IS the end in sight for QE2, Southampton’s former legendary liner?
Rumours she could soon be scrapped are again circulating in Dubai where the ship has been berthed for the last four years.
According to sources moves could be underway which would eventually lead to the vessel being sent to the breaker’s yard.
If this is true it would be directly at odds to a joint announcement made just a few months ago in which the liner’s owners and developers, Istithmar World and DP World, confirmed work would soon begin on transforming QE2 into a major tourist destination right in the heart of Dubai, anchored at the historical, Port Rashid.
But one QE2 expert, who manages a well informed, Internet website about the ship, believes the ship may well be broken up.
Rob Lightbody, writing on his website, The QE2 Story, says: “I am hearing from a good contact, that ship brokers have been contacted about the possible scrapping of a 300 metre cruise ship based in UAE.
“That could surely only be one ship. Has time finally run out for our ship? If so, surely not a complete surprise, some will even be pleased...’’
When QE2 left Southampton for the last time in November, 2008 there were many in the city’s port community who were sceptical about her future in Dubai.
Some would have rather seen her sent for scrap instead of undergoing a drastic conversion and refit which would have destroyed her iconic appearance.
Ever since she left her home port of 40 years in her wake, rumour, and gossip have swirled around the ship as she remains moored at an isolated berth in Dubai.
QE2’s arrival in the Middle East, where she was to be converted into a world-class tourist attraction, fivestar floating hotel, and international conference centre, coincided with the worst of the global economic recession leading her new owners to abandon the original, lavish scheme for less ambitious plans.