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QE2: Throwback every day

The Queen Elizabeth 2 offers a peek into the past that will appeal to history buffs

In the age of experiential travel, this great dame lets you step into history.

We have a fascination with the past. News a Titanic 2.0 setting sail from Dubai in a few years is lighting up the internet at the moment, much like the announcement that another grand dame of the seas was making her home here did a few years ago.

Well, after almost a year, opinions of the majestic Queen Elizabeth 2’s conversion into a floating hotel differ. Would it have been better to recreate the transatlantic liner as she would have appeared to cruise passengers in her heyday, all shiny and new? Or does this window into the past have merit all on its own? One has to admit, though, that she adds an interesting element to Dubai’s predilection for the new, so I fall in latter camp. You can almost smell her storied history as you wander the narrow passageways between bow and stern. 

This also makes a stay aboard strangely anachronistic, with people in modern attire looking out of place in this surrounding. The rooms are kitted out to modern standards, though, so your iPhone will feel right at home.    

The signature restaurant, Queen’s Grill, serves a heritage menu from time to time, although the contemporary option also includes gems such as scallops dotted with black curry, a double take of tenderloin and beef cheeks, and buttery lobster. 

There’s also a spa, which shows the size of her staff accommodations. 

The QE2’s greatest selling point is that you get a sense of luxury travel in the latter half of the last century, which is unique in our young emirate. And heritage tour guide Peter Warwick offers an immersive experience, having seen the QE2 in action as both passenger and staff. A fount of knowledge, he regales with anecdotes, thus bringing history alive. 

In the age of experiential travel, this great dame lets you step into history — no time machine required. 

In the age of experiential travel, this great dame lets you step into history.

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