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Freo to house QE2?


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Fremantle mooted as home for liner. Fremantle mooted as home for liner.

CRUISE ship enthusiasts believe Fremantle could provide a new home for the world’s most famous ship, the QE2, after her planned Dubai refit and move to Cape Town fell through.

The former Cunard Line vessel was sold to Nakheel Properties, which is owned by Istithmar World, in 2008 for $100 million.

It was expected to be refurbished and berthed permanently at the Palm Jumeirah as a luxury floating hotel and tourist destination in Dubai, but because of the global financial crisis, the QE2 has remained at Port Rashid.

No confirmed destination for the QE2’s retirement and reopening has been announced, which has some cruise ship enthusiasts hoping Fremantle might be considered.

Author of The QE2 Story and QE2: A Photographic Journey Chris Frame said members of the QE2 Story forum had been debating a list of possible locations for the QE2. He said Fremantle was a viable option because it was a large enough city to offer local support, but not so large that its other attractions would overshadow the QE2.

He said Fremantle had a good climate, a strong heritage link that would suit the QE2, was already a waterside tourist destination and had a large working port, as well as entertainment infrastructure to appeal to visitors.

Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt said he thought there would be “strong” support from the community to have the QE2 based in Fremantle.

“If the ship could be in Fremantle at the same time as the ISAF 2011 Sailing Championships, then it could be used as a floating hotel, adding much-needed rooms during this time,” he said.

Fremantle Chamber of Commerce chief executive Peter Nolin said the QE2 could create jobs and would be great for business and tourism in Fremantle.

Fremantle Ports spokeswoman Jeanette Murray said the port would have to assess whether there was a suitable berth available for a permanent floating hotel within Fremantle’s inner harbour because the vessel would need to be outside of the port operational area.

An Istithmar World spokesman said there were “a number of options being considered for QE2,” but none of those options currently involved it leaving Dubai.

However, Rob Lightbody, who runs the QE2 Story website, said although it was unlikely that the QE2 would move to Fremantle, that did not mean it was impossible.

“If there are no practical issues, for example depth of harbour, suitable dock, blocking harbour traffic... then it could be a great solution,” he said.

Mr Lightbody said ports in Japan and Singapore could be considered.

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What everyone else is thinking



It is disgraceful that this plan wasn't acted upon and our beloved QE2 still sits in Dubai. For shame!



The best news is to hear that this iconic ship is still properly maintained and looked after. Wherever she finally docks is still in the lap of the Gods, but to learn that she is still the grand lady we all knew and not crippled by decay and neglect is wonderful. Thank you, Sheik Mohammad.

Robby McLough


Any feedback / follow up on this?



This would be a much needed boost for Fremantle and Perth and place a much need iconic image in Western Australia. I fully support it!

Robert Jones


That's all well and good but is anyone from the State or Fremantle Council talking to Dubai?

QE2 should come here, but it won't unless we act!!



Is there any way to dock her at the F-Shed area?
I'd have a view of her from there!
I can just imagine the superb functions we could hold aboard!
Corporate lunches, school balls, Christmas parties... It would make it's $ back within a tear, easily!



I agree. After the loss of Red Bull we really need another iconic international news making headline to keep WA on the map! Plus, I'd love to have a romantic night aboard QEII!

Klara Manning


I really like this idea.
After WA lost the RED BULL air race, we really need another iconic attraction in WA.
QE2 would give Fremantle headlines all over the world.
UK, USA, Dubai, Europe!
Bring QE2 here Tourism WA!



Nice idea!



A very important article. Great also to hear from the author - the book "QE2 a photographic journey" is excellent, I have it from a cruise aboard QE2. Let's save QE2. Come on Mr. Barnett!



SOS - Save Our Ship!

Claire M


The QE2 is the best known ship in the world. Bringing her to Australia, especially Fremantle, will help boost tourism - especially now that the Red Bull Air Race has left!



Yes, it is important that this ship is saved, she is the last of her kind!



I am a past QE2 passenger living in Melbourne and having had the privilige of sailing on this beautiful liner i would like to see her moored somewhere like Fremantle or Melbourne where she will be loved and treasured. I keep in contact with friends and past crew whom i had met on her and we all agree she should be brought back to life now rather than end up like the SS United States. I will be aboard the new Queen in Feb and will be calling into Frep and would like to ask the general publics view on this matter.



Wonderful idea and a great opportunity for QE2, Nakheel and Fremantle!



Yes! YES!! YES!!! Here - Fremantle!! Bring it on!!! :-)



MELBOURNE!!!! we have the old unused pier next to station pier! the ship would be buatiful there!!



QE2 would be far more of a draw card than Mona Lisa!
Yes, we need to save the QE2.



I feel that the MS Mona Lisa should come to Fremantle. The ship was known as the MS Kungsholm, the last ship of the Swedish America Line. Fremantle would be a great place for the ship.



Please please please make this happen!

Someone should talk to Mr. Barnett!



excellent idea but rid of the ships cargo cars at fremantle passenger terminal and load cargo trains between fremantle passenger terminal and fremantle cold storage and tower beach street fremantle where I live beach street and would have a view of liner from my home . the QE2 here would be great and encourage tourists to stop schoolies and yobbes .



I'd love to see Q.E.2 in Perth it would be lovely to go aboard for tea or dinner!! I think the people in WA would support it!



Fantastc idea!!!

Bring her to Freo!!!!



A brilliant idea, put Perth back on the map!



Nooooo!! Not the Gold Coast! We want QE2 here in Perth!!

Ran Ting


The Gold Coast would be better!!!



A wonderful idea. I hope that it comes true.

I believe that Fremantle has the right infrastructure to be home to the QE2.



This sounds like the biggest thing ever to happen to Freo!
I hope it does happen, it will be great to see QE2 here!



I have been on the QE2, it would make a great hotel and tourist attraction, however I think we should consider docking it on the Perth foreshore. I am going to Dubai on Sunday, may have a word with the powers to be



I think it's a great idea!!



Sounds like Fremantle wants QE2, which is more than could be said for Southampton.

I say let Fremantle have her, it would be nice for that lovely ship to go where she will be appreciated!

Maggie Maggot


It would be great to think someone would look after the QE2. As much as we would love to have her in the UK for a seagoing nation we are not good at looking after our ships.



Sounds like a wonderful idea! Very nice report!



It's a great idea! the tourism will definitely increase. And I think it will make Freo more lively! :)



This would be amazing for Fremantle! Please keep us informed if it becomes a reality!!



Having some knowledge of the ROTTERDAM conversion (another cruise ship turned into a hotel) I can honestly say that the QE2 in Fremantle will be a win win situation. The ship will have a home (finally) where it can open, and Fremantle will benefit from a 4-star hotel, conference centre, restaurant complex etc. that is already an international icon.

But it's the little things that will really make this project a benefit:
- Food and beverage supply - creating jobs,
- Shops aboard - creating jobs,
- On-board hotel staff - creating jobs,
- On-board entertainment - creating jobs,
- Restaurant staff - creating jobs,
- Chefs - creating jobs,
- Tour guides - creating jobs,
- Local maintenance teams - creating jobs...

Even if Dubai retain ownership, Hotel QE2 will create jobs in Fremantle which sounds good to me!



Where can I book??



Not a half bad idea Stanley. Anchoring the QE2 off Rotto may solve the Rotto accommodation/tourist dilema in many more ways than getting rid of schoolies and yobbos.



Great idea but consider the up keep of such a large vessel . Could we really raise enough money to support such a venture?
Maybe this should be the new museum WA needs.



love this idea, its time we got something more impressive than the giant wheel or bell tower!

Greg Ralph


I can think of no finer retirement home for this global icon. The future integrity of the QE2 would be assured and Freo would benefit from being the final berth of such an iconic vessel. I agree with Ray - I hope these comments will be read in Dubai and perhaps the right decision will be made.



Why not demolish those three stupidly low bridges, deepen the eastern section and put her in there...
Then rebuild some decent HIGH bridges like the Dawesville one...19 metres clearance...
Us sailors want better access to the ocean.

Barry & Clare


Speaking as locals we'd really to see QE2 in the port. It is wonderful to see support as high up as Mayor Pettitt and the Chamber. We would have a view of the liner from our home and would very happily visit for dinner, breakfast or just a walk around as we never had a chance to sail on her during her many years at sea.



QE2 would make Perth & Freo all the more worth visiting!



There has just got to be a way to get her back home to Southampton where she would be hotel/convention center/national maritime museum. Not only because both Southampton and Cunard are so much of the history of transatlantic travel, but because of the important role that this ship and it's designers played in laying the foundation for the modern cruise industry.

When she was built, passenger ships were route specific to the extent that they couldn't dock well in ports they weren't designed for. When the designers started on the Q4, they had to throw out conventional ship design, consider all of the worlds major ports, their facilities, currents, temperature and other weather patterns. They had to design a ship with the passenger capacity of the old queens, twice their range, and as exciting as the Apollo missions. All of the passenger lines were going bankrupt, and everyone knew that to design such a ship, one that would save an industry was to design the impossible.



Love this idea, bringing the QE2 here would be great! Fremantle and Perth could use such a thing to boost the profile and encourage tourists to stop going over east or to Bali. Where do we sign up???

Larry Bates


QE2 for Freo? Yes Please!



Anchor it off Rotto and use it as a prison ship for the clowns that trash Freo around the nightclubs and coffee strip at night. What an eye opener that was when I tried to drive through Freo Saturday night 26/06/10.

Janet Fey


What a shame that this much loved and respected icon has sat idle for so long after such a successful career.

The people of Fremantle and Perth will be honoured to have QE2 call Freo home!



What a shame this much loved and respected icon has sat idle for so long after such a sucessful career. The people of Fremantle and Perth would be honoured to have QE2 call Freo home.



Excellent idea - this would give stimulus and some maratime interest to Fremantle as a holiday destination.



What a coup if this could happen!



Great idea, but let's get rid of the sheep ships quick smart. The two don't go together.



Superb idea, QE2 would be a welcome addition to Freo!! I hope Dubai is reading this!

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