about a man-made island appointed with altered British vessels. But on the other hand, it could be seen as a compliment that vehicles that aren’t being used anymore for their original use are being given another lease on life, one with clipped wings and the other with an altered body. [Mail.Online]

Details about the Cunard ship the Queen Elizabeth

The maiden voyage of the Queen Elizabeth, Cunard’s latest cruise ship endeavor, won’t be until October 12, 2010 when it sets sail from England for the Canary Islands. Details about what the ship will feature have begun to be revealed.

It sounds fancy–more than fancy. Polished wood, marble, artwork that depicts the royal palaces, and special dining rooms for people who have paid more money add to the luxury of ocean travel. The ship’s design incorporates aspects of the QE2 and the original Queen Elizabeth.

In this USA Today article about the ship, one line made me laugh a bit. The senior executive for Cunard said that the ship would make passengers feel “‘right at home.'”

Yes, I know he means that people will feel comfortable despite the ship’s wow factor, but whenever I’m around marble and polished wood, I’m reminded about how it doesn’t seem like my home at all. For me, that’s one reason to take a cruise. The photo is of the Garden Lounge that was designed to evoke an image of Kew Gardens’ conservatory.

You can start booking tickets on the Queen Elizabeth on April 2nd. Here’s the booking link.

QE2 to be cut in half in Dubai

We’ve written about QE2 before. The last post was Jeffrey’s report that the ship had made it to Dubai with great fanfare.

When I read yesterday that the QE2 was to be cut in half, I pictured two halves of this magnificent ocean liner floating around its palm shaped, manmade island. Did Dubai World, the state-run conglomerate who bought the ocean liner want a hotel for each side of the island, I wondered. Something like bookends?

That’s not it. Turning a ship into a hotel doesn’t mean just docking it as is. At least, not in this case. Although, The Queen’s Room, The Captain’s Quarters and The Bridge will stay in their original state, according to this msnbc article from last November, there are changes to be made to make the ship hotel worthy.

Apparently, that’s where cutting it in half comes in. When it’s cut in half, a 100-foot extension will be added into the middle. What will be done with the middle, I’m not sure. This Daily article doesn’t say. What it does say is that some folks are miffed–spitting mad with the idea of the alteration. Disgusted. Not in those words exactly, but the sentiments are about right. For maritime buffs, cutting the QE2 in half is worse than turning it into scrap metal. To these folks, cutting the QE2 in half is an indication that the company that bought the ship has no idea what a treasure it has.

I’ve heard that getting a ring resized by cutting the band at the back in order to add an extension is a bad idea. It makes the ring lose its value. Perhaps the same holds true with a luxury liner.