QE2 Final Farewell in Southampton

October 28, 2008
QE2's Final Departure: Reporting Live from Southampton

In just two weeks, Queen Elizabeth 2 will set sail from Southampton for the final time and head off on a new voyage as a floating hotel in Dubai.

Planning on seeing off QE2 in person? Post your photos in our farewell photo gallery, or send them to dan@cruisecritic.com -- we'll publish them!

If you are keen to bid the "Grande Dame" a fond farewell in the port of Southampton, then you won't be disappointed. Cunard and the Southampton City Council have organised a day of events before QE2 departs on the evening of 11 November.

Here is an event-by-event listing of what will take place. (Activity is centered in Mayflower Park.):

7 a.m. -- QE2 is due to arrive at Southampton's Eastern Docks.

9 a.m. to 8 p.m. -- There will be a giant video screen in Mayflower Park, playing live footage throughout the day.

1:40 p.m. -- There is a planned fly-past by an RAF Harrier, as well as a sail-past by Royal Navy ships.

5:30 to 6:30 p.m. -- The Silver Beatles will perform on the stage in Mayflower Park.

6:30 to 7:30 p.m. -- Live coverage of QE2 leaving its berth will be broadcast over the screens in Mayflower Park.

7:15 p.m. -- QE2 will leave its berth in the Eastern Docks for the final time and head to the Western Docks, where it will turn and be in held in position off Mayflower Park.

7:25 p.m. -- The Captain of QE2 will deliver a message from the ship, which will be broadcast onto the screen in Mayflower Park.

7:40 p.m. -- There will be a fireworks display to commemorate QE2's final sailing.

8 p.m. -- QE2 will sail out of Southampton.

For an alternative to watching the events unfold in Mayflower Park, a number of ferry companies are offering dedicated trips to say adieu to QE2.

Blue Funnel Ferries is offering a very early (5:30 a.m.!) departure from Southampton to watch QE2 come into the berth. The line will then offer harbour trips throughout the day, and there is a sailaway cruise from 6:15 p.m. until 9:45 p.m.

Red Funnel has availability left on one sailaway trip. However, you will have to depart from the Isle of Wight. Red Falcon will be sailing from East Cowes at 5:30 p.m. to head across to Southampton to view all of QE2's farewell events. The ship returns at 9:30 p.m. to East Cowes. Tickets cost £30 per person.

--by Kelly Ranson, U.K. Editor