There’s a lot of speculation going around on the internet today about whether the Queen Elizabeth 2, (previously owned by Cunard Line, but sold to Istithmar in 2008) is headed to the scrapyard, Shanghai or back to London for a permanent port site.
Information is murky here. Recent reports have suggested that Istithmar, who had planned to turn the ship into a luxury hotel, had been unable to do so due to a financial crunch, and was instead selling it to the Chinese for scrap material. Other reports suggest that a sale to the Chinese would result in the ship being towed to Shanghai and used as a floating hotel and casino.
Most recently, rumblings have suggested that QE2 London is in the process of gaining approval from the London Port Authority to have the ship permanently berthed there.
Cunard is not commenting on any of the rumors and have in fact posted on their Facebook page: “We have noted the messages of understandable concern with regards to the recent article in the Daily Mail with reference to QE2. We remain in close contact with Dubai and can reassure you that to the very best of our knowledge this story is pure speculation — one of a number of stories and rumours as we have seen over recent months. Our best advice would be to ignore the story.”
The idea that the QE2 could be permanently berthed in the center of London is a nice one… this is one of the most famous cruise ships ever made, and would make a wonderful historical addition to the city. (Read more about the history of the ship here.)
Here’s hoping that an appreciation for history will win out over the value of the materials that are such a small part of her story.