'QE2' to be withdrawn from transatlantic route

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The Independent Online

The world's most famous ocean going passenger liner, the QE2 (Queen Elizabeth 2), is to be withdrawn from the transatlantic voyages with which she made her name as the epitome of luxury and glamour.

The world's most famous ocean going passenger liner, the QE2 (Queen Elizabeth 2), is to be withdrawn from the transatlantic voyages with which she made her name as the epitome of luxury and glamour.

After more than 30 years of ferrying the rich and famous between New York and South-ampton, the ship is making way for the new megaliner Queen Mary 2.

The QE2, built at the John Brown yard, was once regarded as the pride of the Clyde and was one of the last passenger ships to be built there. She is to begin a new life as a cruise ship offering holiday packages around the world from her home port of Southampton.

"The QE2 has served the company well for 32 years and will continue to enjoy a very long and valuable life as a cruise liner," said a spokesman for Cunard, the ship's owners.

Pam Conover, Cunard's president, said: "From April 2004, QE2 will be deployed permanently on Southampton-based cruises. She is still, and will continue to be, the fastest passenger liner in service. This will mean we will be able to offer more ports of call in a typical two-week voyage than any of our competitors."

The New York voyages will be taken over by the biggest ship yet to be built – Cunard's megaliner, the 150,000 gross ton Queen Mary 2. Built in France, the QM2 is due to be completed in December 2003 and enter service early the following year.

Almost every year since 1969 the QE2 has completed at least 30 Atlantic crossings, one world cruise lasting about 80 days, and many cruises from South-ampton and New York.

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