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.
For anyone who would like the experience of a luxury ocean liner vacation without actually leaving land, here are two options.
The Queen Elizabeth 2 has hit forty and is being retired. Instead of ending up in some boat graveyard somewhere like Jeremy has written about in a previous post, the QE2 is on its way from New York City [via Great Britain] to Dubai where it will become a hotel.
The Queen Mary, another retired Cunard ocean liner is already a hotel in Long Beach, California.
If you do stay on the QE2, you’ll be on a ship that has seen some history and mighty fine company. According to this msnbc.com article, Paul Newman, Elizabeth Taylor, Bob Hope and Britain’s royal family including Princess Diana have sailed on this vessel.
It was also used to transport wounded soldiers during the Falkland’s War in 1982.
For its last voyage, some of the passengers are folks from the first voyage. Just imagine what a great time they must be having right about now.
In 2010 Cunard is rolling out another luxury liner. The Queen Elizabeth will be even grander than its sea worthy sisters.
When I think of a cruise ship deck, I think a swimming pool, shuffle board and lounge chairs–maybe a tennis court. I’m not that imaginative, but those who design ships for Royal Caribbean certainly are. The latest undertaking of this company that already boasts the world’s largest luxury cruise liner is another ship that will be large enough to have a park as big as a football field. Think town square with eateries, entertainment and large trees. This deck will be only one of the ship’s fifteen others, according to this article published in The Daily Mail.
When complete, this liner will weigh 220,000 tons. And by the looks of one of the mock up drawings, if placed on the Thames River, it will dwarf London. St. Paul’s Cathedral looks small next to it.
As the airline industry is going through its woes due to fuel costs, and whatever else seems to be ailing it each week, cruise lines are doing swimmingly swell. Passengers’ desires to enjoy luxury and the wow factor when they head out on the high seas are adding to the push for bigger and bigger cruise ships.
Genesis, being built in Finland, will be ready to set sail in 2009. Its home port will be Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. Join the other 5,399 paying customers who’ll be climbing aboard. There will be space since it can hold 5,400 passengers. I don’t think you’ll have a hard time spotting it because it will be 40% bigger than the other ships–until someone gets the urge to build a bigger one.
If you have an urge for a monster cruise ship trip before then, here are other options.