Author Topic: Why the Switch from crossing to cruising?  (Read 1877 times)

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kevinh

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Why the Switch from crossing to cruising?
« on: Jan 30, 2018, 03:07 AM »
I'm just wondering;

When QM2 came into service, Cunard reduced QE2 to cruising only. Now she clearly had at least one more year of transatlantic operations within her, so why did they do that?
« Last Edit: Jan 30, 2018, 05:06 PM by Isabelle Prondzynski »

Offline Thomas Hypher

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Re: Why the Switch?
« Reply #1 on: Jan 30, 2018, 03:46 AM »
I'm just wondering;

When QM2 came into service, Cunard reduced QE2 to cruising only. Now she clearly had at least one more year of transatlantic operations within her, so why did they do that?

QM2 became the Cunard flagship shortly after she came into service in 2004 and there wasn't enough demand for two ocean liners on a regular transatlantic service as is the case at the moment too (the main reason - as QM2 was her direct replacement due to QE2's increasing age and it's consequences).

Besides QE2's switch to cruising was her semi-retirement in a way due to age and the consequential wear and tear etc that comes with that (not to mention that the regular transatlantic service puts a ship under extra strain). I am not sure where the "at least one more year of transatlantics" comes from?  :)

Cunard had reduced QE2's then 5 night transatlantics to 6 nights in the late 1990s due to wear and tear that was starting to cause problems for a ship that was then around 30 years old (despite the re-engining in 1986/7). The 6 night crossings allowed the engineers to be able to do more on the go maintenance of the 9 diesels *for example* due to more than one being down for maintenance due to the slower required speeds. The various propulsion systems (such as the electric motors) wouldn't be pushed as hard reducing mechanical strain/wear and tear too. The switch to mostly cruising was an extension of this. However QE2 was also designed for cruising (by being dual purpose) so I wouldn't view switching to mainly cruising as a negative (she still did a number of transatlantics after 2004 and outside of her final season - albeit normally at the start and end of World Cruises). The very skilled crew kept her in good as possible condition to the end in November 2008 - the engineer's skill and care keeping her propulsion systems in good condition helped by the slower speeds required/slower schedule. However, she did of course still have the ability to run fast when needed as I personally experienced a few times.

I have recently read and researched that the wear and tear thing was an issue with the old steam plant too, particularly in the early to mid 1980s before her re-engining - not being helped by the change from annual overhauls to biannual overhauls in the mid to late 1970s - she was being worked hard on 5 night transatlantics at the time too (although as normal back then) - among one other potential reason - a combination of things causing problems back then as a combination of different issues did later in her life.

*another big reason being the aluminium.

I hope I've made sense here within my rambling  ;)

Thomas
« Last Edit: Jan 30, 2018, 03:50 AM by Thomas Hypher »
First sailed on QE2 in August 2003 aged 6 years old. Last sailed on QE2 in July 2008. Last saw the seagoing QE2 in person from the decks of QM2, on QE2's last Transatlantic crossing (Eastbound tandem) in October 2008. Visited QE2 in her new life, in Dubai, in January 2020 and August 2022.

kevinh

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Re: Why the Switch?
« Reply #2 on: Jan 30, 2018, 04:20 AM »
Yes Thomas, you have again. ;)

I'm aware how QM2 quickly became flagship and how QE2 was obviously aging, so I guess it all makes sense.

As for the "at least one more year of transatlantics", I meant that, despite her age, QE2 should've been capable of serving the transatlantic route for one more season, a.k.a. to 2009. It wouldn't have been that much of a stretch (despite her age and not enough demand for multiple ocean liners), and besides, if she did, THEN it can actually be said she served for 40 years (in my fictional universe, she did). :D

Offline Thomas Hypher

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Re: Why the Switch?
« Reply #3 on: Jan 30, 2018, 04:33 AM »
Yes Thomas, you have again. ;)

I'm aware how QM2 quickly became flagship and how QE2 was obviously aging, so I guess it all makes sense.

As for the "at least one more year of transatlantics", I meant that, despite her age, QE2 should've been capable of serving the transatlantic route for one more season, a.k.a. to 2009. It wouldn't have been that much of a stretch (despite her age and not enough demand for multiple ocean liners), and besides, if she did, THEN it can actually be said she served for 40 years (in my fictional universe, she did). :D

Another year in service perhaps, but not on the transatlantic given the already mentioned lack of demand and not wanting to take passengers away from QM2 - another year mostly cruising. The 2009 World Cruise and several other cruises that year were in the earlish stages of planning as Michael recently showed us here on the forum (including an anniversary transatlantic in May 2009 for 40 years since entering normal commercial service and much more importantly the maiden voyage). SOLAS 2010 would've been her biggest hurdle by 2010 however not to mention the myriad of other regulations and issues that were coming to a head in her last few years of actual active service. A through rebuild would've been needed to sail beyond 2010, and would that have dealt with the ageing aluminium for example? Would a recognisable ship have emerged from such a rebuild (that would've been her most significant besides the 1986/7 re-engining)?
« Last Edit: Jan 30, 2018, 04:49 AM by Thomas Hypher »
First sailed on QE2 in August 2003 aged 6 years old. Last sailed on QE2 in July 2008. Last saw the seagoing QE2 in person from the decks of QM2, on QE2's last Transatlantic crossing (Eastbound tandem) in October 2008. Visited QE2 in her new life, in Dubai, in January 2020 and August 2022.

kevinh

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Re: Why the Switch?
« Reply #4 on: Jan 30, 2018, 01:28 PM »
A through rebuild would've been needed to sail beyond 2010, and would that have dealt with the ageing aluminium for example? Would a recognisable ship have emerged from such a rebuild (that would've been her most significant besides the 1986/7 re-engining)?

If she didn't change too much, then maybe.

 

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