Page last updated at 12:47 GMT, Friday, 3 October 2008 13:47 UK

QE2 makes final trip to Liverpool

About 1,800 passengers are on board

The world's most famous passenger liner, the QE2, has sailed into the River Mersey for the final time as part of her farewell tour of the UK.

The QE2 will be retired in November to be converted into a hotel in Dubai after more than 40 years in service.

The Cunard vessel arrived at the Princes Dock liner terminal in Liverpool at about 1130 BST.

Hundreds of well-wishers lined the banks of the River Mersey as she docked at the Pier Head.

The QE2 set off from Cork on Friday and stopped in Douglas Bay on the Isle of Man before setting sail for Liverpool.

There are about 1,800 passengers on board, many of whom will attend a celebratory farewell concert at the Anglican Cathedral at 1600 BST.

This great city and the most famous ship in the world have a very close bond
Cunard president Carol Marlow

The choirs of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic and the cathedral will sing at the event and the band of the Welsh Guards will perform.

Speakers include Simon Weston - who sailed to the Falklands on the QE2 - Dame Beryl Bainbridge and the Master of the QE2 on its final voyage, Captain Ian McNaught.

She is due to sail out of the docks at 2200 BST accompanied by a fireworks display.

After leaving Liverpool, the vessel will head to Greenock, Belfast and Edinburgh before arriving in her home port of Southampton.

Liverpool was for many years home to the headquarters of the Cunard Line.

Hosted royalty

Cunard president Carol Marlow said: "QE2 was conceived and developed in Liverpool, within the walls of the magnificent Cunard Building on the Pier Head, so it's true to say this great city and the most famous ship in the world have a very close bond.

"The QE2's welcome when she has visited Liverpool has been legendary and this final call will be no exception."

During her time at sea, the 70,000-tonne QE2 has broken records, transported troops and hosted royalty.

She has travelled more than 5.6 million nautical miles, 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.


SEE ALSO
Island set for fleeting QE2 visit
29 Sep 08 |  Isle of Man
Coronation farewell to QE2 liner
02 Jun 08 |  Hampshire

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Worthing Today Well-wishers greet QE2 on farewell tour - 3 hrs ago
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