On 4 September 2005, during a port call in Sydney, Nova Scotia, Queen Elizabeth 2 became the longest serving Cunarder ever—36 years and four months—surpassing Scythia.
Here are some other QE2 facts you might find interesting:
- QE2’s 1,000th voyage, in June 1995, was a transatlantic crossing from New York to Southampton.
- QE2 was Cunard’s flagship for 35 years, from 1969 to 2004, an honor now held by Queen Mary 2.
- QE2 could move in reverse at a full speed of 19 knots, faster than most cruise ships can travel forward.
- When Queen Elizabeth II launched QE2 in 1969, she used the same golden scissors her mother had used to launch Queen Elizabeth (1940) and her grandmother had used to launch Queen Mary.
- When Queen Elizabeth II boarded QE2 in July 1990, she became the first reigning British monarch to embark on a voyage on a commercial liner with passengers.
- QE2’s rudder weighs 80 tons, about the same weight as 10 double-decker buses.
- In 1995, QE2 withstood a 98-foot (30-meter) wave breaking across her bow.
Incidentally, QE2 left Cunard’s service in May 2008, compiling a total of 39 years, 6 months under the lion and globe.
For Queen Mary 2 to break QE2’s remarkable record, she would have to sail for Cunard until the summer of 2043.