The QE2 ship is a legendary ocean liner that has been sailing the seas since 1969. Its historic value is one of the reasons why it has been turned into a floating hotel in Dubai, UAE.
The ship was a major part of the British design renaissance that took place in the Sixties. She was a “style icon”, says Ian Johnston, a shipyard history expert.
Built on the Clyde, QE2 was a flagship of Cunard Line and one of the first cruise ships in history. She was a part of the British design renaissance in the Sixties and was described as a “style icon” by shipyard historian Ian Johnston.
She had a bulbous bow, flared stem and clean forecastle and used aluminium instead of steel to save weight. This decision was intended to lower fuel costs and cut the ship’s draft, but it also posed corrosion problems.
The QE2 survived a 95ft rogue wave, bomb threats, rescues of 500 passengers from a burning naval ship and served in the Falklands War. She was retired from Cunard Line service in 2008 and sold to Dubai World in a plan to convert her into a floating hotel.
The rumours that she was heading for a Chinese scrapyard were put to bed when a Dubai-based construction company announced in March 2017 that they would refurbish her. The restored QE2 opened to visitors on 18 April 2018.
QE2 was a radical departure from the traditional Cunard design. She was designed to be a modern liner that would not look out of place on the world stage.
She was a global ambassador for both Cunard and Britain. She sailed nearly 6 million miles and carried 2 1/2 million passengers in style, comfort and luxury.
Her unique design included a slender funnel with a shovel-shaped scoop. This was a compromise on tradition that helped to keep the ship’s decks clear of oil smuts.
It also gave the ship an elegant appearance, which was important in a time when ships were viewed as symbols of class and status.
She was the last transatlantic passenger liner to be built in Britain, and she is considered to have been the last of her type. In 2007 she was retired and sold to Istithmar, an investment company owned by Dubai World. She was then converted into a luxury floating hotel.
The engines are the heart of this great ship, and they run it at a speed of 30 knots. They have a power output of 10,620 kw at 400 rpm and are capable of burning 700 est heavy fuel oils.
The power plant was installed in 1986-87 during a major conversion from steam turbines to diesel power. The steam turbines were removed and replaced by nine medium-speed MAN B&W diesel electric engines, each about the size of a double decker bus.
Each engine runs a generator, which produces 10.5 MW of electrical power at 10,000 volts. This power is used to drive the two main propulsion motors, one on each propeller shaft. These are of synchronous salient pole construction, nine meters in diameter and weigh more than 400 tons each.
In addition to the engines, QE2 has a number of other fittings and auxiliaries in its engine-room. These include water pumps, lubricating oil pumps and oil purifiers, torsionmeters that measure twisting strain on the propeller shafts when under load, shaft and turbine revolution counters and recorders, drinking water pumps, oil coolers, pumps for sanitation purposes and electric fans.
One of the world’s most famous cruise ships, qe2 was originally built for Cunard Line to carry passengers between Southampton and New York. She entered service in 1969 and was operated as a cruise ship until 2008.
In her time, she was praised for her design, and her interior was designed by a team of distinguished British designers with international reputations. The ship’s public spaces were largely decorated with plastic laminates, modular furniture and abstract art.
The ship was also unusual in that the name of the vessel was not painted out on the hull. Instead, the ship had block lettering. This was done so that it could be read from a distance.
This practice was stopped in 1983 when the ship returned from service in the Falklands War. Since then the funnel has been painted in traditional Cunard colours.