Queen Elizabeth II was once known as one of the world’s greatest luxury liners, and it now lives on as one of Dubai’s most beloved floating hotels.
Queen Elizabeth 2 (or just QE2) was one of the last of the long line of ocean liners. She is one of the most iconic of all ocean liners like the RMS Titanic, the RMS Queen Mary, and the current RMS Queen Mary 2. The QE2 was one of only two ocean liners left in service when she was retired in 2008 (the last ocean liner in service is the RMS Queen Mary 2).
Before the QM2 entered service in 2004, the QE2 was the sole ocean liner in active service. As an alternative to modern luxury cruises and traditional ocean liners, consider a cargo ship voyage around the world instead!
History of the RMS Queen Elizabeth 2
The QE2 was originally built for the Cunard Line and was operated as both a transatlantic liner and a cruise ship from 1969 and 2008. The role that she was designed for was to run from her home port of Southampton in England to New York (the same as the ill-fated RMS Titanic over 100 years ago).
- Original Route: Southampton To New York
- Owner: Cunard
She was built as an oil-fired passenger steamship but was refitted with a more modern diesel powerplant in 1986-87.
The QE2 was built as an ocean liner. Whereas ocean liners are designed as workhorses to carry passengers and cargo across the ocean as fast as possible. Cruise ships, on the other hand, are built to focus on the experience itself going on voyages to nowhere and are basically massive floating hotels with swimming pools.
For most of her life, she was operated as a cruise ship and towards the end of her life, she was mostly operated as a cruise ship.
- Entered Service: 1969
- Retired: 2008
- Displacement: 49,738
- Max Speed: 34 Knots
Laid Up and Conversion to Floating Hotel
While the Queen Mary and QE2 were considered quintessentially British, after retirement they have found new homes far from Britain being moored up in California and Dubai respectively. The Queen Mary is not a hotel and restaurant in California (currently closed for restoration).
The initial plans for conversion didn’t happen on account of the 2008 financial crisis. She was laid up in drydocks for years and there were fears she would be scrapped as various plans to convert her fell through.
Finally in 2017 work began on refurbishing the massive ship and she was converted to a floating hotel in Dubai. She was reopened for the first time in 2018.
Today one can stay, dine, or tour the QE2 in Dubai. It boasts 215 hotel rooms and suites as well as dining and nightlife venues.
Tours Of The QE2
“Experience true British heritage and history with a visit to one of the world’s most celebrated ocean liners, now permanently docked in the new marina at Dubai’s Port Rashid in the UAE.”
– Queen Elizabeth 2 Website
One can take a step back in time with the Heritage Tour and discover a glimpse of what life was like as she sailed the high seas preserving the tradition of scheduled Transatlantic crossings.
One will gain a unique insight into the British heritage and the maritime history of this famous ship and her half-century of history.
There are various packages for tours on offer, there is the opportunity to stay for longer and drinks or lunch on the old ship.
Choose from a range of packages, including the opportunity to stay for a little longer and enjoy drinks or a relaxing alfresco lunch.
On the tour one will start at the QE2 exhibition at the main terminal and begin the tour with some of the ocean liner’s key features – like the bridge, the Queens Room, and the Cabin (design from the 1960s).
After that make one’s way into the Midship Lobby. Here one will see a collection of original murals that depict the history of Cunard (the company that owned and operated her) as well as a traditional English Pub.
There are plenty of photo opportunities on the Boat Deck and in the Captain’s Bridge to the backdrop of the Dubai skyline.
- Price: AED 85 ($23) per Person
- Timing: 1 pm, 4 pm, Daily (Excluding Mondays)
- Walk-Ins: Pre-Booking Is Recommended But Walk-Ins are Ok Subject to Availability
There are plenty of accommodation options aboard this mighty ship. It is a great destination for sea-cruising enthusiasts, families, and romantic couples alike. The rooms have been restored to capture the splendor and original sophistication of the ship’s iconic past.
Tip: The Best Rate Guarantee Is Booking Direct On Their Website
Rooms range from the standard room to their Royal Suite. One can expect a night’s stay in their Royal Suite to set one back about $1,800.
Next: When Visiting Dubai, These Are the Dos And Don’ts For New Visitors
Claimed By The Sea: Florida’s Eerie, Abandoned ‘Dome Home’
About The Author
(739 Articles Published)
Aaron is a first-hand traveler who has visited more than 70 countries around the world. He is passionate about traveling and opening up the world for other intrepid explorers.
More From Aaron Spray