The successful redevelopment of the Queen Elizabeth 2 — and of the RMS Queen Maryand Holland America's SS Rotterdam — proves that it is high time for America's own flagship, the SS United States, to be revitalized and restored.
The Cunard Line's Queen Elizabeth 2 was the company's proud flagship for nearly 40 years, operating from 1969 to 2008 as a transatlantic liner and cruise ship. Over the course of her prolific service career, she covered almost six million miles, carrying 2.5 million passengers.
Following her retirement, the QE2 sailed to Dubai, where new owners made plans for her refurbishment and conversion into a floating hotel. When the 2008 financial crisis intervened, the future of the great ship seemed uncertain. However, ten years later, the QE2 is finally preparing for her grand reopening as a "floating entertainment, heritage and hotel destination."
This March, the iconic vessel underwent an extensive two-week deep cleaning and paint retouch at Dubai Drydocks World, and on March 30th made her final voyage to a permanent berth at the Port Rashid cruise terminal.
The QE2 is welcomed back to her permanent berth in Port Rashid.
QE2 Dubai's Facebook page reads: "On board her passengers will discover over 13 unique dining, nightlife and event concepts. They can relax in a wide choice of cabins and suites, and they will have the unique opportunity to discover [the vessel's] heritage at the terminal exhibition, which showcases original interior artwork, volumes of literature from the former library and more."
"The Queen Elizabeth 2 lobby will be home to a fascinating interactive museum portraying the amazing origins of the QE2. Replete with actual and replicated artifacts of those days, the museum reproduces three iconic spaces from the ship: the bridge, a first class cabin and the Queens Room."
Initial images of the ship's redesigned interiors have also been shared.
A bar and entertainment space aboard the redeveloped Queen Elizabeth 2, opening soon as a landmark destination in Dubai. Photograph courtesy of the QE2 Dubai Facebook page.
A cabin aboard the redeveloped Queen Elizabeth 2, opening soon as a landmark destination in Dubai. Photograph courtesy of the QE2 Dubai Facebook page.
The revitalization and upcoming reopening of the Queen Elizabeth 2 has been covered by the Maritime Executive,the United Arab Emirates' The Nationaland the Liverpool Echo, among other news outlets, drawing global attention to the value in caring for and restoring the world's historic ocean liners.
The SS United States, an iconic national symbol, is ready to inspire once again as a landmark waterfront destination in an American port city. With over 12 decks and more than 500,000 square feet of internal space, she offers a remarkable commercial redevelopment and historic preservation opportunity. Despite being withdrawn from service in 1969, the ship remains structurally sound and ready for a brilliant second act.
The SS United States Conservancy is actively seeking a permanent, commercially viable location and program of use to ensure the Big U is protected for generations to come. However, we cannot achieve this goal alone. America's Flagship needs your help. Donate today to help us ensure the future of our nation's greatest and sole remaining ocean liner.
Click HERE to learn more about the incredible redevelopment potential of the SS United States.
The Big U has always been a soaring symbol of ingenuity, innovation, and the nation's ability to join arm-in-arm to advance common goals. It is inconceivable that she has endured all of these years, only to be lost now.