Hamburger, the Queen Elizabeth 2 made its last visit here in March this year, as always I stood on the shore and saw this truly majestic vessel cruise into the harbour. This is what our local paper printed about the visit.
March 02, 2008 12:15am
THE world's most famous liner, Cunard's legendary Queen Elizabeth 2, pays its last visit to Adelaide today as part of its farewell world voyage.
The gracious 70,327-tonne ocean liner will berth at Outer Harbour Cruise Terminal, Port Adelaide, at 7am and depart at 5pm.
Virtual tour: On board the QE2
QE2's visit - part of a 103-night world cruise - represents its eighth call to Adelaide since its launch in 1967. Its first visit to Adelaide was on February 19, 1985.
A LEGEND of the seas, Cunard's Queen Elizabeth 2 has been making headlines ever since it was launched in 1967.
Its calls to Melbourne and Sydney during its first visit to Australia in 1978 dominated local newspapers, with entire front pages dedicated to its arrival.
With headlines declaring ``Enter, The Queen'' and ``Welcome Your Majesty'', the newspapers featured the QE2's classic Cunard grandeur alongside reports of traffic chaos as Melburnians and Sydneysiders turned out in their thousands to see the world's most famous liner.
The inaugural Australian visit came at the halfway point in the QE2's third world cruise a 96-day voyage from New York which saw it call at Melbourne on February 22, 1978.
Watched by a reported 30,000 people, the QE2 sailed from Port Phillip Bay that evening bound for Sydney, where it arrived on February 24, 1978 30 years to the day before its final Sydney visit.
Carrying 1400 passengers, the QE2 berthed in Sydney overnight, before steaming to Port Moresby under the command of NSW-born Captain Robert Arnott.
During the next three decades, the QE2 returned to Australia 22 times, visiting a range of ports each voyage, and always generating a crowd of spectators keen to catch a glimpse of the ship regarded as the icon of ocean travel.
Launched by Queen Elizabeth II on September 20, 1967, the QE2 was named not after the monarch, but its maritime predecessor, Cunard's Queen Elizabeth, which was retired from service in 1968.
Designed to capture the grandeur of the ``golden age'' of cruising, the QE2 became famous for its lavish accommodation, attentive white-gloved service and opulent, yet graceful, public areas.
The new liner quickly won accolades for its innovative design, luxury and its legendary speed.
Known as the greyhound of the seas, the QE2 was capable of sailing at speeds of up to 32.5 knots - far faster than contemporary ocean liners and could even sail backwards at an impressive 19 knots. Perhaps not surprisingly, in 1970 it set a new transatlantic record, crossing the ocean in just three days, 20 hours and 32 minutes.
It was one of many news-making episodes for the grand lady of the seas. In 1971 it helped rescue 500 passengers from the French ship Antilles. The next year it was the victim of an elaborate ransom hoax at sea.
A decade later, the QE2 again hit the headlines when it was requisitioned by the British Government for service as a troop carrier in the Falklands War, transporting 3500 troops to the remote islands.
Its legendary ocean-faring capacity also drew attention in 1995, when it encountered cyclonic conditions during a transatlantic crossing and was struck by a freak 30m wave in the middle of the night.
OVER the years, the QE2 has had many refurbishments and refits. In 1982, following the Falklands conflict, it underwent some major changes during its conversion back to a cruise ship. Then, in 1986, its steam engines were swapped for diesel engines.
Other refits saw every bathroom replaced and the debut of the first Harrods store at sea. All these changes ensured the QE2 continued to meet passenger needs and maintained its loyal following.
The QE2's timeless style has attracted thousands of eminent travellers from around the globe, from royalty to politicians, statesmen, musicians, authors and actors.
Forty years on, the ocean liner has sailed 25 world cruises, and carried 2.5 million passengers, including hundreds of celebrities, 5.6 million nautical miles.
While the QE2 is due to leave Cunard's fleet in November this year, its many journeys have won it a place in the hearts of people around the world as well as a secure berth in maritime history.
Cunard is part of Carnival Corporation & PLC, the world's largest cruise vacation company, which also includes P&O Cruises.
41 years of achievement
THE QE2 has made more than 800 Atlantic crossings, and been commanded by 25 captains.
THE liner has called at New York 707 times and Southampton 710 times.
ITS 2008 visits will mean the QE2 will have made 85 calls to Australian ports and 40 calls to New Zealand ports since its launch.
THIS year marks its eighth call to Adelaide, its 22nd to Auckland; 24th to Sydney, 14th to Melbourne, eighth to Hobart and 10th to Fremantle.
Did you know?
CUNARD Line's first ship Britannia would fit inside QE2's Grand Lounge.
THE QE2 is probably the most misnamed liner in the world it's Queen Elizabeth 2, not Queen Elizabeth II.
IT cost just over 29 million ($A63.6 million) to build the QE2 in 1969.
THE liner is the fastest merchant ship in operation, capable of reaching 32.5 knots. It can sail backwards at 19 knots, faster than most cruise ships can sail forward.
REPLACING QE2's original engines with diesel-electric engines in 1986 cost 100 million ($A219.4 million) the largest amount ever spent on such a project. Steam turbines had powered the QE2 2,622,858 nautical miles, equal to 120 times around the world.
QE2 has the largest marine motors ever built, nine diesel-electric engines each the size of a double-decker bus and the most powerful propulsion plant on a non-military vessel.
QE2 has the only synagogue at sea and the largest cinema at sea.
Food and beverage
THE QE2 is the largest consumer of caviar on earth and the number of teabags used each day would supply a family for an entire year.
TO eat the 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 consumed annually to fill its two swimming pools almost eight times.
ABOUT 599,205 litres of beverage are consumed annually. Together, Heineken and Becks account for almost half the beer consumed.
THE most expensive food on board (gram for gram) is saffron.