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Wednesday, 15 May, 2002, 16:28 GMT 17:28 UK
QE2 to end New York route
QE2
The QE2 will finish transatlantic crossings in 2004
The cruise liner Queen Elizabeth 2 (QE2) is to stop trans-Atlantic voyages within two years.

The vessel's owner Cunard has announced it is pulling the luxury ocean liner from Southampton-New York service from April 2004.

The ship, which entered service in 1969, will concentrate on Southampton-based cruises.

A by-word for luxury and refinement, the QE2 will also continue to do world cruises from January to April each year.

The QE2
She is 963ft or 290m long
Top speed is 32.5 knots
She can carry 1,800 passengers
The crew can number up to 1,000
She has made more than 500 trans-Atlantic crossings
Passengers consume nearly 42,340lbs of lobster and 2,409lbs of caviar and 73,000 bottles of champagne a year
She was used as a troop carrier during the Falklands War of 1982

The 67,000-tonne liner's Southampton to New York route will be taken over by Cunard's new flagship, the Queen Mary 2 or QM2.

She is still under construction in a French shipyard.

Cunard spokesman Eric Flounders said the new ship would carry on the tradition built up by the QE2.

He said people still wanted to travel by luxury liner.

"You can cross the Atlantic in a matter of hours if you want to - but do you really want to when you can do it in a very leisurely, very luxurious fashion over six days on a ship.

"We've found since the QE2 came into service in 1969 that a huge number of people want to do it the glamorous way and we think they will continue to do it the glamorous way."

The QE2 was the first scheduled passenger ship to dock in New York after the 11 September attacks.

When she arrived, she made a ceremonial stop in front of the site of the World Trade Center and a wreath was dropped into the water with the ship's flag lowered to half-mast.

Her history has not always been plain sailing - she was grounded in 1992 after striking an "uncharted" object off the eastern US coast.

Millions of pounds were lost while repairs took the ship out of service.

Owners Cunard paid 7.5m to furious passengers after a trip in December 1994.

Having sailed before a 30m refit was completed, passengers had to contend with construction debris, loose wiring and poor water supplies.


Click here to go to Southampton
See also:

08 Jan 02 | Americas
QE2 returns to New York
14 Dec 01 | England
New cruise liner ordered
22 Aug 01 | Americas
Widow makes QE2 her home
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