Queen Elizabeth 2 is considered by some to be the last of the classic ocean liners. The QE2, as she is colloquially known, saw service between 1969 and 2008 operating on cruises and transatlantic crossings for the venerable Cunard Line.
Each year the ship completed a world cruise and sometimes would call in Sydney. The Australian news always covers the arrival of a Cunard Queen and people often visit Circular Quay in Sydney to view the ship.
Dreams of QE2
Visiting the ship in port is a breathtaking experience. It looked so good docked at Circular Quay with the Sydney Harbour Bridge on one side and the Sydney Opera House on the other side.
Occasionally Cunard would send me a brochure in response to a phone call from me. Everything inside was terribly exotic but also terribly pricey. I was hooked and vowed one day to travel on board the ship.
Transatlantic on Queen Elizabeth 2
In 2008 I flew to New York for the sole purpose of heading to the docks to get on board Queen Elizabeth 2 for a trip from New York to Southampton. This is the classic Atlantic crossing which millions of people experienced in the 19th and 20th Century.
Here are some pictures from my trip in 2008 taken on a Nokia mobile of all things.
I booked a CA class single cabin on One Deck which in the 1960s and 1970s was a cabin where a maid would travel. It is perfect for one person and I enjoyed its creaky wooden comforts for a week.
Dining rooms are elegantly appointed from the Britannia at the bottom all the way up to the expensive grills. CA class meant Caronia Restaurant for me.
Dinner is a formal affair and you need to wear a suit and tie or a tux after 6pm while on board. I avoided this occasionally by ordering room service.
Afternoon tea is a proper affair such as that offered in upscale hotels. Food on board was tremendously delicious and I actually got fat from a week at sea!
Around The Ship
Unlike today’s modern cruise liners, stability on Queen Elizabeth 2 was not great. I felt mildly seasick for the entire time I was at sea which was disconcerting. I still enjoyed myself though!
The ship is currently laid up in Dubai waiting her fate.
Cunard are a great company and I hope to one day travel on the Queen Mary 2 or the current Queen Elizabeth or Queen Victoria. I count myself extremely lucky to have been able to travel in style on Queen Elizabeth 2 on one of her very last transatlantic crossings. Next time I will take an actual camera with me though!
Thank you for reading and if you have any comments or questions, please leave them below.
Featured image by Tim Dyer via Wikimedia Commons.