Author Topic: Sister for QE2?  (Read 4987 times)

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Online Michael Gallagher

Sister for QE2?
« on: Dec 02, 2011, 09:26 PM »
Article from Sunday Times, 1 May 1969

Delighted with their new ship and with her advanced bookings (but not, of course, with her delays), Cunard have ordered a financial and design study for a sister ship to Queen Elizabeth 2.

The ship would be of similar all-cruise one-vlass configuration. The success of the weight-saving techniques used in QE2 indicate that a slightly larger ship, around 72,000 tons against QE2's 65,000, would be the most economical.

The financial study indicates that considerable economies of scale would be possible with two ships, and Cunard would have the considerable advantage of having at least one of the sisters continually on cruise in some warm climate, so that cruises could be sold to "get-away-from-it-all!" impulse buyers at any time.

Cunard are studying the possibility of raising the cost of the new ship on the normal money marker [sic], without asking for a Government loan. This will depend on whether the high hopes the line has for the ship are ralised; and this should become clar in her first year or so of operation.

Who will build her? If Cunard raise their own finance they can build a new ship anywhere they please, and relaions between the line and Upper Clyde Shipbuilders, who built QE2, are stil very close.

Top officials of both Cunard and the shipbuilders said last week that they could see no reasonwhy the prospective new ship should not be built at John Brown's shipyard on the Clyde, despite the teething troubles of QE2.

In Southampton, hundreds of workmen gave up their weekendto continue fitting out the QE2.

Two hundred more workmen arrive from Glasgow today, giving Upper Clyde Shipbuilders' executives more accommodation problems.

Offline Bob C.

Re: Sister for QE2?
« Reply #1 on: Dec 02, 2011, 09:43 PM »
Extremely interesting.  Was this a premature reaction that was eventually overridden with the finacial facts?  Would have loved to to have seen what the sister's concept design entailed.

« Last Edit: Apr 19, 2012, 01:21 PM by Bob C. »

Online Michael Gallagher

Re: Sister for QE2?
« Reply #2 on: Dec 02, 2011, 09:52 PM »
I have written to the chap who was the MD of Cunard in 1969 and asked him that very question Bob and will post his reponse.

If the decision to build was based on QE2's first year profits then I'm sure Cunard would have gone ahead but the company was soon in bed with ONA (Overseas National Airways). ONA had a plan to build eight small cruise ships but the cost of the eight-ship project meant that Overseas National Airways soon ran into financial troubles and was forced to abandon it. Cunard saw the opportunity and quickly took the project on, soon reducing the order to two ships. Only two were built - the ridiculous Cunard Adventurer and Cunard Ambassador.

QE2 exterior designer James Gardner had a hand in their design and Cunard Adventurer is still with us as Louis Cruises' Coral.

Online Rob Lightbody

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Re: Sister for QE2?
« Reply #3 on: Jan 26, 2012, 10:13 PM »
This would have been an amazing ship I'm sure!  Possibly without the compromises that QE2 suffered either late in the design process, or while being built!  It could possibly have been so amazing that QE2 would have lived in her shadow...

Amazing!
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Matteo 91

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Re: Sister for QE2?
« Reply #4 on: Jan 27, 2012, 01:26 PM »
What name would you have suggested for her?

Online Peter Mugridge

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Re: Sister for QE2?
« Reply #5 on: Jan 27, 2012, 11:10 PM »
Probably a name subsequently used as a sister of another Elizabeth - Queen Victoria.
"It is a capital mistake to allow any mechanical object to realise that you are in a hurry!"

Online Michael Gallagher

Re: Sister for QE2?
« Reply #6 on: Jan 28, 2012, 05:34 PM »
My money would be on Queen Mary 2

Offline Twynkle

Re: Sister for QE2?
« Reply #7 on: Jan 28, 2012, 06:56 PM »
My money would be on Queen Mary 2

Mine too - but not quite all of it!
By some, HRH Queen Mary was held in high esteem.
She came to Liverpool, and looked formidable!

Unless....did Cunard ever name a ship after a Prince Consort, or a King, even?
Do you think Prince Philip might ever have been a possibility?

« Last Edit: Jan 28, 2012, 07:29 PM by Twynkle »

Offline Bob C.

Re: Sister for QE2?
« Reply #8 on: Jan 29, 2012, 01:17 PM »
My money would be on Queen Mary 2

Princess Margaret

Online Peter Mugridge

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Re: Sister for QE2?
« Reply #9 on: Jan 29, 2012, 09:32 PM »
Princess Margaret

Not sure they could have done this as that name was active on one of Seaspeed's then brand new SRN4 hovercraft operating out of Dover.  Isn't there some rule preventing two ships ( or in this case two marine transports! ) of the same name operating at the same time in UK waters?
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Leovinus

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Re: Sister for QE2?
« Reply #10 on: Apr 19, 2012, 10:09 AM »
Who would have made the decision to order a new ship? Cunard under Sir Basil Smallpiece or Cunard under Trafalgar House? If it was under Sir Basil I would be, going by what I've read, very surprised and curious as to how he'd arrived at the economic sense of such a decision. Sir Basil came off as a short term book-balancer and not a grand visionary to me, though I don't mean to imply a negative judgment of overall character by that observation as I know to little of the details.

And while we're on the subject of timeline, under whose watchful eye was the ONA involvement initiated?

 

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