The long wait is over. After months of rumours and speculations about Hers Shipness’ future, Nakheel made an official announcement yesterday to move the ocean liner to Cape Town where she is to be birthed at the Albert & Victoria Waterfront.
After months of sitting idle at Dubai Port, the QE2 will soon be doing what she’s doing best: Sailing the oceans – although she will not be allowed to carry any passengers to her new destination in Cape Town. While birthed in Dubai, maintenance work was carried out both inside the ship as well as outside, mainly the painting of the ship’s hull.
There won’t be a lot of time to get the ship in shape for the 2010 Soccer Games, so I am sure whatever maintenance work and renovations will be carried out, have to be modest in scale.
I wonder what will happen to the Southampton on the stern. Will this change to Dubai or Cape Town? Will she carry the logo of her new owner Nakheel? The Cunard logo was removed some time in March, shortly before the arrival of Queen Mary 2 and Queen Victoria 2 who paid a visit to Dubai on their world cruises.
I doubt Cape Town was on anyones radar, so this comes as a surprise, a nice one after all those rumours about her fate. I am relieved that the QE2 has been given a 2nd life and will not face mutilation and destruction in the Nakheel dry docks. For now, she will keep her funnel and she will not be sliced for extension. She is safe for at least 2 years, this is good news. And imagine this, once she opens as a floating hotel, we can go and stay there again!
I certainly can her the grand lady whistle with joy!
QE2 will not lack company, cruise ships are ‘shaking hands’ at this increasingly popular cruise stop. Check out port movements here. She certainly will not be short of entertainment.
Below is a transcript of the report published on BBC yesterday:
QE2 is to be moved to South Africa
The owners of the QE2 have confirmed the ship will be moved to Cape Town in South Africa to become a hotel in time for next year’s football World Cup.
Cunard sold the Southampton-based liner for £50m to the United Arab Emirates real estate developer Nakheel. It had planned to refurbish the ship and open it as a floating hotel in Dubai but that has been put on hold.
The QE2 will now go to the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront in Cape Town, where there is a shortage of hotel rooms. Nakheel which has a financial interest in the South African port, said the ship would be staying in Cape Town for 18 months.
Many of the ship’s huge worldwide fan club will be delighted that she’s not being refurbishedPaul Clifton BBC South’s transport correspondent
A spokesman for the firm said: “It has been our intention for some time to provide a short term opportunity to enjoy QE2 as a stationary hotel in her current condition before refurbishment begins.
“It is clear that Cape Town provides the best opportunity for us to open QE2 to visitors as quickly as possible.
“In addition, the forthcoming 2010 Football World Cup makes a sensible business case for moving her there.” Paul Clifton, BBC South’s transport correspondent, said: “The company planned to have QE2 as the star attraction of a big resort in Dubai.
“It has already built the mooring for it.
“But Nakheel is a property developer and the recession has hit Dubai property values hard.
“Nakheel has cancelled other projects and laid off hundreds of staff and contractors. QE2 is simply a victim of the recession.
“But many of the ship’s huge worldwide fan club will be delighted that she’s not being refurbished but kept for now just as she is.”
He said the ship was expected to be moved to South Africa under its own power, but the sale contract with Cunard meant it could not carry passengers as a cruise ship.
Click here for the online article.
Now that we know where the Queen will set up residence for the next 18 months, lets have a look at her new home and what the environment is like. Click this link to view some very nice shots of the V&A Waterfront and its surrounding area. Isn’t it a splendid scenery for a splendid ship?
If you like to read more news online, check out the following three articles:
How do you feel about the QE2 going to Cape Town? Please share your opinion!