"QE2 is like champagne -- bubbly and invigorating -- all tiredness was soon forgotten, as we set out on a beautiful sailaway."
The final season was a time of excitement and sadness. Many people, who had never sailed on QE2, took the opportunity to book a cruise to make a dream come true. Others who knew the ship well, looked forward to sailing on the ship for the last time, to say farewell. But they knew that the happiness of being aboard, would soon be tinged with sadness when the time came to say goodbye.
Isabelle Prondzynski's Autumn Colours 2008 - a photo diary touches on the emotions that many people experienced travelling on QE2 and especially on the final season. These extracts, from the end of the cruise are a taster that will hopefully make you want to read more.
"We had tasted the storm, seen the waves, felt the motion, heard the sounds, and we had sailed in calm waters, through lobster pots and among islands. We had seen sunshine and fog, and the waxing moon which reached its full size as we entered New York. We had heard the foghorn and the wonderful QE2 whistle. We had dragged ourselves out of bed for the early morning arrivals, and lingered on deck for the golden sunsets. We had felt the wind, as well as the calm......
We had enjoyed our beautiful cabins, been spoiled with superb food and service in the Britannia Grill, and relaxed on deck and in the public rooms. I had moved in and out of the warm sea water in the swimming pool as if it were my natural element. We had observed the crew going about their work -- including the Captain waving from the bridge, signing books and leading interdenominational services. We had enjoyed every minute, and every part of this wonderful ship, which has been our home now and again for the past decade. There was nothing more we could have asked for -- apart from the chance to do it again next year!"
Speaker update: We are pleased to announce that Professor David Humphreys has agreed to speak at the conference about QE2 and the 1982 Falklands Conflict. David is professor of environmental policy at The Open University. Back in 1982, however, he had a very different occupation; as Senior Accounts Petty Officer onboard QE2. He was one of the volunteer crew who served on the ship when it was requisitioned for service in the South Atlantic. David’s talk will provide a first-hand account of what it was like to sail to war on QE2, as well as analysing the vital role that the ship played in the Falklands conflict.
Session Chairpersons: We had announced last month that Stephen Payne would be chairing one of the conference sessions. We are delighted that Richard Bridge has also agreed to chair a session.
Richard Bridge has a career at sea spanning 35 years covering many maritime fields. His experience ranges from Deck Officer Cadet to Captain. In 1991 he started as Second Officer. He was also First Officer on Cunard Countess, Vistafjord and then Navigator on Queen Elizabeth 2 until 1997. He has been Captain with a number of popular cruise lines including Holland America and Windstar Cruises. In 2003 he moved to prestigious yachts and he has been involved in project management on new builds. He continues as a Captain working across the globe and his recent experience includes helicopters, jets and submersibles and overseeing operations at major events with his VIP owners and their guests.
Booking: We are planning to open priority booking for forum members on 14 January 2017, so as to give our members the opportunity to buy tickets before we make them available to the general public. A special newsletter will be sent in December with full booking details.
Contact Gavin, John and Lynda The QE2 Story Events Team at email@example.com
Photo: Rob Lightbody's website
QE2 1986/87 refit: Date: 27 October 1986 – 25 April 1987 (Re-engining and Refit) Contractor/Place: Lloyd Werft Shipyard, Bremerhaven, West Germany Total Cost: £100 million ($172 million) (DM321 million)
Earlier this month, Alan Snelson was delighted to announce on the 2017 Calendar topic that Calendars are now available for you to order. As they are available to anyone, not just forum members, we hope you will share information of how to order with friends and family.
Alan has added the QE2 50 year logo, as a reminder that 2017 will be 50 years since the launch of the ship and the year when The QE2 Story conference will celebrate the occasion on 22 September in Clydebank, Scotland.
All images used in each calendar are the same, apart from the cover image, which is different due to the differing formats of the layout. We have simply swapped images, so that the cover image of one, will be found on the inside pages of the other and vice-versa. The stunning image above is on the premium Calendar and the equally stunning image below is on the standard version.
We would not have a Calendar without the input from our members who support the Photo Competition. Thank-you!
Photo: John Little
2017 Standard Calendar Cover Photo
Poll for the September Photo Competition
Voting for the September Photo Competition "QE2 External Features" closes on 1 November so why not take a few minutes to view pictures and vote for your three favourite photos.
August photo competition resulted in joint winners Davina's photo "QE2 Panama Canal" a beautiful picture showing the ship sailing through the canal and Hugh Ritchie's photo "Malta July 2008" that captured the elegance of QE2 from a vantage point. Congratulations to both winners with these fantastic photos of QE2!
Keep watching the competition resultsto see the winning photos and to add your comments and congratulations.
Thank-you all for participating and well done everyone!
I am sure you enjoyed looking at the QE2 external features pictures entered for the photo competition. But did you know that there is an External Features album in the Gallery where you can enjoy viewing more fabulous photos and maybe upload your own photos to add to the collection.
October Photo Competition - Legend
"Legend" a simple word to describe QE2 and there can be no doubt that QE2 was a Legend in her time!
But do you have a winning photo?
We would love to see your pictures uploaded to the photo competition that show your interpretation of what makes QE2 a Legend.
Have a look at the instructions and upload your three best photos before the closing date of 31 October 2016.
The prize this month is a £50 voucher to spend at the Brixham Steam Packet Company where you can find an amazing collection of maritime memorabilia.
Queen Elizabeth 2: 1967-2008 (Haynes Manuals) (Owners' Workshop Manual) by Stephen Payne will be available from 8 December, but can be pre-ordered on Amazon. I am sure this is a book that will be on many Christmas lists this year! I have already added it to my Santa list.
The QE2 Story - the place to share your memories of QE2