RMS Queen Elizabeth 2
The Queen Elizabeth 2
, often called "the QE2
," was the flagship of the Cunard Line
until it was replaced by the RMS Queen Mary 2
. The QE2 is considered the last of the great transatlantic ocean liners
and was the last steamship
to cross the Atlantic
before it was converted to diesel engines. During its service as the flagship, the QE2
traveled all over the world, but now operates as a cruise ship based out of Southampton, England
The QE2 cruise liner in Southampton Docks, England, 1976.
At 70,327 tons and 963 feet (294m) long, with a top speed of 32.5 knots, she is one of the largest and fastest passenger vessels afloat. She is larger than the RMS Titanic was, but smaller than her predecessor the RMS Queen Elizabeth and her successor the RMS Queen Mary 2.
The "2" in the name distinguishes her from the first ship of the name, the RMS Queen Elizabeth, which was named for Queen Elizabeth, the wife of King George VI of the United Kingdom, who was queen consort when that ship was built. The QE2 was probably named to honor Queen Elizabeth II, who launched her in 1969. The name was formerly written Queen Elizabeth II and this spelling is sometimes seen, though the company uses the Arabic numeral to distinguish the ship from the monarch.
She was built on the River Clyde in Scotland and launched on 20th September 1967. Her maiden voyage, from Southampton to New York, was on 2nd May 1969.
In 1972, the QE2 was the subject of a bomb threat.
In 1982, she took part in the Falklands War, carrying 3000 troops to the south Atlantic.
In 1986, her steam engines were replaced by diesel engines.
In August 1992 her hull was considerably damaged when she ran aground off Cape Cod, on a day trip from New York to Martha's Vineyard.
The QE2 was retired from transatlantic service in 2004 when the QM2 became operational, but continued in service providing cruises based out of Southampton.