Save the Classic Liner Campaign founded in the early1990's
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Please Note: All ssmaritime and my other related ssmaritime sites are 100% non-commercial and privately owned sites. Be assured that I am NOT associated with any cruise or shipping companies or travel/cruise agencies or any other organisations! The author has been in the passenger shipping industry since May 1960 and is now semi-retired, but continues to write article on classic liners and cruise ships in order to better to inform cruise and ship enthusiasts for their pleasure!
Please Note: Photographs on this page are either - by the author, from my private collection, or as noted!
Having worked in the
passenger shipping industry for over sixty years, having commenced in
Wellington New Zealand as an office boy with a major shipping company, then as
an agent selling berths on liners sailing to and from the UK and Europe ports,
as well other ports along the way. Also popular at that time were
In due course I was sourced
by the head of a major shipping company in
Having commenced the Save
the Classic Liners Campaign 29 years ago, it has been my good fortune to have
been directly involved in saving some worthwhile passenger ships since 1990,
but I commenced it officially online in 1995! The best known magnificent
liner/cruise ship I was closely involved with for quite some time was the great
magnificent and great
Of course, there have been
far too many sad losses, with some wonderful ships having gone to the breakers,
but thankfully there have also been some sweet victories! One great story is
located down this page, being the recent official dedication and opening of the
Dock and parkland at the
However friends, we must remember there are still few fine classic ships that are left which are worth saving. The beautiful Portuguese liner, and ex presidential Yacht and Cruise Ship, the MV Funchal, was sold on December 5, 2018 at an auction by a British Hotel Group and they had certain plans fore her, however details of events are below.
But please keep supporting to Save Worthwhile Classic Liners & Cruise Ships!
But ssadly the great SS United States remains where she has been for so very long and the “SS United States Conservancy” at first it seemed to be doing a wonderful job, but then there has been ongoing setbacks and nothing has really happened and the once magnificent ship is now badly deteriorating and to be honest nothing, and I do mean nothing is really happening, there is more down the page.
Thankfully the news for our
beloved QE2 is simply wonderful!
Her story is also below. For “Hotel
Recently Updated is the amazing historic T.S. Queen Mary a Clyde built ship, which has been beautifully restored, but friends, they still need a hand financially from all over the globe, for it is not cheap for all these volunteers to continue the work, yes there has been some great supporters, but we need you as well. Come and be part of something that will see this ship continue to operate long in the future, and know that we have all supported something very special. Long Live the Queen!
Therefore, come aboard, and support our very special work that continues to be done, and I am satisfied knowing that together we can do something more, for doing something when assisting organisations or smaller dedicated groups in saving a part of maritime history is really worthwhile! Remember, becoming part of saving a ship that will last long into the future, and thus it will be something that you, your children and their children will come to know and see what a real ship actually looks like, rather than those great big hideous square boxlike floating apartment blocks (condos), come resort style theme parks, that they call sadly cruise ships today. The truth is the modern cruise ships do not look like a ship at all; it is maritime architecture and design that has gone completely wrong!
I sincerely thank all my wonderful supporters who over the many years have supported this campaign as well as my four maritime, and cruise sites, which have now received an amazing 533.2 million readers/visitors to date. I am indeed touched by your support and your kindnesses, especially for the countless emails that arrive daily.
Author of savetheclassicliners.com is seen whilst on a voyage from
Maritime Historian, Author, Cruise‘n’Ship Reviewer & Lecturer.
Sixty years in the Passenger Shipping and Cruise Industry.
Go Directly to Ships on this Page
Late News Nov 12, 2019
Good News for
November 2019 - A New Glimmer of
beautiful long sleek lines of the
See the NEWS - November 12, 2019; down this Funchal Item.
The “Save the MV
Funchal Campaign” has without doubt brought this remarkable Classic
ex Trans-Atlantic Liner, Presidential Yacht, and a greatly loved Cruise Ship
onto the world stage. But in 1976, one of the most famous Greek shipping
In 2013 the Portuscale Hotel
Group, who had no knowledge of operating a Cruise Line what-so-ever, but they did
manage to have her beautifully refitted. When she was completed and had to
obtain classification, it was rejected over and over again as faults were found
on board, in fact it took over twenty days for the ship to obtain her final
However, when the Funchal arrived at
“We found around ten serious technical shortcomings, everything from major faults to lifesaving equipment to serious inadequacies in fire protection. The standard far below all expectations and must be rectified”.
A great deal of work was undertaken with parts being flown in from around the world until all was corrected as it should have been in the first place. The Funchal was finally permitted to depart on September 2.
Portuscale Cruises continued
cruising, but attempted various options, as thing in the European market was just
not working for them, Even a Series of Cruise to Australia and Asia was
planned, but like every option they attempted everything just failed, and on
January 2, 2015 the Funchal was laid up in Lisbon and Portuscale Cruises ended
up in liquidation, and the Funchal and the Porto ended up laid up side by side
in Lisbon. The
here we see her during her ‘Classic International Cruises’
Thus this wonderful 1961 built ship has been on the market since 2015, and as from February 7, 2017 I was in close contact with a group who had interest of obtaining her, and it certainly seemed to be going well, but suddenly she was purchased by a British Hotel Group, “Signature Living for US$4.4 million on December 5, 2018.” However, once again just like Portuscale, this Hotel Group who intended to turn her into a raving “Floating Beach Party Ship” operating short cruises, giving this fine looking ship a horrific livery.
What a tragedy, this will be her hideous new livery as she becomes “The Funchal floating beach club”
But once again
another Hotel Group really had no idea what operating a cruise ship would
entail, and thus they were completely out of their depth. Today close to a year
later, instead of the Funchal as Signature Living had stated would head off to
Liverpool to be converted, the truth is she is still laid up in
November 12, 2019; The Group I was in contact with
before Signature Living purchased the Funchal a year ago contacted me yesterday
and advised me that they are still interested in obtaining her, therefore they
will have an inspection aboard the Funchal in
If you are interested in
this wonderful ship’s history, for she has been one of the finest Classic
Intimate Yacht-Like Cruise Ships in the
world for 57 years, and always retained her original name as built!
Enter the following link located below the photograph below of her in her final
role as the Portuguese cruise ship
This is the Funchal as we love to see her, but instead we will now have to say;
“Farewell old Girl, we are sorry that you will become that hideous Party Ship!”
Visit the SS/MV Funchal History page
Berthed at: Port Rashid Dubai, UAE
main Terminal, containing the Front Desk, the QE2 &
Yes, it is true the “Hotel Queen Elizabeth 2” has finally opened on April 18, 2018. Her operators stated in an advertisement;
“Discover a world of gastronomy, entertainment and
nightlife experiences onboard the QE2. From casual and fine dining, to grand
theatres and nightclubs, she will have a selection of 12 diverse venues to
uncover at her prime location in
Prior to her opening, the QE2 was moved from Port Rashid to the Dubai Dry Dock Nº 3 where she received an exceptional makeover as described below.
QE2 is seen being moved to
It was exciting, when she was moved to dry dock on March 18, 2018 and a great deal of work commenced on her with countless workers worked on her around the clock. For only the third time in history, the QE2’s hull was stripped back to bare metal, and she was fully repainted with fresh new paint.
In addition, all her openings below the waterline were welded shut; this included her bow thrusters, as well as her stabilisers, and then sadly her propellers were removed. Of course her lifeboats and the davits had already been removed, and this gave them the opportunity for the boat deck to be widened.
we see the QE2 in
In addition another on her
stern is the ships name; “Queen
we see Hotel Queen
When I last saw the QE2 in
Dubai on September 21, 2009 at that time she was no longer registered in
Southampton, but in “Port Vila Vanuatu”, I had already heard on the
grapevine that “on her stern, “
whilst on a 106 day around the world cruise on September 21, 2009
But the good news is that QE2 Hotel, Museum Function, Dinning and Leisure Centre is now open, and considering we have all waited such a long time, a very long 10 years in fact, we should be rejoicing and hope that our Great Queen of the Seas will be a huge success as a fine Luxury Hotel!
The great QE2 as we remember her as a fine and popular Cruise Ship, seen here at anchor
Visit my comprehensive all New Hotel Queen Elizabeth 2 page
Or visit the official website
View the “
The superbly built and a beautifully balanced Liner, the fastest ship in the world, S.S. United States is seen here as built
there is not any News to Provide … as
there is not any News to Provide … as
One of the great American
Naval Architect’s and Marine Engineer’s
Updates: The SS United States Conservancy continues its efforts to secure a
permanent location for
Part of a NCL preview brochure
During her days there were also several Casino operators’, but they like everyone else disappeared from the scene, as sadly no one in America seems to want this once great, but now derelict American ex Liner!
Why is it that the
American’s just do not care less about their great maritime history,
believe it or not,
However, in 2018 there came another glimmer of home when RXR Realty came up with a possibility, and they gave statement back in December 2018 that they would “investigate further”. However, we have still heard nothing from; “Over the next several months, RXR Realty will be working to determine the viability of the SS ’ redevelopment and will explore a range of potential locations for the historic vessel.”
However, considering the last thing we ever heard from them was in December 2018, and not another word from them or the Conservancy, we can all assume that as usual it is once again a no go!
Therefore as nothing has really been happening and the ship has been languishing, she is looking a tragic wreck, as I have been told by countless of my readers.
It is so sad to see her looking like a giant rust bucket, and it hurts me to say this, but sadly the photographs sent to me tend to indicate her poor state, thus all we can do is hope for the best, but I have great doubts for her!
A sad image indeed of the once great SS United States and this tragic image of her hull
Friends, it saddens me to have written all this about the great SS United States in the manner as I have done above, but over the years I have provided funds to the conservancy for her upkeep and have a number of certificates for owning planks as well as parts of her funnels, and other considerable donations, etc. The funds have gone into a large organisation, but little to nothing has been actually spent on the upkeep of the ship. Yes there are berthing fees, but they did received millions in huge single donations from major donors to cover most of this! Just let us hope that at least a miracle might happen and that this wonderful ship might be saved, that someone else may just come along and take her away from her current owners who have failed miserably, and that new owners do something that is worthwhile even if it is outside he USA, and not just waste so much money as has been done with far too much TALK. Just for interest, there has been talk that the conservancy has been thinking of disposing her either for scrap, or even to sink her as an artificial reef and make her available as a diving facility. Now how great is that? Not great at all, totally defeatist I would say!
The ships builder’s plate taken quite some time ago!
In July 2007 the QE2 was sold to Istithmar being the investment arm of “Dubai World” a wholly owned company of the Government of Dubai. However she would be taken over by Nakheel, also a “Dubai World” company would redevelop her and construct the new islands being built known as the “Palm Jumeirah” where she was going to be berthed to become a major luxury hotel. Istithmar paid and estimate £65 million (British Pounds) for the QE2.
Having completed her final
official cruise, the QE2 departed
It was a fitting welcome and
her future seemed assured, however things was not as it seemed for the
financial crisis of 2008 caused Dubai to have a financial freefall and the
wealthiest of its citizens escaped the country, even leaving their Mercedes and
BMW’s and super luxury cars at the airport as they escaped the financiers
who were about to pounce on them, for most emptied their accounts and run. This
disaster also left the QE2 high and dry and although she was reregistered
QE2 sailed an amazing 5.6 million nautical miles that is more than any other ship ever I know about, in other words that is like travelling to the moon and back 13 times. She has accommodated approximately 2.5 million guests and completed 802 Atlantic crossings and 24 full world cruises, thus some 1,438 voyages. That is an excellent record indeed!
A close up of a clean looking ship as she had recently been repainted
1964 - Cunard signs a contract to build the ship with John Brown Shipyard Clydebank, Scotland.
1967 - September 20 the ship
was launched by
1968 – QE2 undertakes her deep sea trails; the first was on November 26 to 29, and the second, December 17 to 19.
1968 - QE2 departs on her
maiden voyage, being a cruise from Greenock to the
1969 - After renewed trails on April 1 to 8, Cunard takes delivery of the QE2 on April 18 for the second time.
1969 - On May 2 the QE2
commences her maiden voyage from
1970 - She crosses the Atlantic Westbound in record time of just three days, 20 hours and 42 minutes.
1972 - QE2 undergoes a refit and rebuilding as penthouses added to the top of the ship, altering her external appearance. Accommodating 604 First, 1,223 Tourist, and 1,740 one class when cruising.
1975 - QE2 departs from
1982 - The QE2 was
requisitioned by the British government as troopship to operate in Falklands
Islands Campaign. She carried 3,000 troops and 650 volunteer crew to the
1987 – In October the
1988 –A new look MV Queen Elizabeth 2 complete with a new and far superior funnel and far more economic and faster that before, she returned to service and gained even more popularity on the Atlantic service.
1995 - QE2 leaves
1996 - During her twentieth around the world cruise the QE2 passed her four millionth mile mark, and amazing feat, but there was more to come!
1998 - South African
President Nelson Mandela sails on the QE2 from
2002 - QE2 passes five million miles - a world first.
2004 - The QE2 was
considered as being one of the last of the great Trans Atlantic liners, for
there has not been any true liners since. Although, they pretend that the Queen
Mary 2 is a liner, but she certainly is not and neither was the QE 2 in her
latter years, for both were then cruise ships. Although QE2 was built as a
liner that would also operate cruises, but her main function was to be a liner;
that means line voyages from the
2005 - The QE2 becomes the longest serving Cunard ship ever, surpassing the RMS Aquitania's 35 years.
2008 – November 11
2009 – September 21.
The author saw and photographed the QE2 today whilst on a around the world
2010 – January 29. QE2 broke loose from her moorings during a storm and was only just saved from destruction by two brilliant pilots.
2012 – July, 03.
2013 – July, after an
Asian possibility, there are great doubts for the ship as she has no power and
she will be deteriorating whilst at lay-up in
2015 – It is sad, but she is still laid-up in a dead ship state and deteriorating day by day! Although there seems to be interest by Scotland who is now taking a second look at bringing the QE2 back to the Clyde as a Hotel and a Tourist attraction. But has she gone downhill too far gone to be saved?
2017 News of her being refitted as a hotel at Port Rashid.
2018 – QE2 moved to the Dubai Dry Dock on March 18 to have her hull scrapped and repainted, also all her underwater openings welded closed and propellers removed, as well as interior work, in readiness for her to open as a hotel.
2018 – “Hotel
201 – Hotel Queen
- to enter the
Please Note: A new Page Two has been added with the ships dock & Park dedication in June 2017 - with many new photographs!
delightful 871 GRT (Gross
Registered Ton) Triple Screw -
But the company was contacted
by 1935 in regard the great new liner the
grateful to “Friends of TS
rare photograph of the delightful
We are helping to let this memory live on for countless years in the future by promoting her!
Photograph from the ssmaritime collection
The delightful TS Queen Mary
was finally retired after an evening showboat cruise from Largs to Rothesay on
September 27, 1977 after which she was laid up in the “
June 2018 Update Part One:
Update Part Two is located below the Specifications.
Built for: Williamson Buchanan Steamers Ltd.
Engines: Triple Denny & Bros Steam Turbines.
Screws: Triple, direct drive.
Tonnage: 1933-1950 - 871 Gross Registered Tons.
. 1950-1957 - 917 GRT.
. 1957-onwards - 1,014 GRT.
Length: 252.5ft - 77m.
Beam: 35.1ft - 10.7m.
Draught: 10.1ft - 3.1m.
Speed: 19.5 knots max 21 knots.
Passengers: 2,086-day passengers.
Maiden Voyage: May 20, 1933.
The following restoration progress has been made over recent weeks. Some 54 windows have been replaced on the ship’s Promenade Deck and most of these have been sponsored by local companies. Each window completed and yet to be finished has to have a new frame fabricated, seals replaced and new glass fitted. Sponsorship of a window costs £500, and in appreciation a plaque will be placed below each window engraved with the name of the respective sponsor.
This photograph shows just nine of 54 the new windows installed on Promenade Deck
Other work undertaken, are
some of the decking planks on her foredeck have been removed to gain access to
the metalwork below. Age and the effects of the failing composite covering
applied during her years on the
This is the latest news
regarding the now 86 year old TS Queen Mary, the work of bringing her back to
her old glory has been slow but the good news is that steady progress is now
being made. Once the steel repairs are completed and the ship is completely
weather tight, then her internal refit will commence in earnest and in August
the special weekend of August 24 & 24, 2019, the
The public were able to view the renovations, after the ship’s recent £370K dry-docking and other associated works.
Enter the https://tsqueenmary.org.uk/
Please Note it is currently being updated, but some pages can be visited
Like the famed historic Sydney Harbour ferry the MS Baragoola, which I strongly support in saving and preserving, and I am also adding the delightful 1963 built MV Cape Don, which is a unique all Australian vessel that should and must be retained at all costs!
The MV Cape Don was a unique
purpose-built ship to service navigational aids (including manned lighthouses)
Since retirement this excellent ship, the “MV Cape Don Society” is now responsible for restoring this delightful vessel and they will be setting up a museum on board to tell the story of her many years of dedicated service. I suggest that you visit my webpage on her, that has many interesting photographs of her and you will discover all her details as well as further links!
Visit the MV Cape Don Feature
“Blue Water Liners sailing to the
I watched them come, I watched them go and I watched them die.”
But please ensure you name the ship you are enquiring about.
Visit our ssMaritime Main INDEX
Where you will discover over 1,300 Classic Passenger & Passenger-Cargo Liners!
Where the ships of the past make history & the 1914 built MV Doulos Story
Please Note: ssmaritime and associated sites are 100% non-commercial and
the author does not seek funding or favours and never have and never will.
Photographs on ssmaritime and associate pages are either by the author or from the author’s private collection. In addition there are some images and photographs that have been provided by Shipping Companies or private photographers or collectors. Credit is given to all contributors, however, there are some photographs provided to me without details regarding the photographer or owner concerned. Therefore, I hereby invite if owners of these images would be so kind to make them-selves known to me (my email address can be found at the bottom of the page on www.ssmaritime.com), in order that due credit may be given.
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