This month sees the 50th Anniversary of the launch of Queen Elizabeth 2! In celebration, the youngest Queen in the Cunard fleet, Queen Elizabeth, will today set sail on a unique 17-night voyage from Southampton. Even former captains of the ship will be onboard for the Mediterranean voyage!

The newest ship in the fleet, Queen Elizabeth

Time To Celebrate

Guests are in for a real treat, with real insight into Cunard’s fascinating history. Celebrations will focus on five theme days, each of which will be accompanied by QE2 inspired menus, talks from special guests, historical snippets in the daily programme, past-passenger gatherings and QE2 quizzes.

Cunard vice president Angus Struthers said: “This Mediterranean cruise is perfectly timed to pay tribute to Queen Elizabeth 2’s launch and naming by HM Queen Elizabeth II 50 years ago.

“When QE2 came into service in the 1960s, many critics said she wouldn’t last a decade in the age of the jet, but her unique design as a dual-purpose ship meant that she was versatile enough to operate both as a transatlantic liner and a cruise ship.”

Former flagship Queen Elizabeth 2

He added: “Given how famous and loved she was, we felt this was a great opportunity to pay tribute to this Cunarder’s remarkable life onboard our newest ship, Queen Elizabeth.”

Ian McNaught, last captain of Queen Elizabeth 2, said “This voyage is a significant and timely tribute to the world’s best loved ship.

Making history

“QE2 remains the longest serving express liner in history. She carried 2.5 million passengers over 5.6 million miles. That’s further than any passenger ship – ever.

“This remarkable ship sailed alone on the North Atlantic for most of her career. She carried the Cunard tradition from the bygone era of the ocean liner and sustained it into the 21st century. She carried royalty, celebrities and even served in the Falklands war.

“QE2 has been gone for nearly a decade now, however on her 50th anniversary the memory of her is still strong. It is very fitting to be acknowledging the QE2’s remarkable career here onboard Queen Elizabeth.”

Where is she now?

Queen Elizabeth 2 is currently situated in Dubai, with plans in the past having been proposed for her to be converted into a 500-room floating hotel moored at the Palm Jumeirah. Nine years since her retirement however, there’s been no confirmed arrangements and she remains in Port Rashid.

The current Cunard fleet - Queen Elizabeth, Queen Mary 2 & Queen Victoria

Did you ever have the pleasure of sailing onboard QE2? Or have you experienced a cruise on another member of the Cunard fleet? Let us know in the comments!

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