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At the launch of the cruise ship, the Queen Elizabeth by the Queen, there is was doubting that ocean travel has changed from what was once regarded as its golden age.

 

The third ship in Cunard's fleet, and the third to bear the Elizabeth name, the vessel is the latest chapter in a story spanning 72 years.

 

    * Queen to name 'successor to QE2'

    * QE2 arrives at new home in Dubai

    * QE2 leaves port on final voyage

 

The £400m ship was officially named by the Queen. In years gone by, such an event would have seen thousands of people straining to view the launch of a new giant on the Solent.

 

Upon receiving the 92,400-tonne cruise ship from the Italian shipyard where it was built, Cunard president Peter Shanks said he was certain it would be taken into the hearts of the British public, "as they have all the Cunard Queens". The Ship has now left heading for the Canary Island on the first leg of it's round the world Maiden Cruise.

 

As more and more people looking for a trip of a lifetime, turn away from the dangers and delays of flying and staying at Luxury Hotels, as their every wish is catered for aboard one huge floating five star Hotel of the sea, such journeys have become much more appealing.

New ultra Luxury English Queen launched

The Queen Elizabeth II - or simply the QE2 -  arguably the most famous liner in the world. Named on the Clyde in 1967 by its namesake, it made its maiden voyage to New York in 1969 and became synonymous with trans-Atlantic luxury and the lifestyles of the rich and famous.

 

At the time of her retirement in 2008, the QE2 had sailed nearly six million miles, carried 2.5million passengers and echoed its predecessor's wartime efforts, having been requisitioned for the Falklands War in 1982 to transport 3,000 troops.

 

Troops on the Queen Elizabeth Wartime, Prime Minister Winston Churchill said the QE helped shorten the war by a year.

 

It served as Cunard's flagship liner until the Queen Mary 2 came into service in 2004.

 

Thousands turned out to wave goodbye to the 70,327-tonne vessel when it set sail from Southampton in November 2008 for the final time.

 

It was then sold for £50m to the United Arab Emirates real estate developer Nakheel, which intended to turn her into an exclusive floating hotel off Dubai's manmade Palm Jumeirah resort.

Cunard Line's Queen Elizabeth is the last of three new cruise ships dedicated primarily to the UK market to be introduced, making 2010/11 a bumper year for the industry.

 

Thirteen new ships were launched globally last year, compared with nine in both last year and 2008, according to Cruise JobFinder, a website promoting employment on cruise ships.

 

But although at least six new ships will be launched next year none of them will be in the UK. So does this signal a wind of change in the UK cruise ship market?

 

Industry journalist Phil Davis does not believe it signals a downturn for the sector. He explained.

 

"There's not as many new ships being introduced to the UK, but there's an increase in availability and capacity. MSC Cruises will be increasing the number of cruises available next Summer and operating out of Southampton for the first time. US companies are introducing a significant number of cruise ships into Europe and there is a huge increase in the fly-cruise market to the Mediterranean and South Pacific."

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QE2 now sails the world

queen Elizabeth Cruiser

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