QE2 was launched in a era when the airliner was very much established, passenger liners were a thing of the past, the great rival SS FRANCE was already in trouble, so she was born into a world of uncertainty, she costed in 1969, 29 million pounds a sum that nearly bunkrupt CUNARD, her future was predicted to be short, yet she quickly paid back the investment, QE2 was destinguished by transporting the rich and famous on regular transatlantic crossings and cruise around the world, she was for many years the last true liner to guarantee regular scheduled transatlantic crossings. QE2 was never far from the news, collisions, engine failures, terrorist activity, wartime service, refurbishments that went terribly wrong but she survived, more than that she triumphed against all odds. CUNARD spent millions on regular refits that kept the ship throughout the years as appealing and comfortable as any passenger ship afloat, with a difference she was steeped in Maritime History. Many consider QE2 to be the most famous of all QUEENS, I personally believe that the tittle belongs to the old QUEEN MARY the ship described to be the closest thing to a "human being" a ship that dominated the North Atlantic for many years, when liners were still the proud of the nations an ambassador of each country, SS NORMANDIE unfortunately did not live long enough to become competition for the QUEENS and of course because of her role during the second World War, but I have never seen the QUEEN MARY, she is from a different generation, I have grown with the QE2, I´ve seen her countless times, sailed twice on her, celebrated the 5th Anniversary of my daughter on board the ship and I will never forget how sad I was when I saw QE2 arriving at Dubai in November 2008 at the end of her sea-going career, passenger liners have always been my passion and QE2 epitomizes the best a ship can offer, she is the ship of my generation and I feel really pround about that
I hope and I trust she will still have a bright future ahead and I am very thankful to the huge amount of QE2 followers that work on daily basis to keep THIS LEGEND ALIVE
This post is dedicated to all the Italian followers of this blog. This past week saw an unprecedented number of pageviews from Italy, I was really pleased to notice that the post "WILLEM RUYS BECOMES ACHILLE LAURO" is the most popular post of this blog, leading by far all the posts related to the COSTA CONCORDIA's tragedy, so despite the relevance of the tragic events which obviously dominated the news not just in Italy but around the world, there is an obvious interest on Italian passenger liners and this is reassuring for me, I do believe that the most beautiful liners came out of Italy, this is why I have chosen CRISTOFORO COLOMBO for many the most elegant liner ever built as a testimony of appreciation to the great nation that Italy was and still is as far as shipping and ship building is concerned, so thank you to all my Italian followers, I will endeavour to carry on with the best possible work on this blog. Postcards of my collection
The SS "LEONARDO DA VINCI" was an ocean liner built by ANSALDO SHIPYARDS at Genoa in 1960, the ship was intended as a replacement for the ill-fated ANDREA DORIA to operate on the North Atlantic run with ITALIAN LINE, she was as built 33.340 GRT and had a top speed of 25.5 knots. The ship left on her maiden voyage on the 30th June 1960 from Genoa to New York, she was kept on this service until 1965 when the new superliners MICHELANGELO and RAFFAELLO entered service, LEONARDO was then used on cruising in the MED, CARIBBEAN, SOUTH and NORTH AMERICA, after the withdrawal of the new superliners from service on the North Atlantic due to lack of passengers LEONARDO was back on the transtlantic service, but only for a brief spell, she went back to cruising until 1978 when she arrived at La Spezia in Italy to be laid up, she caught fire in 1980 and was considered a total loss, she was finally scrapped in 1982, a brief career for such a beautiful ship, she was not a lucky vessel unfo…
Built in Germany in 1997, the cruise ship "HAMBURG" is owned by Hapag-Lloyd and was previously named COLUMBUS, she is only 15.200 GRT and cruises at 16 knots, the ship has capacity for 400 guests and is today operated by Plantours as the "HAMBURG". She is a fine looking small yacht-like vessel with very luxurious interiors and provides to her passengers a very cosy and friendly atmosphere, the ideal size ship for many passengers. I have never photographed the "HAMBURG" or previously the COLUMBUS so have to thank two keen contributors to this Blog, top image by Harald Oanes in Norway and Rui Agostinho for the other two photos, in Lisbon.