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Farewell visit for legendary liner22 Sep 2008

How can words hope to do justice to her immortal story? It's the story of an iconic favourite, an undisputed legend of the seas that spans forty years, crosses continents, circles the globe and inspires generation upon generation.

Already she has carried over two million voyagers, many returning time after time and today she ranks as Cunard's longest serving express liner and still holds the title of the most famous ship in the world.

The QE2, which was launched by the Queen in 1967, is returning to the Port of Tyne on 8th October and after one more stop in Southampton, she will depart on her final ocean cruise before becoming a luxury floating hotel on the Palm Jumeirah development in Dubai having been sold to the Dubai World company in June last year.

QE2 has sailed 5.5 million nautical miles - that is more than any other ship and the equivalent of travelling to the moon and back 13 times. After over 40 years she remains the fastest merchant ship in operation - QE2 can go faster backwards than most cruise ships can go forwards!

On the 8th of October the QE2 is returning to Northumbrian Quay, the Port of Tyne's purpose built cruise facility and one of only five facilities in the UK capable of accommodating vessels the size of the QE2.

The Port of Tyne is organising a farewell reception on board and afterwards, guests will be able to watch from the Northumbrian Quay as she leaves Tyneside forever. Fergus Poole, Cruise and International Passenger Terminal Manager explains "This will be the last time we'll see the QE2 on Tyneside before she retires to Dubai later this year. As one of the wonders of the maritime world, and one of the world's most famous liners we are delighted that we are able to give our guests this once in a lifetime opportunity."

Cruise operations at the Port of Tyne are going from strength to strength as many cruise lines regard the region's iconic attractions as a must visit stop on cruise itineraries. Fergus Poole says "We hope more Cunard vessels will follow in the wake of the QE2 and visit the Port of Tyne, indeed the fantastic welcome organised by ONE Northeast when the QE2 visited the region in 2007 was considered to have been the best welcome the ship has received in almost 14 years, so we must be doing something right".

Although the ship will not be open to the public because of strict security measures, visitors wanting to catch a glimpse of her can do so from some great vantage points on both banks of the river, her estimated arrival in port is 0500 on 8th October and she will sail away approximately 2200 that evening.

Operational Note to Editors

The Port of Tyne is an important Northern Gateway and key player in the Tyne & Wear region; a dynamic trading hub with five business areas: conventional and bulk cargoes; logistics; car terminals; cruise and ferries; and estates.

For further information contact

Lisa Donohoe, Assistant Marketing & Communications Manager
Tel: 0191 455 2671
Mob: 07912 390 777
Email: lisa.donohoe@portoftyne.co.uk

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