Queen Elizabeth 2, often referred to simply as QE2, is a floating hotel and retired ocean liner built for the Cunard Line which was operated by Cunard as both a transatlantic liner and a cruise ship from 1969 to 2008. Since 18 April 2018, she has been operating as a floating hotel in Dubai. QE2 was designed for the transatlantic service from her home port of Southampton, UK to New York, and she was named after the earlier Cunard liner RMS Queen Elizabeth. She served as the flagship of the line from 1969 until succeeded by RMS Queen Mary 2 in 2004. QE2 was designed in Cunard's offices in Liverpool and Southampton and built in Clydebank, Scotland. She was considered the last of the great transatlantic ocean liners until Queen Mary 2 entered service. QE2 was also the last oil-fired passenger steamship to cross the Atlantic in scheduled liner service until she was refitted with a modern diesel powerplant in 1986–87. She undertook regular world cruises during almost 40 years of service, and later operated predominantly as a cruise ship, sailing out of Southampton, England. QE2 had no running mate and never ran a year-round weekly transatlantic express service to New York. She did, however, continue the Cunard tradition of regular scheduled transatlantic crossings every year of her service life. QE2 was never given a Royal Mail Ship designation, instead carrying the SS and later MV or MS prefixes in official documents. QE2 was retired from active Cunard service on 27 November 2008. She had been acquired by the private equity arm of Dubai World, which planned to begin conversion of the vessel to a 500-room floating hotel moored at the Palm Jumeirah, Dubai. The 2008 financial crisis intervened, however, and the ship was laid up at Dubai Drydocks and later Port Rashid. Subsequent conversion plans were announced by in 2012 and by the Oceanic Group in 2013 but these both stalled. In November, 2015 Cruise Arabia & Africa quoted DP World chairman Ahmed Sultan Bin Sulayem as saying that QE2 would not be scrapped and a Dubai-based construction company announced in March, 2017 that it had been contracted to refurbish the ship. The restored QE2 opened to visitors on 18 April 2018, with a soft opening. The grand opening was set for October 2018.
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