Everything is ready on ‘Queen Elizabeth 2’ or QE2, the historic ocean-liner turned hotel, that will continue amazing its visitors from October 1st onward. The world-famous ocean liner-turned-hotel, which is now permanently docked at Dubai’s Mina Rashid port, recently announced that it will be back in operation. According to a social media post, it has also been certified as safe and given the Dubai Assured stamp.
Assured by government
The stamp, which was issued by Dubai Tourism, the Department of Economic Development and Dubai Municipality is given to restaurants, stores, hotels, malls and entertainment destinations that are adhering to the government’s safety guidelines.
The news is surely welcome to its many fans who have been awaiting a chance to visit the luxury liner again. The QE2 closed in March to combat the spread of the coronavirus.
“After careful consultation and deliberation, the senior leadership team have decided to close the hotel and all of its facilities to further progress on the existing renovation plans during the anticipated low season. We wish all of our passengers, navigators, fans and partners to stay safe during this time,” read the statement issued at the time.
Along with, the visitors can now enjoy the ‘Queens Grill’ which is an on-board historic restaurant, that previously had a privilege of serving the members of the British Royal family. This esteemed restaurant was favourite to celebrities like Liza Minnelli and Rod Stewart is now open to public after deep renovations. QE2 also is set up as a museum that displays heritage of the British Royal rule.
This year the QE2 also opened its bridge to the public for the first time in 52 years, allowing guests to get a glimpse of the commanding station of the ship and its old maritime equipment. It also has heritage tours of the ship, although it is unclear whether the tours will be restarting once more.
“Back in the day, the bridge of the ship was a place that no one really got to go to – not even those in service. In fact, there were only three reasons you ever got called to the bridge: for a meeting with a captain or a senior officer, to receive an award, or to get a telling off,” explains Peter Warwick, the tour manager of the QE2.
Glimpse of the tour
Heritage tours of the ship are already available, but the Bridge Tours differ by going into detail about nautical facts, while giving visitors a behind-the-scenes look at the commanding station of the ship and its old maritime equipment.
The one-hour tour starts at the main lobby, where customers are greeted by their tour guide and given a basic rundown of the history of the ship. They are then led through notable areas, before being taken up to the main bridge.
The wheel house, which contains the steering mechanism of the ship, is the first area on the bridge to be explored. The tour then moves captain’s day room – bare-bones quarters once used to “save the captain making a trip to his quarters if he was busy”, before heading to the flag room, complete with its original sewing machine.
Visitors get a further glimpse of life out at sea with the chart room and a private meeting room, before heading to the outdoor decks. The tour also gives visitors a rare glimpse into ship’s control rooms, which are still operating today. The area, which has to be manned by two people at all time, monitors water levels and electricity to ensure everything is in, well, ship shape. An hour flies by, with the excursion ending in the ship’s lobby.