Cunard Line Limited

Cunard Line Limited

September 01, 2005 07:01 ET

QE2 Becomes The Longest Serving Cunarder Ever

LONDON, ENGLAND--(CCNMatthews - Sep. 1, 2005) -

The most famous ship in the world, Queen Elizabeth 2, reaches a notable milestone on Sunday 4 September when she becomes the longest serving Cunarder ever. When she entered service in 1969 city analysts prophesied that QE2 would be mothballed within six months - that the age of the liner was dead. How wrong they were!

On Sunday QE2 will pass the 36 years 4 months and 2 days' record of service of Scythia, which sailed from 1921 to 1957.

QE2 was also the Cunard flagship for longer than any other - from 1969 until she handed over the role to Queen Mary 2 last year. In November last year she became the longest serving Cunard express liner when she passed the 35 years 6 months and 1 day record previously set by Aquitania, which served Cunard Line, in peace and in two wars, from May 1914 to December 1949.

This historic event will be marked on board QE2 with a special dinner, the unveiling of a plaque and all passengers will receive a certificate acknowledging their presence on board.

Fittingly the vessel will be berthed in Sydney, Nova Scotia. It was Nova Scotian Samuel Cunard who founded Cunard Line in 1839.

A Record Unlike Any Other

QE2 has sailed more than 5.3 million nautical miles - that's more than any ship in history and is equivalent to travelling to the moon and back 12 times. She has carried nearly three million passengers - many of them returning again and again to their second home. She has called at her homeport of Southampton 651 times and has completed 1,383 voyages. She has made 796 Atlantic crossings and completed 23 full World Voyages. She has sailed at an average speed of 24.75 knots over the last 36 years and she can sail backwards faster than most cruise ships can sail forwards! One gallon of fuel moves her just 49.5 feet! She has been commanded so far by 24 Captains.

A History Unlike Any Other

QE2 was launched by Her Majesty the Queen in 1967 and was the last passenger ship to be built on the Clyde. For the last 36 years QE2 has been the most famous passenger liner in the world, making headlines throughout her career.

She was one of the star attractions when she led the Tall Ships into New York Harbour for the Statue of Liberty's centenary celebrations in 1986; over one million sightseers flocked to see her when she called at Liverpool for the first time during Cunard's 150th anniversary celebrations in 1990 and she was at the head of the flotilla reviewed by the Queen on the 50th Anniversary of 'D' Day in 1994.

However, QE2's history has not only been one of sedate cruises, ecstatic welcomes and luxury living. In 1982, she was requisitioned by the Government for service in the Falklands Campaign - and so joined the ranks of the great Cunarders called upon to serve the country in times of conflict.

QE2 goes from great things to greater, and many sailings this year - her second season of European cruises - were completely sold out.

- Ends -

Notes to Editors

A complete list of QE2 Fun Facts and Statistics is attached. A complete fact sheet on QE2 is available on request.

For Further PRESS Information


Eric Flounders, Corporate Communications Manager: 0207 940 5390
Michael Gallagher, Corporate Communications Executive: 0207 940 5391
Or visit the Cunard website:


Images of QE2 are available for downloading at:

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QE2 has...

* completed 1,383 voyages with an average speed of 24.75 knots.

* sailed 5.3 million nautical miles - that's more than any other ship
ever and the equivalent of travelling to the moon and back 12 times.

* carried almost three million passengers.

* completed 796 Atlantic crossings.

* called at New York 705 times and Southampton 651 times.

* completed 23 full World Cruises.

* nine diesel electric engines - each the size of a double decker bus.

* the most powerful propulsion plant on a non-military vessel.

* the largest marine motors ever built.

* the largest cinema at sea (capacity 531).

* the only Synagogue at sea.

* been commanded by 24 Captains.

QE2 is...

* probably the most misnamed ship in the world. She is Queen Elizabeth 2,
not Queen Elizabeth II.

* the most famous ship in operation.

* the only ship to be awarded Five Stars by the RAC.

* the largest consumer of caviar on earth.

* the fastest merchant ship in operation, capable of speeds of up to
34 knots (cruising speed 28.5 knots).


* She cost just over GBP 29 million to build in 1969 - since then
Cunard has spent more than fifteen times that amount on refits
and refurbishments.

* The GBP 100 million cost of re-engining her in 1986 / 87 is the
largest amount ever spent on such a project. Her steam turbines
had taken her a total of 2,622,858 million nautical miles - the
equivalent of 120 times around the world - and were replaced by the
present diesel electric propulsion system.

* On 13 June 1999, QE2 exceeded 175,290 hours of steaming time - that
equates to exactly 20 years on the move (including four leap years).

* Cunard's first ship Britannia, would fit into QE2's Grand Lounge.

* One gallon of fuel moves QE2 49.5 feet; with the previous steam
turbine engines, one gallon of fuel moved the ship 36 feet.

* The diesel electric system produces 130,000 hp, which is the most
powerful propulsion plant of any merchant ship in the world.

* QE2 can sail backwards (full speed astern is 19 knots) faster than
most cruise ships sail forwards.

* The 95 MV total power output is enough to light a city the size of

* QE2 sends all its used cooking oil ashore for reconstituting into
animal feed.

* 277,000 metres of cling film is used very year, enough to go around
the Queen Elizabeth 2 nearly 731 times.

* An estimated one million turned out to see her when she called at
Liverpool for the first time on Tuesday 24 July 1990.

* The ship's fuel oil tank capacity of 4,381.4 tonnes is sufficient
for 10 days' sailing at 32.5 knots, equalling 7,800 miles.

* QE2 consumes 18.05 tonnes of fuel per hour - that's 433 tonnes per day.

* Heineken and Becks together account for almost 50% of the beer consumed.

* Her rudder weighs 80 tons.

* Pound for pound, the most expensive food item on board is saffron
(2.5 times the value of Beluga caviar).

* The number of tea bags used each day would supply a family for an entire year.

* To eat QE2's daily consumption of breakfast cereal, one person would
have to eat at least two packets a day for more than a year.

* Enough fruit juice is used in one year to fill up QE2's swimming
pools nearly 8 times.

* Approximately 600,000 litres of beverage are consumed annually.

The kitchens and dining rooms have:
Glassware 51000 items
crockery / dishes 64000 items
cutlery 35850 items
kitchenware 7921 items
tableware 64531 items

Linen consumption on a transatlantic voyage:
Tablecloths 2932
oven cloths 1000
pillow cases 3100
laundry bags 3250

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