FLASH­BACK

DestinAsian - - DEPARTMENTS -

Scot­land, 1967.

The golden age of transat­lantic cross­ings aboard pas­sen­ger lin­ers might have ended with the rise of air travel in the 1950s, but even in the face of fall­ing de­mand, the Cu­nard Line was not about to give up on a long­stand­ing tra­di­tion. The enor­mous twin-screw pro­pel­ler pic­tured here be­longs to Cu­nard’s Queen El­iz­a­beth 2, pop­u­larly known as QE2, as she awaits her launch from the John Brown and Com­pany ship­yard in Cly­de­bank, Scot­land. Smaller and more eco­nom­i­cal than older sib­lings Queen El­iz­a­beth and Queen Mary, QE2 es­chewed the Art Deco style of her pre­de­ces­sors in fa­vor of mod­ern ma­te­ri­als—alu­minum, Per­spex, and plas­tic lam­i­nates—and be­came just as much of an icon. The 1980s saw a brief stint as a troop­ship in the Falk­lands War and a re­fit to con­vert her from steam power to diesel; two fur­ther over­hauls would take place the fol­low­ing decade. By the time QE2 was re­tired in 2008 af­ter nearly 40 years in ser­vice, she had car­ried 2.5 mil­lion pas­sen­gers, clock­ing up 806 transat­lantic cross­ings and more than five mil­lion nau­ti­cal miles at sea. Re­gret­tably, post-re­tire­ment life un­der her new own­ers got off to a rough start. QE2 spent al­most a decade molder­ing in Dubai be­fore fi­nally be­ing re­born in April as a float­ing ho­tel and mu­seum at the city’s Port Rashid. —James Louie

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