The QE2, which is retiring from service on 11 November, was built at the John Brown shipyard on the Clyde and launched by the Queen - two minutes early - on 20 September 1967.
The ship was not named after the present Queen but rather the "2" shows that it was the second Cunard ship named Queen Elizabeth.
The record-breaking 70,000-tonne vessel has been a troop carrier, a hostess to royalty and now a floating hotel.
Ever since Prince Charles became the first guest of the QE2 more than 40 years ago, hundreds of famous people have graced her decks, including the Beatle, George Harrison.
In 1982, the vessel was requisitioned as a troop carrier for the Falklands War. It carried 3,000 personnel and 650 volunteer crew to the South Atlantic.
The fastest merchant ship in operation, the QE2 is pictured alongside the NZ Endeavour which was heading into Southampton to win what was then the Whitbread Round the World yacht race.
The QE2 has carried more than 2.5 million passengers, completed 25 world cruises and crossed the Atlantic more than 800 times.
The QE2's 40th anniversary UK tour included calls at Newcastle, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Liverpool. An estimated 1m people turned out to see the ship when it stopped at Liverpool for the first time in 1990.
The much-loved QE2 conducted a farewell tour of Britain in October this year.
Its final stop will be Dubai, where it is to be converted into a floating hotel, moored off the Palm Jumeirah development - the world's largest man-made island.