If you always wanted to sail on the luxurious Cunard Line ship Queen Elizabeth 2, you missed your opportunity.
However, if you merely wanted to try out the ambiance of the QE2, you can always head for the Persian Gulf emirate of Dubai. That's where the famous ship is headed, for use as a luxury hotel.
The ship, purchased for $118 million by the state-owned development company Dubai World, will be anchored at the Palm Jumeirah, a man-made island off the coast that is a mind-boggling project.
The ship, which was launched by Queen Elizabeth herself in September 1967, is the longest-serving cruise liner in Cunard's 168-year history and was the line's longest-serving flagship. It has completed 25 round-the-world cruises, has crossed the Atlantic more than 800 times and has carried more than 2.5 million passengers.
The Palm Jumeirah, which is 1½ times the size of New York's Central Park, is part of Dubai's plan to become a global tourism and business hub. The QE2 will be refurbished to recreate the original interior and will include a museum celebrating its history.
The QE2 will make its 29th, and final, visit to Sydney, Australia, on Feb. 24 next year, the same day Cunard's newest superliner, the Queen Victoria, will visit Sydney on its maiden world cruise.
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