Queen Elizabeth 2 cruise ship of Cunard
Cunard cruise lines ships for luxury vacations
 

Queen Elizabeth 2 cruise ship
Bridge Cam
 
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THE FIRST 30 YEARS

1964   Contract to build signed by Sir John Brocklebank, Chairman of Cunard, and Lord Aberconway, Chairman of John Brown.
1967 Launched by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in the presence of HRH The Duke of Edinburgh and HRH Princess Margaret.
The new ship is not named after the Queen but is simply the second ship to bear the name - hence the use of the Arabic 2 in her name, rather than the Roman II used by the Queen.
1968 HRH Prince Charles sails on board from the shipyard in Clydebank to drydock in Greenock.
1969 Arrives in Southampton for the first time.
Cunard formally accepts delivery.
Officially enters commercial service with a mini-cruise to the Canary Islands.
HM The Queen and HRH The Duke of Edinburgh visit at Southampton.
Maiden transatlantic voyage to New York.
Arrives in New York to tumultuous welcome; greeted by Mayor John Lindsay.
HRH The Duke of Edinburgh again visits in Southampton.
1970 Welcomes her 75,000th passenger.
Crosses Atlantic westbound in a record time of 3 days, 20 hours and 42 minutes, an average speed of 30.36 knots.
Departs on her first long cruise: 37 days to North America, Africa and South America.
1971 Rescues 501 passengers and crew from the burning French Line cruise ship Antilles in the Grenadines and lands them in Barbados.
1971 Trafalgar House purchases Cunard and QE2.
1972 First major refit changes external appearance with the addition of ten penthouse suites.
1973 Leaves Southampton on first of two chartered cruises to Israel to commemorate 25th anniversary of the state's founding. Intense security for the ship through the Mediterranean following Arab terrorist threats. On July 16, 1974, President Anwar Sadat of Egypt reveals in a 'Panorama' interview on BBC Television that he personally had countermanded an order given to an Egyptian submarine commander by President Gaddaffi of Libya to torpedo the vessel during the cruise to Israel.
1974 Rescues six passengers from sinking French yacht Stephanie in the Mediterranean.
1975 Sails from Southampton on first World Cruise - a journey of 38,000 miles and a total of 3,965 passengers.
First transit of Panama Canal; QE2 breaks two records -she becomes the largest ship to travel through the Canal and pays the highest toll for the transit.
Completes first million miles, between Antigua and Boston.
1977 Takes part in the rehearsals for the Jubilee Review of the fleet by HM The Queen.
Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth Suites added.
1978 Visits Australia and New Zealand for the first time.
1979 Celebrates her tenth year of service, having carried half-a-million passengers to 63 countries.
1980 First transit of the Suez Canal.
1981 Special screening of the Royal Wedding between the Prince and The Princess of Wales takes place while QE2 crosses the Atlantic.
1982 Maiden arrival in Philadelphia as part of the city's tricentennial celebration.
Requisitioned for use by the British Government as a troopship in the Falkland Islands Campaign.
Arrives in Southampton and immediately undergoes conversion to a troopship, including the installation of three helicopter pads.
Leaves Southampton for war with 3,000 troops and 650 crew volunteers.
Arrives in war zone.
Welcomed home in Southampton by HM Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother on board Royal Yacht Britannia.
Hull repainted light charcoal grey and the funnel in Cunard's traditional red and black, (in place of her previous non-traditional white).
HM Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother visits in Southampton.
1983 Hull repainted black but the Cunard funnel colours retained.
The Magrodome, a sliding glass roof, installed over Quarter Deck outdoor swimming pool.
1984 By the completion of her World Cruise, QE2 had visited 145 different ports worldwide. New York was the most visited port with 325 calls while Southampton was second with 240.
First sea-going branch of Harrods opens.
1985 Cunard charters Concorde to take passengers out to Sydney, to join QE2 and Sagafjord - both in port together. The Concorde trip breaks the records: 17 hours, 3 minutes and 45 seconds.
QE2, the Red Arrows and Concorde photographed at the same time in the English Channel.
1986 HM Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother visits the ship in Southampton to mark the 50th anniversary of the Queen Mary's maiden voyage in 1936.
Participates in centennial celebration of the Statute of Liberty.
Leaves New York for the last time as a steamship and undertakes Cunard's last crossing of the Atlantic under steam, ending a 146-year tradition.
QE2's steam turbines had taken her a total of 2,622,858 miles - the equivalent of 120 times around the world.
Re-engined with nine diesel electric engines and totally refurbished at a total coast of $176 million. Appearance altered with bulkier funnel and additional penthouse suites.
1987 HRH The Princess of Wales attends a children's party on board, and Concorde makes a special flypast, to mark the ship's successful re-engining. First crossing under diesel electric power to New York commences.
1988 HM Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother lunches on board to celebrate the 50th anniversary of her launching the Queen Elizabeth in 1938.
1989 Chartered by a consortium of Japanese companies for 72 days to celebrate the 130th anniversary of the city of Yokohama.
1990 Again chartered by the Japanese.
Arrives in Southampton after completing her fastest diesel crossing in 4 days, 6 hours and 57 minutes at an average speed of 30.16 knots. Sets out on a Round Britain cruise to celebrate 150 years of Cunard.

Greeted by 60,000 people on her maiden arrival at Cobh, Ireland. Mr Charles Haughey, the Taoiseach, boards for lunch to mark the event.
An estimated 1,000,000 spectators greet her maiden arrival in Liverpool.
Goes home to the Clyde for the first time.
Royal review of Cunard and Royal Navy ships at Spithead by HM The Queen and HRH The Duke of Edinburgh on board Royal Yacht Britannia. The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh transfer to QE2 by Royal Barge. The Queen then becomes the first reigning monarch to sail on a commercial liner with passengers. Captain Ronald Warwick temporarily assumes command. This was the first time that a Cunard Master had captained the same ship as his father (Commodore W E Warwick was QE2's first Captain).
Completes 500th scheduled crossing of the Atlantic.
1991 HRH Prince Edward and HRH The Duke of Edinburgh attend a Royal Ball on board in Southampton.
1992 The Rt Hon Margaret Thatcher lunches on board in Southampton to mark the 10th anniversary of the Falkland Islands Campaign.
1993 HRH Prince Edward lunches on board to celebrate 40th anniversary of the Queen's accession.
BBC's 'Keeping Up Appearances' filmed on board.
First call at Edinburgh.
1994 Special Silver Anniversary crossing to New York.
Albert Reynolds, Irish Taoiseach, visits in Cobh.
Leads flotilla of ships commemorating 'D' Day, reviewed by HM The Queen and HRH The Duke of Edinburgh (as well as other world leaders) on board Royal Yacht Britannia. Sails past the Normandy beaches. Dame Vera Lynn and Bob Hope on board.
Arrives in Hamburg for extensive refurbishment.
HRH Prince Andrew guest of honor at lunch on board in Southampton to mark return to service. Controversially, the ship sets sail for New York with workmen still on board.
1995 First call at Plymouth as part of the VE Day commemoration.
Leaves New York for Southampton on her 1,000th voyage, having sailed 3.8 million miles and carried 1.7 million passengers.
HRH Princess Anne lunches on board in Edinburgh. Leads the Tall Ships out of the Firth of Forth.
Special episode of UK's 'Coronation Street' filmed on board.
1996 Begins 20th World Cruise from New York, a voyage covering 53,000 miles and 38 ports on 4 continents, and marks her 4 millionth mile.
HRH Prince Edward attends a Royal Ball on board in Southampton.
Goes into the A&P Yard in Southampton for a refit.
1997 Marks the 75th anniversary of the first World Cruise (Cunard's Laconia in 1922) with her own World Cruise departure from New York.
30th anniversary of launch by HM The Queen.
1998 South African President Nelson Mandela (accompanied by future wife Graca Machel) sails from Durban to Cape Town. A Gala Dinner for the Nelson Mandela Children's Fund held on board in Cape Town. Mandela writes in QE2's visitor's book: "Traveling on QE2 was an unforgettable honor and pleasure".
A consortium led by Carnival Corporation purchases Cunard Line from Kvaerner for $500 million.
Visits the Orkney Islands for the first time.
Visits Malta for the first time.
1999 Celebrates the 30th anniversary of her first transatlantic crossing with a special birthday party in Southampton.
In 30 years QE2 has made 1,159 voyages, sailed 4,648,050 nautical miles and carried over 2 million passengers.
QE2 undergoes a $18 million refit at the Lloyd Werft Shipyard in Bremerhaven, Germany.
QE2 is positioned off Barbados to welcome the Millennium. A special rendezvous with Cunard's 'new' Caronia (on her inaugural cruise) is planned.
2000 Embarks on her first world cruise of the Millennium: 104 voyage (New York to Miami).
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