It was on 30 June 1971 that Trafalgar House made a bid for Cunard. But, it was not until the following month that a price was agreed at a meeting in Nice, between Nigel Broackes from Trafalgar House and Sir Basil Smallpeice from Cunard.
Trafalgar House bought Cunard for £27.3 million and acquired assets of £39 million. The last board meeting of Cunard as an independent company took place on 25 August 1971. Source: The Story of Cunard's 175 Years
In 1970 Cunard had commissioned consultants McKinsey and Company to review the company's prospectives. The McKinsey reportwas very critical of the prospects for QE2 and the recommendation was to lay up the ship, thankfully advice Cunard choose to ignore.
Photo: Michael Gallagher collection
However, as the new owners knew that changes would need to be made, they commissioned a survey to look at service improvements and how the ship could be reconfigured to generate more profit. The result was substantial changes to QE2 during the 1972 refit. Penthouse accommodation with first class dining was added to attract passengers who were willing to pay a premium price. A casino was added and the shopping arcade was moved to the Double-up room, so as to be more visible and to encourage spending. Galleys for each restaurant resulted in further changes, including the loss of the Look-out Bar, which became the Britannia Restaurant Galley.
Many key events happened during Trafalgar House's ownership of QE2, which are captured in the QE2 Service Life topics for 1970's,1980's and 1990's.
Did you know that Trafalgar House planned for a replacement for QE2 in the late 1980's? The "Concepts to Replace QE2 - Q5 and SWIFT" topic has interesting information on the subject, which I am sure you will enjoy reading.
1996: Following the sale of Trafalgar House to Kvaerner, Cunard and the QE2 were transferred to the Norwegian company and on 3 April 1998 Carnival Corporation purchased Cunard for $500 million.
QE2's 8 - 13 May 1994 Southampton to New York crossing was designated as her official Silver Anniversary Crossing to mark the 25th Anniversary of her first crossing to New York (2 - 7 May 1969).
The Central Office of Information sent a photographer (Alan Chandler) on that voyage and below are some portraits he captured - of Commodore Bil Warwick who was sailing with his son Ron. And of Commodore Burton-Hall who was in command that trip.
The forum has dedicated topic board areas for QE2 crew and workers, where there is a fantastic collection of stories, photos and memories. But we would love to read more of your memories! Please have a look at the crew topics on the forum and add your memories.
QE2 Officer & Crew and Workers IntroductionsIf you were a member of QE2's crew at any point in her long life, or if you helped build or maintain her, please say hello to everybody, and introduce yourself in this section.
Officer, Crew and Workers Memories This section is mostly for anyone employed on board, or by the builders or maintenance people involved with the upkeep of the ship. However ALL members of the forum can participate and ask our crew members questions about life on board QE2.
Trivia: WhenHM Queen Elizabeth II launched QE2she used the same gold scissors to cut the ribbon to release the wine, as was used by her mother Queen Elizabeth to launch RMS Queen Elizabeth in 1938 and her grandmother to launch RMS Queen Mary in 1934
Trivia: 27 July 1990: Royal review of Cunard and Royal Navy ships at Spithead by HM The Queen and HRH The Duke of Edinburgh on board Royal Yacht Britannia. The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh transferred to QE2 by Royal Barge. The Queen then became the first reigning monarch to sail on a commercial liner with passengers.
Twinkle asked the questions: “Who designed the Captain’s Cabin and whether it was always the same?” On the Captain's Cabin (and invites)topic we find out that Dennis Lennon designed the cabin free of charge as a gift to Cunard and that the initial planned layout was very different.
The QE2 ship's harpist, Sarah Deere-Jones, is giving Forum members the opportunity to listen free of charge to the first three chapters of her book, "Maiden Voyage", in which she writes about her very first encounter with the QE2 and her time on board for a world cruise, playing her classical harp for the passengers. Isabelle has uploaded these chapters here as a taster.
Bob C asked forum members to help identify a model ship that had been located in the Britannia Restaurant in the early years of QE2’s service life. Through the knowledge of forum members the answer was found. See the discussion in the RMS Britannia and Persia Models topic
The competitionalbumis open and ready for your three entries to the June photo competition Surprise(see how to enter).The prize, for this month's winner is the book The Story of Saga Rose and Saga Rubydonated by Isabelle Prondzynskior a jigsaw of the winning photo, donated by June Ingram.
There are some interesting entries so far and as the theme is open to interpretations we are expecting some surprisingly good photos. Have a look at your QE2 photos and choose the three best pictures that fit the theme. We really would appreciate your support. Deadline for entries is 30 June 2020.
Voting for your three favourite photos is easy and fun! The May competition "QE2's Final Calls" has so many excellent photos that we hope you will take time to enjoy viewing the pictures and vote before the poll closes on 1 July 2020.
The April competition winning photo was Bob C's photo "Double Room Tea Time on the Upper Deck 1969." The runners up were Isabelle Prondzynski's photo "Sunshine and Shadows" and another of Bob C's pictures "Theatre Bar, Theatre and the Port Side Entrance to the Britannia Restaurant - Upper Deck - 1969"
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