All text and photographs (unless stated otherwise) © Paul Timmerman ; photographs on this page made during a cruise in 1996.
Caronia Restaurant, Quarter deck
November 1968, QE2 ran her sea trials which were not very successful. Serious turbine problems made her return for immediate repairs at John Brown's. After problems were rectified, Cunard still refused to accept delivery of the QE2 because of many other problems that had emerged during sea trials which had to be addressed to first. Cunard even had to cancel her maiden voyage for which she was fully booked.
But at last, in April 1969, QE2 started her career on the high seas.
Many feared that QE2's liner service would end prematurely as in the early '70s, such ships as the United States and France were taken out of service, having lost the battle with the jet airliner.
However, QE2 survived, even today making her transatlantic voyages between Southampton and New York. But her (world-)cruises have made her famous. Indeed she is the most publicized and well known passenger ship of the last 30 years.
No one ever thought it would happen, but in 1982, the QE2 was seized by the English government for war duties as a troopship in the Falkland war. These islands had been invaded by Argentina, having claimed these islands for years. England didn't want to give up the Falklands, and sent a fleet of (war)ships to the area. QE2 and P&O's Canberra acted as troopships. Canberra did the dangerous work, as the British did not want to endanger their national pride, the QE2. She was sent to South Georgia, located over 2000 km's from the danger zone. Canberra would ferry QE2's troops to the war zone.
Continued on page 3.......