LaunchThe Cunard liner Queen Elizabeth II slides stern-first down the slipway into the River Clyde at the John Brown Shipyard, Clydebank, Scotland, Sept. 20, 1967. The ship was launched by Britain's Queen Elizabeth II below left).
Maiden VoyageThe Queen Elizabeth II arrived in New York harbor May 7, 1969 on her first transatlantic trip.
StatsThe ship is 963 feet long and 105 ft across, and can carry 1,778 passengers and 1,016 crew. It houses 5 restaurants, 2 cafes and several bars, a 481-seat cinema, shopping promenade (including a branch of Harrod's), casino and hospital. It is the longest-serving ship in the Cunard fleet, and has sailed 5.5 million nautical miles - more than any other ship.
Fast LadyThe QE2's refitted diesel-electric engines can get her to speeds of 32.5 knots. In June 1970 she crossed the Atlantic westbound in a record 3 days, 20 hours and 42 minutes. (Pictured off the River Tyne on her 40th Anniversary tour of Britain in 2007.)
Colorful HistoryAmong the notable events in the ship's history: In 1972, a ransom demand warned of a bomb aboard while the ship was mid-Atlantic forced SAS and bomb disposal officers to parachute into the Atlantic. The threat turned out to be a hoax. And in 1995 the liner encountered Hurricane Luis, and was struck by a 90-foot wave and winds of up to 130 mph.
Over ThereA Gurkha Piper plays for some 650 Nepalese Gurkhas aboard the QE2, May 12, 1982 in Southampton, England. The luxury liner was requisitioned to transport some 3,000 British troops to join the Task Force off the Falkland Islands.
BridgeCaptain Ian McNaught guides the QE2 out of the River Tyne after a one-day visit to the river on her 40th anniversary cruise around Britain, Sept. 18, 2007. During her visit, which attracted thousands of onlookers, the vessel took on board a million liters of fresh water.
Sister ShipsFireworks light up the sky over New York harbor as the Queen Mary 2 (right), the newest of the Cunard ships Queen Victoria (center), and Queen Elizabeth 2 rendezvous near the Statue of Liberty, Jan. 13, 2008 in New York. This is the only time the three Queen ships will ever meet.
G'DayThe QE2 2 sails from Sydney Harbour, Feb. 25, 2008, during its final world voyage.
Farewell TourOn Oct. 5, 2008 the QE2 arrived in Greenock on the Clyde, Scotland, where she was launched 41 years ago.
QEIIQueen Elizabeth II arrives to pay a final visit to the liner that bears her name, at Southampton docks, June 2, 2008. After carrying more than 2 million passengers in its four decades of service, the ship will leave the service of Cunard to become a floating hotel in Dubai.
On DeckThe Duke of Edinburgh is shown around the deck of the QE2 by Commodore John Burton-Hall (center) and current ship's Captain Ian McNaught (left) in Southampton, November 11, 2008. Adrian Dennis/PA Wire
HarrierA sea harrier flies past the QE2, with the vessel's flag at half-mast for Armistice Day, at Southampton docks, November 11, 2008.
GoodbyeBritain's Queen Elizabeth II leaves with Capt. Ian McNaught during her final visit to the Queen Elizabeth II liner at Southampton docks.
Fiery FarewellFireworks explode in the sky as the QE2 leaves Southampton docks for the last time, November 11, 2008.
Through SuezBritain's most famous cruise ship passes through the Suez canal in Ismailia, Egypt, Nov. 21, 2008 headed for Dubai on its final voyage.
Welcome To Your New HomeThe liner Queen Elizabeth 2 arrives in Dubai, escorted by the UAE Coast Guard, Nov. 26, 2008. More than 60 naval vessels and private boats have met the 70,000-ton ship in the Persian Gulf as it heads for its new home, moored next to an artificial island.
By David Morgan