Page last updated at 19:06 GMT, Friday, 10 October 2008 20:06 UK

QE2 in final transatlantic trip

QE2 (left) and QM2 (right) in Southampton in 2005
QE2 will sail in tandem with the QM2 to New York

The world-famous QE2 passenger liner has left on its final transatlantic round trip to New York - in tandem with its successor, the Queen Mary 2 (QM2).

The 40-year-old Cunard vessel is to be taken out of service next month and turned into a floating hotel in Dubai.

QE2 returned to its home port of Southampton early on Friday after completing a farewell tour of the UK.

The ship left the city's QE2 terminal for New York for the last time on Friday evening, alongside QM2.

QE2 was the flagship of the Cunard fleet of ocean liners until 2004, when its successor, QM2 was launched.

The vessel, which was built in Clydebank, Scotland, in 1967 and launched by the Queen, was once a scheduled transatlantic ocean liner, but recently was operated mostly as a cruise ship.

Farewell ceremony

During its time at sea, the 70,000-tonne, 963ft (294m) QE2 has broken records, transported troops and hosted royalty.

It has travelled more than 5.5 million nautical miles - the equivalent of travelling to the moon and back 13 times - has carried more than 2.5 million passengers and crossed the Atlantic more than 800 times.

The QE2 was bought by investment group Dubai World for $100m (55m) and will arrive at the emirate port on 28 November to be retired.

It will become a floating hotel off the Gulf emirate's man-made islands. The ship will be berthed from 2009 at a pier at the Palm Jumeirah development.

Thousands of people are expected to line Southampton Water when QE2 leaves the UK for the last time on 11 November. A large ceremony and fireworks display is due to be held.

QE2's funnel 'to be sliced off'
10 Oct 08 |  Hampshire
QE2 in final farewell to Belfast
05 Oct 08 |  Northern Ireland
QE2 makes final trip to Liverpool
03 Oct 08 |  Merseyside
QE2 set to become floating hotel
18 Jun 07 |  Business


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