The QE2 is the worlds most famous passenger liner. Since 1969 she has been the last defining symbol of the ocean liner. In fact, she is the only of these dying breeds to cross the North Atlantic on a regular route. In 2008, the liner was recognized as the longest serving Cunard Line vessel. Beating the record that was previously held by the venerable RMS AQUITANIA, the great four stack vessel dating from 1914. Originally, the 2nd QUEEN ELIZABETH was supposed to live on as a luxury hotel in Dubai, similar to what her great predecessor the legendary QUEEN MARY has been doing in Long Beach, CA. Currently, the world economic situation has placed the QE2 in an uncertain future, and for now she sits alone, and idle in Dubai, waiting for the next chapter of her life to begin.
The QE2 as seen at the New York Passenger Ship terminal in September of 2008.
A forward stairwell in the ship featured posters during the "Golden Age" of ocean liner travel.
History repeats itself nearly 40 years later as QE2 passes the Manhattan skyline on her very last departure from the same port, also in October, on the 16th of 2008.
A nostalgic view as the two Queens meet in New York Harbor for the very last time. QUEEN MARY 2 and QE2.
All photos Rob O'Brien copyright 2008 unless otherwise noted
The splendid MAURETANIA model in front of the Caronia Restaurant, part of the Heritage Trail of the Cunard Line on board QE2.
Just forward of the Chart Room is this splendid canvas of the MAURETANIA departing the River Tyne. It was painted by T. Henry and added as part of the Heritage Trail. It has since been removed before arriving in Dubai.
A tradition as seen on several "Queens" of the Atlantic has been created in the Chart Room Bar. Although not as large as its more elegant counterpart on board the QUEEN MARY, the glass panel depicts the North Atlantic and the Great Circle Route taken by the QE2 on her great number of crossings.
Looking forward and starboard is this view of the Yacht Club, formerly the Double Down Bar. Image & Copyright Trevor Coppock 2006
Paying further homage to the QUEEN MARY is this model and life ring, on loan from the Ocean Liner Museum of New York. This is part of the Heritage Trail at the G-Stair Landing.
The Britannia Grill on Boat Deck, formerly the Queens Grill.
On Quarter Deck, you can find the Princess Grill.
The Midships Lobby, originally created by Dan Wallace, and also the traditional First Class embarkation point during her early life, was given an overall new look of bird's- eye maple panelling in a 1994 refit. Artist Peter Sutton is the vision behind the large montage panels surrounding the lobby. Image & Copyright Trevor Coppock 2006
Public Spaces & Artwork onboard QE2
Also during the 1994 transformation, the former Midships Bar became the Chart Room. Most of the room has remained unchanged over the years, a maple grand piano that originally graced the QUEEN MARY can be seen tucked in one of corner for passengers to admire.
Here we see the Library/Ocean Bookshop along with some artwork offered for those wishing to buy a sourvier or two. Image & Copyright Trevor Coppock 2006
The Sun Deck mid-ship stairwell contain the three tapestries of the QE2's launching in 1967 by artist Helena Banynina Hernmarch and measure 7 feet high by 21 feet long.
The twin level theatre located on Upper Deck, looking forward, is a place of many lectures and film slide presentations.
Originally the main lounge for Tourist Class passengers- the Double Down Room seated 800 passengers and covered 20,000 square feet. In her major 1987 refit, it was renamed and severely altered to the Grand Lounge, as seen here looking forward.
The Queens Room on Quarter Deck was designed by Michael Inchbald in 1969. It has undergone a few modifications in furniture decor over the years but has managed to retain its sense of spaciousness and some originality since her maiden voyage.
A bust of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II (bottom)adorns one end of the room as does this painting of the QUEEN MARY(right).
Dining & Restaurants onboard QE2
By 2007, the QE2 was the only liner with a synagogue onboard, located on 3 deck mid-ships.
A splendid view of the ship as she slices through the waves, notice the change of the funnel (to Cunard Line colors) as the original black and white was not well received. Cunard Line
A view of the ship sometime before her conversion from steam to diesel propulsion, in what is believed to be the Ocean Docks at Southampton. Rob O'Brien collection
Located on Stairway D - near the model of the MAURETANIA and Caronia Restaurant - is this painting of Her Majesty the Queen. This wonderful piece originally adorned the first QUEEN ELIZABETH as well as the CARONIA. Image & Copyright Trevor Coppock 2006
The Steiner Fitness Center, notice the lifering near the pool. Image & Copyright Trevor Coppock 2006
A brilliant port side image of the QE2 making a visit to Auckland in February 2004 as part of a World Cruise in that same year. Image & Copyright Trevor Coppock 2004
A lovely view of the ship being given assistance from tugs Flying Osprey and Redbridge while in Southampton sometime in 1998. Image & Copyright Trevor Coppock 1998
QE2 - Her Twilight Years
A special thanks to Trevor Coppock of Seapixonline.com and his wonderful photos, as well as Nigel Robinson for his great donations in pictures and his leading efforts to save the ROYAL IRIS.
Her final visit to the New York Terminal, hours before the lines were cast, October 16th, 2008.
The first QUEEN ELIZABETH makes her way down the Hudson on what is her last call at New York on October, 30 1968 -notice the steam from two funnels, a tell tale sign she is saluting the harbor. Rob O'Brien collection
The QE2 on April 27th 1995 as seen from the Miriam Moran.
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QE2 as seen in her original appearance in August 1969, months after her maiden voyage, departing Southampton. Photo: Ron Baker, portholeproductions
A rare QE2 view at Southampton in August 1972. Photo: Copyright Nigel Robinson
QE2 in Liverpool for the last time in October 3rd 2008. Photo: Nigel Robinson Copyright 2008
A fine view of the liner as she leaves Southampton & passes Calshot at the beginning of her around British Isles Cruise on October 1, 2008. Photo: Nigel Robinson Copyright 2008
Save the ROYAL IRIS campaign
History and ROYAL IRIS Campaign words by Nigel Robinson
The Mersey ferry ROYAL IRIS came into service in April 1951 and built by the Dumbarton ship yard. The IRIS is twin screwed with a length of 160ft 48ft breadth and measures 1,234 tons, and was the largest ferry built for the river Mersey. She was mostly used for river cruises, on one special cruise she met the QUEEN ELIZABETH 2 as she sailed into the river Mersey for the first time in July 1990. But a little over 12 months later and the ROYAL IRIS was up for sale. She needed a lot of money spending on her to keep sailing. She was sold in 1993 to be used in Cardiff as a night club. But planning permission was never granted. In 2002 she moved to the river Thames but nothing happened. Then in February 2010 she sadly sank at her moorings up to her passenger deck. The IRIS has been patched up, but needs to be rescued and taken back home to the river Mersey. She is not liked or wanted on the Thames and she belongs home on the river she once sailed up and down for forty years. If you sign this petition maybe some body may take notice and save a small piece of maritime history.
Do your part and save a little piece of maritime history and sign the petition at: http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/bring-the-royal-iris-back-home
ROYAL IRIS at the pier head. Photos(Left and Right): Copyright Nigel Robinson
Left. the ROYAL IRIS is coming alongside the pier head at Liverpool. Right, the stately vessel is laid up in Birkenhead. Photos: Copyright Nigel Robinson
The QUEEN's farewell to Southampton, amid an army of small boats.& fireworks November 11, 2008 Photo: Nigel Robinson Copyright 2008
The QE2 is welcomed at Liverpool, together with ROYAL IRIS for the first time in July, 1990. Photo: Nigel Robinson Copyright 1990
A dramatic image of the last transatlantic liner while tied up at the pier in New York in late 1969. Ernie Arroyo / Rob O'Brien collection
The brand new QE2 approaches the tip of Manhattan for the very first time. Ernie Arroyo / Rob O'Brien collection
A brilliant image of the new liner at night while fitting out and preparing for her long career. Upper Clyde Shipbuilders Limited
The bow of the QE2 juts majestically into the sky as the launch and naming ceremony draws near. Upper Clyde Shipbuilders Limited
Cunard Line's QUEEN ELIZABETH 2 enters the port of New York on her maiden voyage in May, 1969 welcomed by a flotilla of small craf, tugboats and helicopters. Rob O'Brien collection