On 19 July 2008, QE2 was in port with Cunard's newest ship, Queen
Victoria, in Zeebrugge, Belgium. This was the last time the two ships
were scheduled to be in the same port.
The two ships tied-up bow-to-bow, only a short distance apart. Passengers walked up and down the pier staring up at the two
giants. Crew members from the Victoria went over to visit QE2 while groups from QE2 visited the Victoria.
The shipmaker's art 38 years apart. Queen Victoria (left), which entered service in 2007 and QE2, which entered service in 1969.
Queen Victoria is taller than QE2 and thus
afforded a unique aerial view of the great ship.
The two ships were designed for different purposes. QE2 was designed for the primary purpose of conveying passengers between Southampton
and New York across the sometimes difficult North Atlantic, i.e., the transatlantic service. QV was intended as a complement to the transtlantic
service, providing more leisurely multi-port voyages in the traditional transatlantic style.
The difference in the ships' intended purposes resulted in different characteristics. QV is very maneuverable and has a relatively shallow draft
that enables her to visit a wide variety of ports. The streamlined QE2 is very fast; her thick steel hull is very strong; and her deep draft provides
Above: While various Belgian officials and VIPs toured QE2, a rally of Rolls Royce motor cars took place
on the quay. Above left: While a significant number of passengers from both ships were content to look
at the two ships, others went off sightseeing.
Left: QE2's funnel has become a
widely-recognized symbol of the ship.
Added to QE2 in 1987 when the ship
was converted from steam power to
diesel-electric power, the current
funnel has a more traditional look
than the elongated space-age funnel
that was originally on the ship.
Below left: The view from QE2's
stern, emphasizes the ship's sleek
The rain that had been off and on throughout the ships' visit to
Zeebrugge cleared by the end of the day. QV left first, demonstrating her
great maneuverability by pushing herself out from the quay and then
pirouetting so as to turn 180 degrees. Because this was a very confined
area, tug boats were on hand to keep the ships from touching.
Meanwhile, a band played on the quayside and the two ships sounded
their horns. QV's, a replica of the horn on the original Queen Mary,
sounded and was answered by the low rumbling horn of QE2 that seemed
to echo on. Both ships continued to trade blasts as QV moved out of the