The classless QE2
The QE2 was conceived to be convertible, able to serve two classes on the transatlantic run and one class on world cruise, a truly “classless” ship, a floating hotel, reflecting best contemporary design. The interior design has also been changed many times. Modern materials such as plastic laminates, aluminium and plexiglass were use, along with modular furniture and abstract art decorating the walls. This was a world away from the wood and Art Deco of the Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth.
The QE2's maiden voyage, from Southampton to New York City, started on May 2, 1969, and took 4 days, 16 hours and 35 minutes. In 1982, she took part in the Falklands War, carrying 3,000 troops and 650 volunteer crew to the south Atlantic. By 1996, she had completed her twentieth world cruise, had sailed more than 4 million miles, the equivalent of completing 185 circuits of the globe, and had carried nearly two million passengers. The ship’s capacity was approximately 2,715, around 1,700 passengers and 1,015 crew members. The QE2 is Cunard’s longest serving ship but will retire in November 2008 and become a floating hotel at Palm Jumeirah, Dubai.