All text and photographs (unless stated otherwise) © Paul Timmerman; photographs on this page made during a cruise in 1996.
At the end of their careers, both Queens, the Elizabeth and the Mary, were rapidly losing money. The jet airliner had obviously won the battle, and in 1966, almost all transatlantic travellers had deserted the liners.......
Plans for a successor of both Queens, known as the Q3-project were short lived. Q3 should have been a transatlantic liner again, and although ship owners were reluctantly to surrender to air travel, it all became clear as they saw passenger loads dwindle.
So Cunard abandoned the Q3 plans, and reconsidered: the new ship had to be suited for cruising as well.
Obviously aware of the problems they had encountered when sending the old Queens on cruise service (no airconditioning, no pools, 3 classes with very different accommodations, impractical lay-out etc.), the new plans (code name Q4) comprised both liner and cruising elements.
Q4 would make several transatlantic crossings each year, but would serve most time of the year as a cruise ship. Instead of the usual three classes, there would only be two, and both would have about the same level of luxury and facilities, thus enabling Cunard to amalgamate these classes to one-class for cruising. Apart from using separate restaurants, there would only be minor differences between both classes when in liner service.
John Brown and Co. at Clydebank built the Q4, on the same slipway the Queen Mary had come into existence.
Of course there were plenty of rumours about the name of the new vessel, but not before her launching would it be known that this would be Queen Elizabeth 2, often shortened to QE2.
Building started in June 1965, and two years later, she was launched by Her Majesty the Queen Elizabeth II, on September 20th 1967. She used the same pair of golden scissors that had been used when launching the previous Queens.
QE2 received just one funnel, but a remarkable one, the result of much testing and remodeling. It was painted all white.
Inside promenade, Upper deck
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