QE2 to make one more trip
Firstly, we must say tremendous congratulations to Andy Murray in winning Wimbledon last weekend… what a match! It certainly had us all on the edge of our seats! Finally, after a 76-year wait, a British man has won the Men’s’ Wimbledon Singles… phew!
Remember Captain Francesco Schettino? The Italian tabloids dubbed him Italy’s ‘most hated man’ after the crash of Costa Concordia last year with the loss of 32 lives. This week, the Captain went on trial charged with the victims’ manslaughter. He abandoned ship after a risky manoeuvre he conducted ended in tragedy, leaving terrified passengers trapped on board. The trial takes place in Grosseto, a city close to the shipwreck site of Giglio.
On a brighter note, the QE2 is to make one final trip and on its return, the cruise ship will be refitted as a 400-room floating hotel. Now owned by Dubai World, they revealed new plans for a 300-room hotel and the retention of the ship’s original features, but the global financial crisis stopped that. Then in November last year, a British consortium thought about converting the ship into a luxury floating hotel sited outside London’s O2 Arena; a good move, you might have thought, and job creator… But that was not to be either.
The good news is that in January, Singapore’s Oceanic Group announced a joint venture with Dubai World; Oceanic Group will rent the QE2, and have the option to buy the ship outright in 10 years’ time. Their vision? For the QE2 to be a landmark tourist attraction, a cultural marvel, and a homage to a rich maritime heritage. The renovation will also reveal a maritime museum, restaurants and a shopping mall. Daniel Chui, managing director at Oceanic Group, said: “The Queen Elizabeth 2 is starting the next exciting journey of her long and illustrious career.”
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